Enoch Okode – Christ the Gift and the Giver

Episode: If you’ve appreciated John Barclay’s monumental work on grace, Paul and the Gift, then you’ll be delighted to see how Enoch Okode’s work presses beyond Barclay into new territory. Drawing on ancient ideals regarding royal benefaction, Okode shows that the Christ is both the gift and the giver. What emerges is a more cohesive way to read Paul’s letter to the Romans Co-hosted by Matt Bates and a top-secret special guest.

The Book: Enoch O. Okode, Christ the Gift and the Giver: Paul’s Portrait of Jesus as the Supreme Royal Benefactor in Romans 5:1-11 (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2022). Foreword by Joshua W. Jipp. This book provides a close look at how Paul uses the Greco-Roman royal benefaction system in Romans 5:1–11 as well as 5:12—8:39 to accomplish his theological purpose of portraying Jesus Christ as the supreme royal benefactor so that the Roman believers might faithfully respond to his reign now even as they anticipate glorification. This study makes at least three significant contributions. First, at the lexical level, it provides a reading that accounts for the benefaction motifs that permeate Romans 5:1–11 and Romans 5:12—8:39. Second, it looks at the relationship between χάρις as used in Romans 5:2 and the Messiah’s sacrifice as described in Romans 5:6–10 even as it asserts that Paul portrays Christ as a royal benefactor in ways that surprise the Greco-Roman notion of brokerage and the expectation that a beneficiary would be willing to die for the sake of his benefactor. Third, the study demonstrates that the Messiah’s supreme benefaction demands appropriate reciprocity or fitting response. (Publisher’s description).

Guest: Enoch Okode (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Lecturer and dean of the School of Theology at Scott Christian University in Kenya.

OnScript’s Review (backcover endorsement): “Timely, important, and rewarding. Enoch Okode brings a new coherence to Paul’s logic in Romans by situating the gospel, grace, and loyalty in the context of ideal kingship and benefaction. Our understanding of Paul’s theology of salvation has been greatly enriched.” –Matthew W. Bates, Professor of Theology at Quincy University and author of Salvation by Allegiance Alone

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