God's sons and the logic of the Covenant : divine sonship in 'Jubilees' and Romans
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This thesis attempts to understand Paul’s deployment of divine sonship language with respect to the community of believers by bringing Romans into sustained conversation with one text from the Jewish tradition, namely, The Book of Jubilees. I argue throughout that a comparison between divine sonship in the two texts is justified because both authors collocate with the theme of “God’s sons” the same series of motifs, including a divinely given spirit, law fulfillment, renewed creation, and Abrahamic descent. My central thesis is that Paul assumes certain characteristics of the sons of God in the logic of Romans, and that Paul shares similar assumptions with the author of Jubilees. In other words, one can detect a narrative substructure underlying Paul’s descriptions of the “sons of God” that demonstrates marked similarities with the narrative of the sons of God in Jubilees. Just as the explicit logic of covenant membership in Jubilees holds together the collocation of motifs including divine sonship, the giving of the divine spirit, law fulfillment, new creation, and Abrahamic descent, so an analogous, though implicit, covenantal logic in Romans brings together the same motifs. This does not mean, however, that the two authors bring together the collocation of motifs in the same manner. In fact, reading Jubilees and Romans together highlights clear differences in conclusions. Nevertheless, these differences only further serve to illustrate that both Paul and Jubilees work with similar assumptions about the sons of God despite their theological differences.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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