Being 'in Christ' in the Letters of Paul
Saved Through Christ and in His Hands
['In Christus sein' in den Paulusbriefen. Durch Christus gerettet und in seinen Händen.]
Published November 2020 in English.
In this study, Teresa Morgan offers a radically new interpretation of 'in Christ'and related expressions in the undisputed letters of Paul. Starting from a reassessment of Deissmann's Die neutestamentliche Formel "in Christo Jesu", she argues that Deissmann's philology is flawed, the Schweitzerian concept of 'participation in Christ' which is indebted to it is problematic,and many contemporary accounts of participation are better understood in other terms. Through close readings of each letter, Teresa Morgan shows how Paul uses en Christō language instrumentally, to speak of what God has done 'through' Christ, by Christ's death, and 'encheiristically', to speak of the life the faithful now live 'in Christ's hands': in Christ's power, under his authority, under his protection, and in his care. This creative use of en Christō language forms part of and connects Paul's soteriology, eschatology, and Christology, shaping his narrative of God's intervention in the world, the relationship between God, Christ, and the faithful, the lordship and work of Christ between the resurrection and the parousia, and God's ultimate triumph. This narrative is closely connected with Paul's ecclesiology and ethics, where life 'in Christ's hension of the new creation: an aspect ofeternallifealready active in thepresent time. In Christ's hands the faithful, not least Paul himself, live a new life in communities with a distinctive structure and dynamic. In Christ's hands, they hope to remain in right-standing with God and serve God until Christ's return.
Teresa Morgan Born 1968; currently Professor of Graeco-Roman History, University of Oxford, Nancy Bissell Turpin Fellowand Tutor in Ancient History, Oriel College, Oxford and McDonald-Agape Professor-elect of New Testament and Early Christianity, Yale Divinity School.