MICHAEL BYRNES, CONFORMATION TO THE OF CHRIST AND THE HOPE OF RESURRECTION. An Exegetico-Theological Study of 2 Corinthians 4,7-15 and Philippians 3,7-11
Proclamation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ represents the core of Paul's gospel message. The apostle also teaches believers to conform their lives to the pattern of Christ's death and to grow strong in the hope of resurrection. By careful exegesis and theological reflection upon two important passages in which Paul addresses this theme - 2 Corinthians 4,7-15 and Philippians 3,7-11 - this study aims to understand more deeply his doctrine of participation in the dying and rising of Jesus.
Most studies of this topic focus on the element of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. Certainly, this forms an integral part of what the apostle means by conforming to the death of Christ: the current investigation confirms its importance. Close examination and comparison of these pericopes, however, reveal that Paul also proposed this dynamic as an essential marker of Christian and apostolic identity: a. believer is identified by his or her conformity to the self-surrender and sacrificial love that marked the pattern of Jesus' death. Through the power of the Christ's risen life, therefore, the Christian visibly manifests the paschal mystery through the choices he or she makes. This orientation to participation in the dying and rising of Christ expands our insight into the apostle's doctrine, and it encourages contemporary Christians to conform their lives more closely to the character of Jesus Christ.
MICHAEL BYRNES was born in Detroit, Michigan (USA). After undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, he pursued master's degrees at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and his doctorate in theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. A priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, he is a professor in the theology faculty at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
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