• The Obedience of Sonship: Adamic Obedience as the Grounds for Heavenly Ascension in the Book of Hebrews

    Timothy Bertolet (see profile)
    Biblical Studies, New Testament
    Bible. New Testament
    Item Type:
    University of Pretoria
    Ascension, Christology, Hebrews, Intertextuality, Biblical studies, New Testament
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    This thesis makes a unique contribution in the field of New Testament studies with specific attention to New Testament theology and the Christology of Hebrews. It explores the relationship between Sonship and the ascension in the book of Hebrews. It argues that the ascension of Jesus reveals the nature of his Sonship. First, chapters two and three of this study examine the Sonship of Jesus in Hebrews 1. It portrays Jesus as both the Messianic and the divine eternal Son. While recent scholarship has questioned whether the Son in Hebrews is a divine Sonship, this thesis demonstrates that Hebrews portrays Jesus as divine. Second, this study argues that Heb. 2 contains a “Second Adam Christology.” The Son shares in true humanity and is appointed to fulfill the destiny of humanity. In this humanity, he is crowned with glory and honor in fulfillment of Ps. 8. The Son stands in solidaric representation of the people of God. This second Adam function is both kingly and priestly as representative who leads God’s people to this glory. Third, as this eschatological man who is crowned as king and priest the Son ascends into heaven. This is set against the background of apocalyptic literature where heaven is a temple and the dwelling place of God. The Son is portrayed in Hebrews as ascending into a true tabernacle that is heaven itself. He enters heaven as both king and priest of the age to come because he himself has first come to participate in the age to come. Finally, the study demonstrates that the obedience of the Son qualifies him for his ascension and eschatological ‘perfection.’ We argue that the theme of obedient trust and crying out to God is an Adamic-Davidic role with a Psalmic background. We conclude, in the book of Hebrews, Christ is the eternal Son who also functions in the Adam-David role of sonship. His actions as the true human exercising trust and obedience qualify him to ascend up into heaven crowned with humanity’s eschatological glory.
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