Resurrection And Priesthood: Christological Soundings From The Book Of Hebrews -- By: David Schrock

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 18:4 (Winter 2014)
Article: Resurrection And Priesthood: Christological Soundings From The Book Of Hebrews
Author: David Schrock

Resurrection And Priesthood: Christological Soundings From The Book Of Hebrews

David Schrock

David Schrock is the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Seymour, Indiana. He earned his Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Schrock is also the assistant editor for the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and is an associate research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He has written for The Gospel Coalition, Credo Magazine, Desiring God, and has contributed a chapter to Whomever He Wills: A Surprising Display of God’s Mercy (Founders, 2012).

In orthodox Christology, the priesthood of Christ has been a regular feature of Jesus’ messianic portrait. In Reformed circles, the munus triplex goes back to before Calvin.1 Likewise, when Jacob Arminius gave his doctoral sermon, his subject was none other than the priesthood of Christ.2 In the seventeenth century, debate swirled around the Socinians,3 who denied the earthly priesthood of Jesus, and evangelical scholars like John Owen, whose seven-volume commentary on Hebrews (with doctrinal excurses) all but exhausted the subject.4 Yet, in more recent centuries the priesthood of Christ, when it has not been ignored entirely, has been truncated and tersely treated by most systematic theologians.5

A counter-example to this scholarly trend is the work of David M. Moffitt. His monograph, Atonement and the Logic of Resurrection in the Epistle of Hebrews, makes a bold argument for making resurrection central to of Hebrews’ portrayal of Jesus’ priesthood.6 While this article does not stand in total agreement with his resurrection-centered approach to Hebrews or

Christ’s priesthood,7 I do agree that the resurrection plays an under-appreciated role in qualifying Jesus to be a heavenly priest. As Moffitt argues, Christ’s resurrection is the central qualification for his priesthood, but, as I will argue, his resurrection does not begin his priesthood (so Socinus and Moffitt), and neither is his resurrection the only qualification.8 Rather, his resurrection vindicates his earthly obedience and priestly sacrifice, even as it transforms his priesthood to its exalted and perpetual status ...

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