27 May 2011

He Includes in Himself

An illuminating few sentences, to be read slowly, from C. H. Dodd:
All that is said about the significance of the work of Christ presupposes that he includes in himself the whole people of God, or redeemed humanity. His death and resurrection are not to be understood if they are thought of as no more than the death and miraculous resuscitation of an individual, but only if they are seen as the fulfillment of the whole purpose of God to raise up for himself, through suffering, tribulation, and disaster, a people made wholly one in him and devoted to his righteous purpose. Christ 'rose the third day,' says the ancient formula quoted by Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians, 'according to the scriptures.' But in the Scriptures--videlicet, in Hosea 6:1-3--it is Israel whom God will raise on the third day. The bold application of that prophecy to the resurrection of Christ in the earliest Christian confession of faith known to us lies behind the Pauline doctrine of the church as dead and risen in Christ.
--C. H. Dodd, 'The Old Testament in the New,' in The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? (ed. G. K. Beale; Baker, 1994), 180 ('videlicet' = Latin for 'clearly,' 'plainly')

5 comments:

Paul Cable said...

I read that today, too. Good stuff. BTW, I'll be starting with Dr. Moo this fall. Congrats on graduating!

Gavin Ortlund said...

wow. never thought about Hosea 6:2 before and the resurrection. fascinating.

Dane Ortlund said...

Also interesting that in all three of his passion prediction in Mark, Jesus explicitly says he will rise 'in three days' (Mk 8, Mk 9, Mk 10).

Nick said...

Here's a similar passage from Dodd:

"This remnant [of the faithful in Israel]diminishes, until the people of God is embodied in a single individual--the 'sperma ho epengelthe'. Christ gathers into Himself the whole of what God designed for His people. And then in the final apostasy the Messiah is killed. With Him the hope of Israel perishes and the promise seems frustrated. But He rises from the dead, and in Him the people of God rises, as Ezekiel had foretold, out of the valley of dry bones into newness of life. Thus the seeming frustration of God's purpose is overcome, all the episodes of Israel's history receive fresh meaning from the final event...

All this is no abstract theology, but a realistic interpretation of the Gospel story in relation to the whole history of Israel. The coming of Christ, His death and resurrection, constitute the fulfillment of that history, not as the last term in a process of development, but as the concentration in one decisive historical moment of the factors determinative of all preceding history, through which, consequently, that history becomes not only meaningful, but in the full sense real." (History and the Gospel, pp. 144-45)

Dane Ortlund said...

Fantastic, thanks Nick!