Paul and συν-compounds: Murray J. Harris

In studying συν Χριστω, I was intrigued by Paul’s use of συν-compounds. Most of these compounds only appear in Paul in the New Testament but they seem to incorporate so much of Paul’s theology – engaging past, present, and future realities for those ‘in Christ. It turns out I am not the only one who finds these terms significant…

Also see James Dunn and Con Campbell.

Murray J. Harris – Prepositions and Theology (204-205)

There are more words formed from συν than from any other preposition…

Of special significance are eleven verbal συν-compounds in Paul that are without an accompaying explicit συν Χριστω (or equivalent), yet with a reference to Christ clearly implied or stated. These eleven verbs may be grouped around two main motifs, two crucial redemptive events, namely, Christ’s death and burial, and his resurrection with all its consequences, events that are reenacted in Christian baptism (cf. Ro 6:3-10)…

At the beginning of their Christian experience, believers

  • have died with Christ
  • were crucified with Christ
  • were buried with Christ
  • were raised with Christ
  • were made alive with Christ

Throughout their earthly Christian experience, believers

  • are being conformed to Christ’s death
  • suffer with Christ
  • are sitting with Christ in the heavenly realms

At the consummation of their Christian experience, believers

  • will live with Christ
  • will be glorified with Christ
  • will reign with Christ

But Christians are not associated with aspects of Christ’s historical life before his passion. For example, Paul never says believers are baptized with Christ, are tempted with Christ or are transfigured with Christ.

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