Cover Image: Thanksgiving

a Pauline Theme (NSBT)

David Pao (Apollos, 2002)

Blurb Review by Dr. Mark Gignilliat


‘Be thankful' (Col. 3:15) is a recurring exhortation in the letters of the apostle Paul. No other New Testament writer gives such a sustained emphasis on thanksgiving - an yet, major modern studies of Paul fail to wrestle with it. In this comprehensive and accessible study, David Pao aims to rehabilitate the theme. He shows how for Paul thanksgiving is grounded in the covenantal traditions of salvation history. To offer thanks to God is to live a life of worship and to anticipate the future acts of God, all in submission to the lordship of Christ. Ingratitude to God is idolatry - see the excellent material on Romans 1. Thanksgiving functions as a link between theology, including eschatology, and ethics. Pao gives clear insights into the passion of an apostle who never fails to insist on the significance of both the gospel message and the response the message demands.


1. Thanksgiving as God-centredness 
2. Thanksgiving within the covenantal traditions 
3. Thanksgiving and covenantal history 
4. A life of thanksgiving 
5. Thanksgiving and the future 
6. Ingratitude 
Appendix: Pauline thanksgiving and the Greco-Roman benefaction system

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