This post completes my initial look at Paul’s use of ‘εν Χριστω’ highlighting occurrences in 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy (phrase does not appear in 2 Thessalonians or Titus).
As with the whole series, I have categorized each usage of the phrase within three lines – the use of the preposition εν*; the main referent or object of the phrase; and its place within Paul’s already/not yet framework.
- 2:14 – location, state: imitators of the church of God: already
- 4:16 – state: the dead: already
- 5:18 – state: the will of God: already
- 1:14 – state, cause: faith and love: already
- 3:13 – location, state: confidence in faith: already
- 1:1 – state: the promise of life: already (Con Campbell does not include this verse?)
- 1:9 – cause: a holy calling: already
- 1:13 – state, cause: faith and love: already
- 2:1 – state, location: grace: already
- 2:10 – state, cause: salvation: already
- 3:12 – state, cause: to live a godly life: already
- 3:15 – state, object: faith: already
1. Only one further observation from these passages, in 1 & 2 Timothy the phrase is more directly associated with living a godly life. I have mentioned that the phrase is tied to Paul’s understanding of a Christian ethic, but in these passages it is much more obvious. This observation fits with the pastoral nature of these letters, and may help in piecing together how Paul fits Christ as cause of the Christian life with Christians being joined with Christ in godly pursuits.
I will follow up with more observations after I have taken the time to sort through the material presented in these posts. Plus, there are several other phrases that I must observe (δια Χριστου, εις Χριστον, συν Χριστω) before I reach any definitive conclusions. But my next post will most likely deal with how I plan on teaching this material in a church setting.