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Christology in the Synoptic Gospels: God or God’s Servant

, 2012
ISBN: 9780567000637
  • Format:Digital



Who was Jesus of Nazareth? For hundreds of years, Christians have answered that he is God’s Son, fully God, and also fully man. The classic formulation is found in the Nicene Creed (325 CE), which affirms that he is “of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” The creed goes on to explain that he “came down and was incarnate and was made man.”

However, the language of the Nicene Creed is not the language of the Bible. Words such as “essence” and “substance” appear to owe more to Greek philosophers than to the fishermen who were among the first followers of Jesus.

The task of this book is to explain what the first three canonical Gospels teach us about who Jesus is. Even the subtitle of this book, the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels, shows the difficulty in undertaking this task without being influenced by the church’s theological tradition. The word “Christology” does not occur in the Bible; it is the kind of word one would use for something that is the object of study, not a word one would use with respect to a person one knows well (whether by acquaintance or reputation). The evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, did not write “Christologies”–they wrote Jesus biographies. Such biographies will, of course, tell us a lot about what the authors believed about what kind of person Jesus was, but to explore those beliefs we need to use a rigorous method.

  • Compares the portrayal of Jesus in each of the Synoptic Gospels
  • Examines the Jewish expectation of the coming Messiah
  • Explores the historical context of the Synoptic Gospels
  • Israel’s Eschatological Expectations
  • God’s Coming: Christology in Mark’s Gospel
  • God’s Presence: Christology in Matthew’s Gospel
  • God’s Name: Christology in Luke’s Gospel
This book is an ideal choice for serious students of the gospels or the life of Jesus. It is well organized, clearly written, and easily intelligible without being simplistic. Dr. Grindheim is abreast of the latest scholarship and interacts with it appreciatively, but takes his own carefully argued approach to the presentation in the synoptic gospels of Jesus’ relationship to God. The result is a book that introduces students to the basic issues in the field, and, at the same time, provides interesting and throught-provoking reading.

Frank Thielman, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, USA

In this exceptionally rich, informative and rewarding study, Sigurd Grindheim explores the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels by first focusing on contemporary Jewish eschatological expectations. This sets the stage for the study of the individual Synoptics with a focus on their distinctive Christologies. The whole discussion is set fully in the first-century theological context by frequent reference to non-canonical literature. An ideal textbook for courses on the Synoptic Gospels.

Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA

In this careful work, Dr. Grindheim has provided a refreshing study on the relationship between Christ and God the Father. Paying close attention to both the historical background of the various christological titles as well as the narrative contexts in which they are situated, he has demonstrated how the christological confessions articulated in the Nicene Creed find their roots in the earliest gospel witnesses. This will serve as a clear, informed, and reliable guide for those entering the field of New Testament Christology.

Dr. David W. Pao, Professor of New Testament and Chair of the New Testament Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

  • Title: Christology in the Synoptic Gospels: God or God’s Servant?
  • Author: Sigurd Grindheim
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Print Publication Date: 2012
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Jesus Christ › Person and offices--Biblical teaching; Bible. N.T. Gospels › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • ISBNs: 9780567000637, 9780567246578
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-01-13T17:28:54Z

In the Logos edition, this digital volume of Christology of the Synoptic Gospels is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Sigurd Grindheim (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of New Testament at Fjellhaug International University College in Oslo, Norway. He is also adjunct professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and visiting lecturer at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology. Grindheim is the author of numerous articles and essays as well as a number of books, including Introducing Biblical Theology, God’s Equal: What Can We Know about Jesus’ Self-Understanding?, and Christology in the Synoptic Gospels: God or God’s Servant.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition