In This Issue: Paul
During my days as a Bible school student I came to the (premature?) conclusion that I had a relatively good grasp on the meaning of the Scriptures. That confidence has been sharply eroded in the course of studies toward five degrees which relate to biblical theological studies and during my six years of pastoral ministry and fourteen years of teaching.
This issue of Direction makes me acutely aware of the vast body of literature and the wide range of issues and interpretation in Pauline studies of which I am uninformed or with which I am only casually acquainted. Let the reader beware!
The first of three articles provides snapshots of scenic views along the road of Pauline studies. Keith Poysti’s reflection on the typological interpretation of Scripture takes us past contemporary theologians to the primary Pauline texts on typology. While he has not explored the nuances of typological interpretation in the Book of Hebrews, his primary thesis holds for the typical-antitypical interpretation in that Epistle as well.
Erwin Penner’s exploration of the enthronement theme in Ephesians opens up some new understandings of the relationship of the risen and exalted Christ to the church of today. The article explores one of the severely neglected areas of Christology.
Just as Penner’s article exposes us to current reflections on Ephesians, Gordon Zerbe’s article probes Romans 11 while opening our eyes to the type of interpretations currently being offered in careful evangelical scholarship. This essay is a contribution in its own right but is also representative of the rethinking taking place about the larger message of the Epistle to the Romans.
The concluding article focuses on the biblical-historical-theological issue of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. The theme of unity and the Lord’s Supper gains its motive force from the text and larger context of 1 Corinthians 11. Hopefully the article will lead to further reflection on that biblical passage.