The relationship between God and his people is understood in various ways by the biblical writers, and it is arguably the apostle Paul who uses the richest vocabulary. Unique to Paul’s writings is the term huiothesia, the process or act of being “adopted as son(s).” It occurs five times in three of his letters, where it functions as a key theological metaphor. In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Trevor Burke argues that huiothesia has been misunderstood, misrepresented or neglected through scholarly preoccupation with its cultural background. He redresses the balance in this comprehensive study, which discusses metaphor theory; explores the background to huiothesia; considers the roles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; examines the moral implications of adoption, and its relationship with honor; and concludes with the consequences for Christian believers as they live in the tension between the “now” and the “not yet” of their adoption into God’s new family. Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
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