Bible Review 15:2, April 1999

Paul’s Challenge to Caesar

The promise of resurrection for all God’s people in Christ carries a strongly political edge.

By N. T. Wright

Bible Review

When Paul brings the argument of Philippians 3 to its climax, he uses language and imagery to describe Jesus that his hearers would readily identify as belonging to Caesar. Philippi was a Roman colony. The cult of Caesar was growing rapidly in the eastern part of the empire at this period, and no one would miss Paul’s point: “Our citizenship is in heaven; and from there we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation to be like the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself” (Philippians 3:20–21). Caesar’s titles, Caesar’s attributes.

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