Completing Christ's Afflictions
What is the relationship between the preeminent, cosmos-reconciling 'Christ' of Col 1:15-20 and the imprisoned 'Paul' of 1:24-29, who enigmatically 'completes' the former's afflictions as he declares to 'every person' the mystery, long concealed but only now revealed by Israel's God to his holy ones? After finding solid exegetical ground through an unprecedented and exhaustive study of the rare verb antanapl?ro? (in 1.24), Bruce Clark tackles this most intriguing, if challenging question. He argues that Col 1, in accord with 2 Cor 5:18-6:4, presents Paul as the utterly unique diakonos ('minister') of the universal ekkl?sia and, therefore, as one whose afflictions uniquely complete Christ's own, so that together, revealing the righteousness of God, they initiate the divine reconciliation of 'all things.'
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