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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

Adoption (Υἱοθεσία) Metaphor of Apostle Paul: Context and Interaction with the Jewish Tradition of Israel Sonship

Svetlana Kareva, Independent scholar (Moscow)
pp. 123–138
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2021.37.1.007
The article deals with the matters of origin of apostle Paul’s υἱοθεσία (adoption) metaphor, its theological content and interaction with the Jewish tradition of Israel sonship. In all the biblical literature, υἱοθεσία metaphor occurs only in Paul’s epistles and can be studied as one of the characteristics of his exegetics and theology. The problem of sources (traditions) of Paul’s metaphor (Jewish texts or Greek-Roman legal norms and practices) is associated with dichotomy of his personality and theology, since Paul was a man of two cultures – Jewish and Greek. The article analyzes the content of υἱοθεσία in Galatians and Romans in its interaction with metaphors of Israel sonship of the Jewish tradition with the purpose to determine how well-known ideas of υἱοθεσία relate to Old Testament revelation, and what are Paul’s own concepts he intends to convey to his audience. The article discloses how Paul represents his own interpretation of Israel sonship referring to υἱοθεσία and how Paul puts his ideas of fulfilling God’s promises into one eschatological scenario with the central “adoption” idea. Being placed in the center of the story about Jesus embedded in the general history of Israel, υἱοθεσία 
metaphor serves as justification for Paul’s definition of the “seed of Abraham”, including gentiles along with Jews as heirs of the Divine promises to Abraham, and shows how that promises are fulfilled.
Keywords: “adoption” (υἱοθεσία), Greek-Roman adoption, Jewish tradition of sonship, Old Testament allusions, “formula of adoption”, historic-typological model, eschatological scenario, “seed of Abraham”.

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