Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hebrews 4:12 and Christology

A popular passage for Evangelicals to show the magnificence of Scripture is Hebrews 4:12. I used to think this was talking about Scripture until recently. I'm convinced that ο λογος του θεου is Christological. For one, I don't know that Paul (the obvious author of Hebrews) would have seen Scripture as "living and active." Nor do I think Paul would've seen Scripture as having the power to "judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

There's a myriad of other reasons why I think this is Christological, but I was wondering if anyone thinks the same.

Also, this is my 100th post. You would think I would have written something better.

9 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Josh,

Congratulations on 100 posts! I think this is a great post for #100.

I have not heard before that the phrase ο λογος του θεου in Heb 4:12 refers to Christ. I think this works well in the context of Heb 3-4.

-Alan

Nick said...

Congrats on 100...

I like to think that Paul wrote Hebrews as well but I'm not so convinced that this is really the case. In ant event, I don't know that Paul ever used ο λογος του θεου in a explicitly Christological sense. The closest I can find is Titus 2:5 (I do accept Pauline authorship of Titus) when he encouraged self-control and submission so that ο λογος του θεου would not be blasphemed -- but even here the context seems to suggest that ο λογος του θεου is doctrine.

I don't know that Paul would have necessarily had scripture (i.e. the written record) in mind when using the phrase but it seems that whatever form ο λογος του θεου took, it was referring to words at the very least spoken.

Maybe I'm wrong... I don't know...

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Oh YEAH!!! http://irishanddangerous.blogspot.com/2007/09/hebrew-412-13.html

Tim said...

You're 100th post. My 1st Response. I hereby pledge to leave one comment to every 100 of your replies.


Honestly, that question of Paul not writing Hebrews hasn't really troubeled me, so I haven't put much thought to it. Maybe I have such a low (or maybe its high) view of scripture that I don't really care about those authorship questions.

As far as whether this verse is Christological, I think it is ok to read it that way. But whether Paul intended that I think might be a stretch. I really don't know.

Steven Craig Miller said...

The Lutheran Carl Braaten, in his “Christian Dogmatics” (1984), presents six different meanings for the phrase “Word of God.” Braaten writes:

First, the “Word of God” refers classically to the second person of the Trinity, who was coeternal with the Father. Second, the Word of God was the active agent and medium of the creation of the world. Third, the Word of God was preached by the prophets in the Old Testament. Fourth, the Word of God became flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Fifth, the Word of God was proclaimed by the apostles of Jesus Christ in the creating of the church. Later it was written down by the apostles and their disciples. The Bible is the written Word of God in a derived way; it is the deposit of preaching of the early church. Sixth, the Word of God is the living voice of the gospel in every generation of Christians to follow (1:75).

Quixie said...

How can you say it is obvious that Paul is the author of Hebrews? Obvious how? (be specific)

Josh McManaway said...

It's a bit of a joke. It's not *obviously* Pauline. I propose that Luke actually acted as Paul's amanuensis for this letter.

Quixie said...

So, you are saying that the author of Luke wrote it at the behest of Paul. Interesting proposal.

Is there any internal evidence that supports this? (in either Luke or Hebrews)

{I say there isn't; —what do you think?}

Ó

Josh McManaway said...

I obviously think there's evidence, or I wouldn't believe it. Odd question. At any rate, the argument is longer than I can completely articulate either in the comments or in a post, but it basically stems from Pauline theology being wrapped in Lukan vocabulary.