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Christ Is King: Paul’s Royal Ideology

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Until recently, many scholars have read Paul’s use of the word Christos as more of a proper name (“Jesus Christ”) than a title, Jesus the Messiah. One result, Joshua W. Jipp argues, is that important aspects of Paul’s thinking about Jesus’ messiahship have gone unrecognized. Jipp argues that kingship discourse is an important source for Paul’s christological language: Paul uses royal language to present Christ as the good king.

Jipp surveys Greco-Roman and Jewish depictions of the ideal king and argues for the influence of these traditions on several aspects of Paul’s thought: king and law (Galatians 5–6; Romans 13–15; 1 Corinthians 9); hymning to the king (Col. 1:15-20); the just and faithful king; the royal roots of Paul’s language of participation “in Christ”; and the enthroned king (Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:20-28). Jipp finds that Paul’s use of royal tropes is indeed significant. Christos is a royal honorific within Paul’s letters, and Paul is another witness to ancient discussions of monarchy and ideal kingship.

In the process, Jipp offers new and noteworthy solutions to outstanding questions concerning Christ and the law, the pistis Christou debate, and Paul’s participatory language.

  • Argues that kingship discourse is an important source for Paul’s christological language
  • Surveys Greco-Roman and Jewish depictions of the ideal king
  • Discusses Christ and the law, the pistis Christou debate, and Paul’s participatory language
  • Paul’s Christ-Discourse as Ancient Kingship Discourse
  • King and Law: Christ the King as Living Law
  • King and Praise: Hymns as Royal Encomia to Christ the King
  • King and Kingdom: Sharing in the Rule of Christ the King
  • King and Justice: God’s Righteousness and the Righteous King in Romans
  • Conclusion
Joshua Jipp has produced a carefully researched, lucidly written, and compelling case for the influence of ancient ideologies about good kingship on Paul’s Christology. His work invites us to rethink our understanding of certain central issues in Pauline theology, not least ‘participation’ and righteousness/justification.’ Indeed, Jipp demonstrates that royal motifs permeate Paul's letters. An important book.

—Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary’s Seminary & University

It seems that scholars have greatly neglected the royal dimensions resonating in and around Paul’s repeated designation of Jesus as Christ or Messiah. In Jipp’s skillful hands, the rich and complex discourse of kingship prevalent in Paul’s day is shown to lie at the heart of many of his most important motifs and arguments. The result is the introduction of significant new interpretative angles on almost all the key questions in current Pauline analysis, coupled with the advocacy of a bold new proposal for the center of Paul’s thought as a whole. This is an important book, creative, comprehensively researched, and thoroughly argued, by a New Testament scholar of rapidly increasing stature.

—Douglas Campbell, Duke Divinity School

This is a very impressive book. Bringing his formidable classical learning to bear on the Pauline epistles, Joshua Jipp shows how Paul’s royal messiah Christology, long maligned or neglected by modern interpreters, offers solutions to several thorny problems in the interpretation of the apostle. Scholars of Paul and of early Christology, take note.

—Matthew Novenson, The University of Edinburgh

  • Title: Christ Is King: Paul's Royal Ideology
  • Author: Joshua Jipp
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 388
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-03-10T13:57:10Z

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. 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.

Joshua Jipp

Dr. Joshua Jipp has taught New Testament in a variety of settings, including as a teaching fellow at TEDS, before joining the faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys baseball, basketball, hiking outdoors, and spending time with his wife, Amber, and their two sons. His most recent scholarly work includes Paul’s Areopagus Speech of Acts 17:16–34 as Both Critique and Propaganda in theJournal of Biblical Literature, and Divine Visitations and Hospitality to Strangers in Luke–Acts: An Interpretation of the Malta Episode in Acts 28:1–10 (Brill). He’s currently working on a book on Pauline Christology for Fortress Press and the Two Horizons Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles for Eerdmans.


Digital list price: $39.99
Save $14.00 (35%)

Gathering interest