Saturday, May 10, 2008

Paul and the Kingdom of God

Thanks to Jason Hood for pointing me towards this good article by Brian Vickers on Paul and the Kingdom of God from the the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Those who want to read more about Paul and Jesus on the Kingdom should consult either the book by David Wenham or the recent collection of essays edited by Todd Still.


Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, Vickers does not address Paul's messianism. Vickers however is not alone; this lacuna is prevasive among most if not all (exception to this is Wright) studies of Paul. Furthermore, discussing the kingdom of God in Paul and omitting Davidic Messianism is certainly a weakness in my view.

There is some good stuff here like his observation of the relationship between kingdom and redemption, but this article does not represent a significant contribution to the subject of Paul and the kingdom. Although it must be said, I don't think that was Vickers' intention.

Yet I think the subject of the kingdom and Paul is underappreciated and very important to Paul's theology and I would have wished for a more significant study.

J. B. Hood said...


I think you are right--it's begging for conclusions to be drawn, i.e., the 'reigning and ruling lord' and Davidic messianism.

I have not seen many make much of Adamic reign/rule in Paul (i.e., God's image/rep reigning over the earth, on the earth), which Vickers addresses.

I also thought this article was helpful as a contribution into the current Baptist, Reformed, and evangelical discussion(s) re: the 'size', content, and nature of the gospel.

Brian Vickers said...

I agree - the place of the Davidic Messiah in Paul is not explicit in this article. Joel, you are right to point it out and I appreciate that you did. My goal was to set forth the basic trajectories of the KOG in Paul - the Davidic issue is under the surface. It should be above the surface though - even in an introductory type article. I have a section that focuses on Romans 1:4 and related texts that I tie in with the enthronement texts dealt with in the article. I left it out because of space and because I'm still developing it in view of a much more extensive project. The larger issue of David seemed, at the time, better saved for another time.


Anonymous said...


Great to have you respond. And I am more encouraged that you are working on a more extensive project. I plan on working on something myself in this regard in the future. I teach a Paul course where I am working out my views. I think Davidic Messianism is one of the most underappreciated aspects of Paul's theology. I am amazed for example that on a topic like participation/incorpration the Davidic Messianism is not even discussed in passing. Kingship theology asserts that "as goes the king so go the people". A text like Pss Sol. 17 where the people will be righteous because the Davidide is righteous is useful background for an understanding of Paul's participation concept I think.

Anyway. Thanks for your comments and I am encouraged that you are working on this issue.

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