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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Christ the Ideal King: Cultural Context, Rhetorical Strategy, and the Power of Divine Monarchy in Ephesians
Smith, Julien

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011 pp. x + 316. €79.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2d ser., 313

Description: A central rhetorical strategy of Ephesians involves the portrayal of Christ as an ideal king who reunites a fractured cosmos and humanity through his reign. In this comprehensive study, Julien Smith shows how this literary characterization unifies the letter’s major themes: reconciling humanity with God, uniting Jew and gentile, establishing ecclesiastical harmony, and defeating hostile powers arrayed against the church. The author grounds his analysis in a thorough account of the kingly ideal’s powerful contemporary cultural resonance, which was rooted in the widespread yearning within both Greco-Roman and Jewish thought for a golden age inaugurated by a divinely ordained monarch. For Ephesians’ author and audience, only Christ the ideal king has power to form identity and transform behavior.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, Ephesians, Literature

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Review by Keith A. Reich
Published 5/8/2013
Citation: Keith A. Reich, review of Julien Smith, Christ the Ideal King: Cultural Context, Rhetorical Strategy, and the Power of Divine Monarchy in Ephesians, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2013).

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