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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Christ and the Judgement of God: The Limits of Divine Retribution in New Testament Thought
Travis, Stephen H.

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2008 pp. xiv + 383.2nd Edition. $24.95

Description: In this scholarly study Stephen Travis examines the role of retribution in New Testament theologies of judgment. This long awaited second edition includes three entirely new chapters as well as being completely revised and updated. Travis' main thesis is that New Testament theologies of judgment are more fundamentally relational than retributive. He argues that while elements of retribution are present in each "strand" of the New Testament, they are remarkably infrequent, in view of their prominence in the Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. He argues that both in Paul and in the gospels one's relationship to God, through Christ, is the criterion of judgment; and the ultimate outcome of the judgment is conceived in terms of that relationship. Travis explores the place of retribution in the Old Testament and Jewish literature, the Pauline texts, the four gospels, and Revelation. In the process the theme judgment is explored in relation to divine wrath, "paying back," condemnation, its present and future realization (including a discussion on Hell), the role of human deeds, the possibility of losing salvation, the place of rewards, and the role of divine judgment in interpretations of Christ's death.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology

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Review by Christopher Chandler
Published 6/20/2010
Citation: Christopher Chandler, review of Stephen H. Travis, Christ and the Judgement of God: The Limits of Divine Retribution in New Testament Thought, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

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