Trinitarian Christology and Paul’s Definition of the Gospel in Rom 1:3–4

As we start reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, we encounter crucial theological definitions of the gospel, Jesus’ identity, and their relation to the Scriptures, Paul’s ministry, and more. Additionally, we see works attempting to understand Jesus’ divinity or relation to the Godhead that purposefully avoid engaging with fourth-century creedal formulations. There are studies on Jesus’ divinity (or lack thereof) and pro or contra adoptionism in these verses. Still, none, to my knowledge, explains the importance of orthodox trinitarian Christology for Paul’s definition of the gospel.
However, “there is real theological substance amid the introductory remarks [Rom 1:1–7], sufficient to determine the primary theological context within which the subsequent discussion must be set” (Watson 2001, 113). Therefore, I aim to demonstrate that Paul defines Jesus’ identity in Rom 1:3–4 through trinitarian relations and conceptually agrees with classic trinitarian Christology. Consequently, these Christological statements are essential to Paul’s gospel.
The plan is first to define orthodox trinitarian Christology as established by early creeds and councils. Then, we will note some threats to the doctrine of the Trinity and Christology in particular. Lastly, by way of exegesis, I will show Paul’s understanding of Jesus’ identity, the Son of God, in Romans 1:3–4. If Paul’s conception of God’s Son aligns with later Christological formulations and trinitarian relations, then divine trinitarian Christology is central to Paul’s gospel statement.

4 thoughts on “Trinitarian Christology and Paul’s Definition of the Gospel in Rom 1:3–4”

  1. Seems to be an historical theology paper
    The description is muddled about whether the issue to be explored will be primarily exegetical or the development of trinitarian theology in the creeds councils. The material comes from his dissertation, but the focus needs to be narrowed for an ETS paper.

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