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dc.contributor.advisorTrebilco, Paul
dc.contributor.advisorHolmes, Christopher
dc.contributor.authorBrennan, Nicholas
dc.identifier.citationBrennan, N. (2018). The Son as God: the Theological Salience of Divine Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates the divinity of the Son in the Epistle to Hebrews. In spite of a burgeoning interest in divine Christology in NT studies, the Son’s divinity in Hebrews has received little specific attention, being variously assumed, questioned, or treated as largely unnecessary in recent scholarship. Against this backdrop, I explore the portrayal of Christ’s divinity within the Epistle, and seek to demonstrate that the theme is, at once, present, pervasive and theologically salient. In the Introduction I survey the state of contemporary scholarship on the Son’s divinity in Hebrews, and discuss issues connected to predicating divinity of the Son in the Letter. From there I move to three chapters which explore controverted texts in Hebrews and their contribution to the Son’s depiction as divine, via the exercising of divine prerogatives. In Chapter 2, I focus on the application of OT texts to the Son which, in their original context, refer to God (1:6; 10–12), and seek to demonstrate how the Pastor, through them, not only affirms the Son’s divinity but also the soteriological significance of his exaltation as God. In Chapter 3, I discuss how Heb 3:3, 4 has been dismantled as a proof-text for the Son’s divinity. I argue that the text does witness to the divinity of the Son in Hebrews, identifying him as the God who builds the final house of His people, exercising a power that belongs solely to the Creator. In Chapter 4 I survey debate on the relation of the Son’s “indestructible life” (Heb 7:16) to his divinity. I argue that, though both divinity and humanity are active in the text, the Son’s divine nature is foundational to the “indestructible life” which qualifies him for High Priestly ministry. Chapters 5 and 6 are more synthetic, demonstrating how two concepts in Hebrews reinforce the Son’s divinity. Chapter 5 explores the largely neglected connection of the Son’s divinity to the concept of covenant, arguing that the Son’s action as New Covenant surety is the properly divine fulfilment of God’s self- binding oaths to Abraham. Chapter 6 seeks to explore Christ’s Sonship, tensions around which have problematised the Son’s divinity in Hebrews. I argue that the Son’s identity as son has pre-temporal origins that depict him as divine, and yet displays itself through two other sonships, human and Davidic. I suggest that it is within this framework that appeal to the Son as God’s radiance (1:3), or as “God” (1:8), make most sense, and that, though the descriptions may secondarily involve his humanity, they portray a Son who is divine. The conclusion of the thesis is that, in spite of questions which have been raised, and the relative neglect of the theme in recent Hebrews scholarship, the Epistle serves as a rich witness to the identity of the Son as God. Moreover, this witness is not limited to brief portions of the Letter, but is a pervasive aspect of its thought, and is indeed theologically salient to the reading of the Epistle as a whole.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectChristology, New Testament, Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews,
dc.titleThe Son as God: the Theological Salience of Divine Christology in the Epistle to the Hebrews
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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