In this book, Kangil Kim reads the Matthean teaching of forgiveness through the framework of theosis. Kim argues that theosis provides a theological lens that brings into sharper focus the meaning of forgiveness, especially with respect to the dynamics of heaven and earth and of God and the human in Matthew’s Gospel. Forgiveness as an embodied way of life is more than following Jesus and imitating what Jesus does but one of theosis, the extension of God’s own power working itself out through Jesus in our lives.
Kangil Kim is adjunct instructor of New Testament Greek at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Chapter 1: Framing the Research
Chapter 2: The Lord’s Prayer: Embodying Forgiveness as Participation in the Father in Heaven
Chapter 3: Forgiveness as Transformative Healing Participation in God’s Life
Chapter 4: Theosis and Forgiveness: The Oneness of Heaven and Earth
Chapter 5: Theosis and the Death of Jesus: “Blood for Many for the Forgiveness of Sins”
Kangil Kim has challenged a fundamental assumption that governs much biblical interpretation today--that there is no overlap between divine action and human action. The result is a compelling interpretation of forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew, one that draws on the rich tradition of theosis, is textually rigorous, and substantiates the thesis that God forgives human beings in the way they forgive one another. Attending to both the narrative theme of forgiveness and iconic passages that deal with it explicitly, Kim offers an insightful contribution to Matthew scholarship and to Christian readers who look to Matthew to guide their life.
Kangil Kim invites us into heightened theological reflection on the Gospel of Matthew through his innovative reading of Matthew’s forgiveness motif. Matthew’s teaching is always at the fore, while Kim’s interpretive frame allows him to clarify and amplify the transformative dynamics of Matthew’s teaching for God-human relations. The result is a well-crafted and compelling study of this Matthean motif through the lens of a divinely empowered, transformative participation in God’s own life and action.
The theme of theosis (transformative participation in the divine life) has recently reappeared as a significant aspect of Christian theology and spirituality across Christian traditions and theological disciplines. This development has included Scripture studies—but not too often the Gospel of Matthew. Kangil Kim has given us a unique and significant contribution both to Matthew’s theology of forgiveness and to the intersection of theosis and the New Testament.