Adam Christology as the exegetical and theological substructure of II Corinthians 4:7-5:21

Charles Marvin Pate, Marquette University

Abstract

II Corinthians 5:1-10 has long occupied scholars' attention in their efforts to sort out the maze of exegetical problems associated with that text. Debate continues over such questions as: What is the "building from heaven" that Paul refers to in II Cor. 5:1; and how is it to be "clothed over" (5:2-4)? When does Paul envision this heavenly habitation to be received? What is the "nakedness" to which he refers in 5:3? How does 5:1-5 relate to 5:6-10? Does II Cor. 5:1-10 represent a watershed in Pauline eschatology? In view of the impasse in interpretations relative to these questions, this dissertation attempts to break new ground by rooting II Cor. 5:1-10 and the unit in which it is located, II Cor. 4:7-5:21, in Paul's Adam christology. Specifically, the two constituent motifs found in this unit (glory, II Cor. 4:16-5:10; suffering, II Cor. 4:7-15; 5:11-21) are informed by his belief that the lost glory of Adam has been restored by Christ, the last Adam's righteous suffering. The methodology employed in the application of this thesis is both theological and exegetical. After an introductory chapter which reviews the scholarly research on II Cor. 5:1-10, Chapter One demonstrates that this theological concept of the restoration of Adam's lost glory through righteous suffering was a pervasive belief in the Judaism surrounding Paul's day. Chapter Two and Three, then, apply that concept to II Cor. 4:7-5:21. In Chapter Two an exegetical analysis is made of Paul's noteworthy vocabulary in II Cor. 4:16-5:10 and reveals a dependence upon the Adam story of Genesis 1-3. Chapter Three extends that semantical analysis to II Cor. 4:7-15; 5:11-21 and uncovers a substructure composed of the Old Testament suffering texts of Psalm 115(LXX); the Servant Songs of Isaiah and Wisdom 9-10 (2-5). These two chapters demonstrate that Paul's juxtapositioning of the themes of glory and suffering is based upon the above Adam christology. The conclusion to be drawn from the preceding results is that Paul's Adam-Christ typology well explains the problems of II Cor. 5:1-10.

Recommended Citation

Pate, Charles Marvin, "Adam Christology as the exegetical and theological substructure of II Corinthians 4:7-5:21" (1988). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8904278.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8904278

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