I got an abstract accepted for SBL in the Disputed Paulines section. Now all I have to do is figure out what I’m actually going to argue… Ideas?
Here’s the abstract:
In Colossians 2.9 the author makes a striking statement about Christ: ‘in him all the fullness (pleroma) of deity dwells bodily’. The meaning of this claim is much debated, with primary evidence being the close parallel in Col 1.19, the nature of ‘deity’ and the function of the adverb ‘bodily’. However, this ‘fullness’ is not limited to Christ alone because the author subsequently states that the Colossian believers ‘have been filled (pleroo) in him’ (Col 2.10). With the parallel use of filling, it appears that believers are filled with deity through Christ, but this exegetical option is often quickly denied by most interpreters. Accordingly, this essay will explore the referent of this filling with regard to the Colossian community. Importantly, this exploration will add to the growing discussion regarding deification, or theosis, in the Pauline corpus.