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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Solidarity Perfected: Beneficent Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews
McCruden, Kevin B.

Berlin: De Gruyter, 2008 pp. viii+159 pages. $105.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 159

Description: This monograph examines the concept of Jesus’ perfection in the Epistle to the Hebrews in relation to the broader theological themes of divine beneficence and divine “philanthropia”. Three times in Hebrews Jesus is described as being perfected (Hebrews 2:10, 5:9, 7:28), and in two of these instances (Hebrews 2:10, 5:8-9) the author explicitly links the theme of Jesus’ suffering to the content of his perfection. By examining representative selections of Greek non-literary papyri, this study argues that the customary application of the Greek verb τελειόω to denote the idea of legal notarization of a public document suggests the more comprehensive idea of official, definitive attestation. Informed by such a notion of perfection as official, definitive attestation, this study argues that the language of Christ’s perfection in Hebrews functions as a christological grammar for reflecting upon the character of Christ. Far from being remotely transcendent, Jesus is characterized instead by divine beneficence and “philanthropia”, by a motivation to draw near to the community of the faithful gathered around his memory. This study argues for the cogency of this proposal based on exegetical grounds, the literary character of Hebrews as an epistolary homily, and the social setting of Hebrews as one characterized by social distress and/or persecution in or near the vicinity of Rome.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Hebrews and Catholic Epistles, Hebrews, Literature

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Review by Martin Karrer
Published 12/15/2010
Citation: Martin Karrer, review of Kevin B. Mccruden, Solidarity Perfected: Beneficent Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

Review by Craig R. Koester
Published 2/11/2012
Citation: Craig R. Koester, review of Kevin B. McCruden, Solidarity Perfected: Beneficent Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2012).

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