Abstract of Anderson, David R. “The Royal and Priestly Contribution of Psalm 110 to the Book of Hebrews.”

Anderson,  David R.  “The Royal and Priestly Contribution of Psalm 110 to the Book of  Hebrews.”  Ph.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998. [Israel/Christian/Kingship/Priesthood]

Abstract:   The Kingdom of David has been the focus of disagreement among biblical interpreters practically since the ascension of Christ. Since Christ was enthroned at the right hand of God the Father when he ascended, some think this is the Davidic Kingdom; others restrict the Davidic Kingdom to a geo-political kingdom on earth. They call the present kingdom of Christ a “mystery” kingdom. Perhaps it is both. This possible combination of truths is exactly what is proposed by a relatively new branch of dispensationalists, who label themselves “progressive dispensationalists.”

Psalm 110 and its interpretation is central in this discussion concerning Christ and the Davidic Kingdom. Since it is quoted or alluded to at least thirty-three times in the New Testament, some see it as the cornerstone of Christology. It is found in the Synoptics, Acts, the Epistles, and especially in the Book of Hebrews. This study centers on both the royal and priestly contributions of Psalm 110 in an effort to see if the Book of Hebrews helps to answer these questions revolving around Christ and the Davidic Kingdom.

A background chapter on sacral kingship begins the study in an effort to decide if the kings of the monarchy in Israel were king-priests, a fact which could be significant in the interpretation of Psalm 110. Then a study of Psalm 110 in its Old Testament context is offered in order to establish a foundation for the use of this psalm in the New Testament. Next, a survey of the use of Psalm 110 in the New Testament outside of Hebrews is made in order to see if there was an established tradition in the use and understanding of Psalm 110 as it related to the Messiah in the early church at the time Hebrews was written.

After chapters dealing with sacral kingship, Psalm 110 in the Old Testament, and a survey of the New Testament uses of Psalm 110 outside Hebrews, there is an investigation into the royal contribution of Ps 110:1 to the Book of Hebrews. This chapter centers on Hebrews 1-2 where it is concluded that Christ is reigning as a king today and progressively subjugating his enemies. Then the priestly contribution of Ps 110:1 and 4 to the Book of Hebrews is examined in the sixth chapter. Here it is concluded that Christ is presently ministering as a faithful High Priest. However, it is also concluded that the coalescence of references to Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 establishes Christ’s present ministry as that of a completely unique King-Priest.

In the final chapter conclusions are drawn both inductively and deductively which contribute to the discussion concerning Christ and his relationship to the Davidic Kingdom and the Davidic throne.

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