Friday, April 27, 2012

“Confession of the Son of God in the Exordium of Hebrews,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30.4 (2008): 437–453

At the heart of Hebrews’ exordium (1.3ab), Jesus is said to be ‘the radiance of God’s glory, the express image of his being, and upholding all things by his powerful word’. These three predications have not as yet been meaningfully connected to the rest of the epistle. This article emphasizes the nuanced shifts from passive to active imagery in 1.3ab and argues that they forecast the reciprocal pronouncements of family relatedness that the Father and the Son exchange in the author’s dramatization of Jesus’ exaltation (1.5; 2.12-13). Furthermore, they locate within the very being of the Son an orientation towards family identification that will be paradigmatic for the author’s hortatory agenda, as the recipients are called to respond to the Son’s conferral of family membership (2.12-13) with reciprocative confessions of Jesus’ sonship (4.14-16; 10.19-23). 

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