Toward a Priestly Christology is a constructive theology on the person and work of Christ from the standpoint of a systematic thinking about his priesthood. This priesthood is usually discussed in biblical scholarship on the Christology of Hebrews and also explored in historical or systematic theology, with its connections with soteriology and ecclesiology. However, there is a scarcity of studies that attempt to systematize this topic in its basic components and their ontological foundations in order to provide conceptual clarity for a constructive discussion of the priestly Christology in systematic theology. The book makes a contribution to this discussion by engaging firstly with the main models of Christ’s priesthood in Christian theology and, then, with a theological reading of the letter to the Hebrews. In both steps, the author conceptually articulates the priesthood in terms of need, agent, actions, and goal. Then, he observes the conceptual articulation from the macro-hermeneutical point of view of ontology, especially noticing how assumptions on time and space impact the internal logic of Christ’s priesthood. By using existing models of this priesthood as heuristic tools for systematic thinking, the work attempts to push Christian theology toward a more dynamic understanding of Christ’s priesthood, especially regarding the relationship between the ascended Christ and our Christian life.
Part I: Models of Christ’s Priesthood in Christian Theology
1. Models of Christ’s Priesthood: A Systematic Description
2. Models of Christ’s Priesthood: A Macro-Hermeneutical Reading
Part II: A Constructive Alternative Proposal
3. The Historical Model: A Systematic Description of Christ’s Priesthood
4. The Historical Model: A Macro-Hermeneutical Reading of Christ’s Priesthood
A richly documented study which ends with a comprehensive, 30-page bibliography, this work explores the need for Christ’s priesthood, its agency, its actions, and its goals. . . . this is a valuable study of Christ’s priesthood, a theme which has often been neglected but which should be treated along with his prophetic and kingly roles.
Adriani Milli Rodrigues’s book Toward a Priestly Christology is a fascinating investigation of Christ’s priesthood, with significant systematic implications for theology proper, Christology, and anthropology. Rodrigues carefully surveys and analyzes three prominent models of Christ’s priesthood—sacramental, functional, and ontological—and sets forth a constructive alternative, which he labels the historical model. This hermeneutically sophisticated work makes an impressive contribution to the existing literature and warrants considerable attention in the scholarly community.
This is an intelligent and perceptive study of a crucial theme in Christian dogmatics. Rodrigues shows us the pertinence of a priestly Christology that unfolds the present Christ in connection with his earthy life and sacrifice. The result is a dynamic understanding of priestly Christology that is bathed in Holy Scripture, rigorously historical, and wise in its constructive judgments.
Written with impressive care and precision, this book offers an excellent examination of the intercessory work of Christ. Seeking to untangle a range of challenging issues, most notably the relationship between time and eternity in the work of the ascended Christ, and demonstrating an ability to navigate large swathes of Christian theology, this book is worthy reading for anyone wanting to dig more deeply into this important topic.
Adriani Milli Rodrigues (PhD, Andrews University) is assistant professor of systematic theology at the Theological Seminary of UNASP (Brazil).