Review: Jesus the LORD according to Paul the Apostles

35414913Gordon D. Fee is Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Regent College. Fee is a noteworthy New Testament scholar and the author of several important books, including God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (with Douglas Stuart), as well as a number of notable commentaries on the Pauline Epistles in the acclaimed New International Commentary on the New Testamentseries. Most recently, Fee released a useful and refreshingly concise distillation of his magisterial tome Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study.

Jesus the LORD according to Paul the Apostles: A Concise Introduction opens to the reader with an honorable forward by Cherith Fee Nordling, and readers will greatly appreciate the warm and personal tone of Nordling’s reflection on her father’s life and legacy. The book is divided into four major thematic sections: (1) The Savior, (2) The Second Adam, (3) The Jewish Messiah and Son of God, and (4) The Jewish Messiah and Exalted Lord. Each section examines the major Christological expressions of the Pauline Epistles, and Fee does a tremendous job guiding the reader through the nuanced nature of Paul’s adoration for Christ. Moreover, as a distillation of a larger work, Fee does an excellent job presenting the balance of detail and accessibility that the target audience will appreciate.

I’m generally not a big fan of abridgments of larger works. In fact, I have never been a fan. I think that they can be helpful to introduce a broader audience to an important work. But, overall, I tend to find myself wanting more detail to the arguments being presented. I had some of these same feelings with Jesus the LORD according to Paul the Apostles. It’s simply the nature of the beast. This in mind, I was thoroughly impressed with the overall depth and breadth of this volume—especially after familiarizing myself with Pauline Christology(I know what you’re thinking and the answer is, yes. My curiosity and appreciation for this distillation led me to Fee’s larger work and I’m happy it did). This book is a goldmine of distilled, exegetical application. The reader will get a clear sense that Fee knows Paul intimately, and it is from that place of deep familiarity that has birthed this fountain of rich reflection. The accessibility of this book is important for obvious reasons. But, most attentive readers with an interest in Pauline studies will be led, like I was, to the wellspring of that fountain—Pauline Christology.

Jesus the LORD according to Paul the Apostles: A Concise Introduction by Gordon D. Fee is a fantastic read. From beginning to end, readers will encounter a portrait of Paul’s Jesus that is too often overlooked in contemporary conversation. This is as true in the academy as it is in the pew. That said, while readers in the academy will still tend to identify with more closely with the exhaustive nature of Fee’s earlier work, those in the pew need something digestible to the average reader. I am extremely grateful for the life and legacy of Gordon Fee and the works that he has produced, and I am equally enthusiastic to recommend Jesus the LORD according to Paul the Apostles. It comes highly recommended!

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