Guide The Christology of the New Testament

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Not registered? Sign up. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Hurst and N. Wright Abstract This book consists of twenty-one studies on a subject of supreme importance: the New Testament understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ. More This book consists of twenty-one studies on a subject of supreme importance: the New Testament understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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Hurst, editor University of California, Davis N. Print Save Cite Email Share. Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address. The necessity of Christ's temptation by the prince of this world, in order that He, by His firm resistance, might deprive him of his dominion over mankind, indicates that Adam was assailed by the same tempter, and, by being overcome, laid the foundation of that dominion.

Among the express verbal testimonies of the New Testament, we must first consider the declarations of the Lord Himself; and among these the passage John viii. This is evident from a comparison of 1 John iii. See my commentary on this passage. Moreover, the words in ver. Bodily death also came upon mankind through the [Pg 18] temptation. Compare Gen. But when the reference to Cain's slaying his brother is brought forward as the sole, or even as the principal one, we must absolutely reject it. Cain's murder of his brother comes into consideration only as an effect of the evil principle which was introduced into human nature by the first temptation; as, indeed, it appears in the book of Genesis itself as the fruit of the poisonous tree, the planting of which is detailed in chap.

The same murderous spirit which impelled Satan to bring man under the dominion of death by the lie, "Ye shall not surely die," was busy in Cain also, and seduced him to slay his pious brother. The following reasons forbid an exclusive reference to the deed of Cain:—1. The murdering of man by Satan is brought into the closest connection with his lie.

In connection with Cain's deed, however, there was not even the appearance of falsehood; while, in the case before us, lies, false and deceitful promises of high blessings to be attained, and the raising of suspicions against God, were the very means by which he seduced man, and brought him under the power of sin. The words of Jesus, when they are understood according to their simple meaning, carry us back to an event in the primitive times, in which murder and the spirit of falsehood went hand in hand.

The co-operation of Satan in Cain's deed is not expressly mentioned in Genesis. That there was any such we can with certainty infer, only if this event be viewed in close connection with what Satan did against our first parents,—if, behind the serpent, Satan be concealed. Whensoever Jesus has to deal with Jews, He does not teach any mysterious doctrines, but makes an open appeal to the events narrated in Scripture. The words, "Ye are of your father the devil," point to the seed of the serpent spoken of in Gen.

The words, "From the beginning," direct to an event which happened at the first beginnings of mankind, and in which our first parents took a part. Whatever this may be, the event in question must be the first in which the devil manifested himself as the murderer of man. Now, as by the Jews of that time the temptation of the first man, in consequence of which death entered the world, was attributed to sin—and this appears not only from what has been already said, but also from a passage in the Sohar Chadash , referred to by Tholuck , in which the wicked are [Pg 19] called "The children of the old serpent which has slain Adam and all who are descended from him"—it is evident that, by "the murderer of men from the beginning," Jesus can mean only the first tempter of men.

That the words, "from the beginning," refer to the fall of the first man, is also clearly shown by the parallel passages 1 John iii. Jesus says: Satan stands not in the truth, does not move in its element, because there is no truth in him. This points to a well-known event, in which Satan displayed his lying nature; and such is found only in the account of man's fall. Jesus calls Satan not only a liar, but, by way of emphasis, He designates him as the father of lies. But Satan can be designated thus, only with reference to a lie of his which is charged against him by Scripture, and which preceded all lies on earth.

Now that is the lie of which we have an account in Gen. The words, "and the father of it," correspond with the words, "from the beginning. Another declaration of our Lord is found in St Matthew xiii. The children of the wicked one, or of the devil, who are spoken of in this passage, are the seed of the serpent who is mentioned in Gen.

Less incontrovertible is the passage in St Matthew xxiii. Compare Matt. Olshausen , in his commentary on Matt. But, according to Matt. Let us now turn from the Lord to His disciples. Just as is done in the account of the transaction itself, Paul, in 2 Cor. But that behind the serpent he beholds Satan, appears immediately from ver. Fecit id jam in Paradiso. But such an occurrence is not found anywhere else than in Gen. The Apostle recognises, in the promise of the victory over the serpent given there, a pledge of the victory over Satan. The words of Paul to Elymas in Acts xiii.

In the charge of subtlety, mischief, and enmity to all righteousness which he brings against him, there is an evident allusion to Genesis. In 1 John iii.

The Christology of the New Testament

But of such a sin there is no account, unless Satan be concealed behind the serpent. The agency of Satan in the fall of man has been controverted, on the plea that, had such been in operation, it ought to have been mentioned. But the absence of any such mention may be explained on the ground that it is not the intention of the holy writers to give any information respecting the existence of the devil, but rather to give an account of his real manifestation, to which, afterwards, the doctrine connected itself.


The judgment of the reader should not, as it were, be [Pg 21] anticipated. The simple fact is communicated to him, in order that, from it, he may form his own opinion.

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Further ,—It has been asserted that, in the entire Old Testament, and until the time of the Babylonian captivity, no trace of an evil spirit is to be found, and that, hence, it cannot be conceived that his existence is here presupposed. But this assertion may now be regarded as obsolete and without foundation. Closely connected with the affirmation, to which allusion has just been made, is the opinion which assigns the Book of Job to the time of the captivity, an opinion which is now almost universally abandoned. This book must necessarily have been written before the time of the captivity, because Jeremiah refers to it, both in his Prophecies e.

Sacrorum interpres atque Vindex " The reference in Amos iv.

The Christology of the New Testament Paper - Oscar Cullmannn :

The assertion of those also who feel themselves compelled to acknowledge the pre-exilic origin of the book, but who maintain, at the same time, that the Satan of this book is not the Satan of the later books of the Old Testament, but rather a good angel who only holds an odious office, is more and more admitted to be futile; so that we must indeed wonder how even Beck Lehrwissenschaft i. The principal evil spirit is, in Zech. He who, under all circumstances, is an "adversary," must certainly carry the principle of hatred in his heart. He moves about on the earth for the purpose of finding materials for his accusations, and grounds on which he may raise suspicions.

Introduction to the New Testament - Christologies of the Gospels

It is a characteristic [Pg 22] feature, that he whose darkness does not comprehend the light, knows of no other piety but that which has its origin in the hope of reward. It is quite evident that it is the desire of his heart to destroy Job by sufferings.

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  • The only circumstance which seems to give any countenance to the supposition is, that he appears in the midst of the angels, before the throne of God. But this circumstance is deprived of all its significancy, if the fact be kept in view—which, indeed, is most evident—that the book is, from beginning to end, of a purely poetical character.

    The form of it is easily accounted for by the intention to impress this most important thought: that Satan stands in absolute dependence upon God; that, with all his hatred to the children of God, he can do nothing against them, but must, on the contrary, rather subserve the accomplishment of the thoughts of God's love regarding them. Compare my Comment. It is true that it has been erroneously supposed to be contained in Deut. The arguments in support of this view will be found in the author's " Egypt and the Books of Moses ," p.


    But we must advert to two additional considerations. First ,—To every one who is in the least familiar with the territory [Pg 23] of divine revelation, and who has any conception of the relation in which the Books of Moses stand to the whole succeeding revelation, it will, a priori , be inconceivable, that a doctrine which afterwards occupies so prominent a position in the revealed books should not have already existed, in the germ at least, in the Books of Moses. Secondly ,—We should altogether lose the origin and foundation of the doctrine concerning Satan, if he be removed from, or explained away in, the history of the fall.

    That the first indication of this doctrine cannot by any means be found in the Book of Job, has already been pointed out by Hofmann , who remarks in the Schriftbeweis i. Nor is Lev. The doctrinal essence of the symbolical action there prescribed is this:—that Satan, the enemy of the Congregation of God, has no power over those who are reconciled to God; that, with their sins forgiven by God, they may joyfully appear before, and mock and triumph over, him.

    The whole ritual must have had in it something altogether strange for the Congregation of the Lord, if they had not already known of Satan from some other source. The questions: Who is Asael? What have we to do with him? It is not the custom of Scripture to introduce its doctrines so abruptly, to prescribe any duty which is destitute of the solid foundation of previous instruction. If thus we may consider it as proved, 1 that the serpent was an agent in the temptation, and 2 that it served only as an instrument to Satan, the real tempter,—then we have also thereby proved that the curse denounced against the tempter must have a double sense.