Jonathan Lett, "T. F. Torrance’s Unapologetic Theological Exegesis and Jesus’ Baptism of Repentance," Participatio 8 (2020): 65-90; #2020-JL-1
Lett, Jonathan. "T. F. Torrance’s Unapologetic Theological Exegesis and Jesus’ Baptism of Repentance." Participatio 8 (2020): 65-90; #2020-JL-1
At the heart of T. F. Torrance’s theology is a pattern of exchange — in the incarnation, the Son of God takes what is ours only to make what is his ours. This pattern of exchange also frames Torrance’s biblical exegesis, of which Jesus’ baptism in the Gospel of Mark is a prime example. He interprets Jesus’ baptism as a clear indication of his assumption of fallen flesh and vicarious repentance. This reading goes well beyond what biblical commentators think the passage intends. The distance between Torrance’s theological interpretation and a historical-critical reading of Jesus’ baptism raises two questions that this essay shall address. First, what is the basis for Torrance’s hermeneutic? Second, does his unapologetic theological approach help us to grasp the meaning of Jesus’ Baptism? I will argue that Torrance’s unapologetic theological reading of Jesus’ baptism illumines the Markan Christology implicit in the Gospel’s narrative.