Relational Grace: The Reciprocal and Binding Covenant of Charis

Print: In Stock

$21.99

*Note: we are doing a limited reprint of this book. You may still make orders but they will take several weeks to ship.

In ancient Greece and Rome, charis was a system in which one person gave something of value to another, and the receiver gave service, thanks, and lesser value back to the giver. It was the word used to describe familial gifts, gifts between friends, gifts between kings and servants, and gifts to and from the gods. In Rome, these reciprocal transactions became the patron-­client system. Orderly gift exchange is a key building block in the development of societies.

Charis (grace) is the word New Testament authors, especially Paul, sometimes used to explain Christ’s gift to people. But what is the nature of the gift? Since the fifth century, a number of Christian scholars have taught that grace is something bestowed by God freely, with little or nothing required in return. This book sets out to show that “free grace” is not what Paul and others intended.

The practice in the ancient world of people granting and receiving favors and gifts came with clear obligations. Charis served New Testament authors as a model for God’s mercy through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which also comes with covenantal obligations.

LDS scriptures make it clear that being saved comes through grace accompanied by forsaking sin and making and keeping covenants. For Latter-day Saints, being saved by grace means coming to Christ, being baptized and joining the community of saints, and continually living with thanks and praise for God’s gift. All of these expressions of grace are found both in the Greek and Pauline use of the word. Knowing what charis means helps us understand what God expects us to do once we have accepted his grace.

*Note: we are doing a limited reprint of this book. You may still make orders but they will take several weeks to ship.

In ancient Greece and Rome, charis was a system in which one person gave something of value to another, and the receiver gave service, thanks, and lesser value back to the giver. It was the word used to describe familial gifts, gifts between friends, gifts between kings and servants, and gifts to and from the gods. In Rome, these reciprocal transactions became the patron-­client system. Orderly gift exchange is a key building block in the development of societies.

Charis (grace) is the word New Testament authors, especially Paul, sometimes used to explain Christ’s gift to people. But what is the nature of the gift? Since the fifth century, a number of Christian scholars have taught that grace is something bestowed by God freely, with little or nothing required in return. This book sets out to show that “free grace” is not what Paul and others intended.

The practice in the ancient world of people granting and receiving favors and gifts came with clear obligations. Charis served New Testament authors as a model for God’s mercy through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which also comes with covenantal obligations.

LDS scriptures make it clear that being saved comes through grace accompanied by forsaking sin and making and keeping covenants. For Latter-day Saints, being saved by grace means coming to Christ, being baptized and joining the community of saints, and continually living with thanks and praise for God’s gift. All of these expressions of grace are found both in the Greek and Pauline use of the word. Knowing what charis means helps us understand what God expects us to do once we have accepted his grace.

Additional information

Weight 18.462802 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 in
Pages

222

Binding

Paperback

ISBN

978-1-942161-12-7

You may also like…

BYU New Testament Commentary: The Epistle to the Ephesians
Read sample pages. Tucked into the New Testament after Galatians and the Corinthian correspondence, the Epistle to the Ephesians casts a warm, quieting glow when compared to the strident character of Galatians and the rather tough lines that Paul penned to former associates in Corinth. In Ephesians, by contrast, the Apostle Paul has shined a bright light on both an overly generous God the Father, who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20), and the Gentiles whom he has recently welcomed into the celestial fold, making them “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (2:19). But there is much more, for the letter opens on the scene of the premortal council and ends with church members clothed in God’s sacred, protective armor that helps them “to stand against the wiles of the devil,” an indicator of the looming apostasy (6:11). In addition, enfolded within Ephesians is a tightly woven strand of family-centered interests, including an expectation of eternal families, pointers to sacred rituals, and the joyous assurance to believers that Christ “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6). This exalted position is made possible because of one of the grandest gifts that comes from the Father through the Son— “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (2:7). Hallelujah!
$29.99 Add to cart
BYU New Testament Commentary Series: Epistle to the Hebrews cover
BYU New Testament Commentary: Epistle to the Hebrews
Read sample pages. A verse-by-verse commentary on the New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews. Provides a modern English version of the text. Cites scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Focuses on Jesus Christ and his role as High Priest and Savior, highlighting the saving nature of faith in him. The Epistle to the Hebrews is a faith-filled testimony of Jesus Christ. This commentary is the most comprehensive study of the epistle that Latter-day Saint scholars have yet produced. The commentary removes many of the barriers that hinder the reader from understanding this complex work. The volume is not written for an academic audience but for anyone interested in a detailed examination of this highly spiritual and insightful work. The authors show that although the epistle has been ascribed to the Apostle Paul because its doctrines and approaches are so similar to his, it is actually the work of an unnamed early church authority. The result of this conclusion stresses that the Apostle was not alone in his understanding of the work, ministry, and mission of the Lord. In the past, many non–Latter-day Saint readers have viewed the epistle as a polemic against certain Jews who were making trouble for Jewish Christians. This work finds Hebrews to be primarily a pastoral work carefully designed to encourage its readers to base their lives on nothing more and nothing less than Jesus Christ. The commentary presents the full Greek text alongside the King James Version and the authors’ New Rendition, followed by translation notes and analysis. The translation notes explain the meaning and context of words, phrases, and passages and the choice of words in the New Rendition. The analysis examines the doctrine and teachings of each section, opening the epistle to the reader’s understanding. The work strives to be up to date, comprehensive, scholarly, and as doctrinally sound as possible. It relies on the canon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Joseph Smith Translation, and teachings of latter-day prophets alongside rigorous biblical scholarship and the original Greek text. This commentary has the same purpose as the epistle itself: to bear witness of the Lord and his lifegiving ministry.  
This up-to-date commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews provides a unique restoration perspective on the Jewish and first-century Christian themes of Jesus Christ’s authority, priesthood, temples, and faithfulness. Draper and Rhodes make this somewhat neglected and challenging epistle much more understandable through a careful examination of the Greek text accompanied by a side-by-side KJV text and translation notes. Their analysis sections contain numerous invaluable insights gleaned from many decades of teaching. This commentary assists modern readers to gain the scripture study skill of context as Draper and Rhodes elucidate this epistle’s text from both a Semitic and Gentile historical and cultural milieu.

— Brent Schmidt, faculty, Department of Religious Education, Brigham Young University–Idaho

The commentary on Epistle to the Hebrews is fascinating! As with the other commentaries written by Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, we have the Greek text, the translation, and the reasoning behind the translation. The historical, sociopolitical, and religious background they provide is invaluable in fully understanding the inspired (and inspiring) messages of the writer of Hebrews. I find this commentary very accessible. You don’t have to have a background in history or be a biblical scholar. You can dive in where you are at and learn at the feet of masters. I also appreciate the enhanced insights from the inclusion of Latter-day Saint scripture. There are a number of scholarly commentaries on Hebrews, but very few that are accessible to a lay person, and none with a Latter-day Saint perspective. If you are seeking a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, this commentary will be invaluable.

— Eleanor Thorne, administrator with BYU Continuing Education, PhD from University of Missouri–Colombia

Draper and Rhodes have written a useful commentary to this important New Testament book. Their commentary is especially helpful for teasing out connections between the ancient writings in the New Testament and the unique contributions of the Restoration. The Epistle to the Hebrews is a book that has a lot of resonance with latter-day scripture and teachings, and Draper and Rhodes’s commentary is written with an ear to that resonance.

— Avram Shannon, assistant professor, Department of Ancient Scripture, Religious Education, Brigham Young University

$29.99 Add to cart
BYU New Testament Commentary: Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians
Read sample pages. Of all of Paul’s epistles, First Corinthians may resonate the most with Latter-day Saints. Many of its doctrinal teachings reappear in the Restoration: baptism for the dead, degrees of glory, charity never faileth, the administration of the sacrament, and others. The counsel Paul gave remains remarkably relevant today because conditions and attitudes found in ancient Corinth have reemerged in the postmodern Western world. The Corinthian microcosm was largely a skeptical, materialistic, pluralistic, immoral society whose standards were contrary to those of the Christian community. The Corinthians questioned God, the Resurrection, and the place of the Spirit in their lives. Paul was compelled to address such issues in that society, and the result is an epistle highly germane still today. This book is the most comprehensive study of First Corinthians that LDS scholars have yet produced. It relies on the LDS canon of scripture and the teachings of LDS prophets alongside rigorous biblical scholarship and Paul’s original Greek. Because this commentary relies heavily on the Greek text, the full Greek text is presented along with the King James Version. It also presents a new rendering of the Greek text that makes the text more understandable to modern readers. This rendition is set side by side with the King James text for easy comparison. The commentary contains translation notes and helpful historical and cultural background. The work strives to be as up to date, comprehensive, scholarly, and doctrinally sound as possible. Through examining every verse of First Corinthians, the rich theology of the Atonement, grace, the gifts of the Spirit, the sacrament, love, and resurrection of the dead come alive. Those who read this volume will find in it faith, hope, and understanding of key principles and doctrines. The text bears a strong witness of the Lord Jesus Christ and a clear elucidation of his gospel as articulated by the Apostle Paul.  
The commentary on Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians is absolutely enlightening! It provides the Greek text, a translation entitled a “Rendition,” and an in-depth explanation for why most words, phrases, and verses are rendered the way they are. But the authors don’t stop there. They give us the historical, sociopolitical, and religious background necessary to understand Paul’s writing in context. Their discussion of Paul’s teachings is articulate, straightforward, and doctrinally and spiritually insightful. Paul’s message to the Corinthians and the conditions surrounding it have truly come alive for me. This commentary has become an invaluable tool and a regular part of my scripture study.

— Eleanor Thorne, Administrator with BYU Continuing Education, PhD from University of Missouri–Columbia

Draper and Rhodes’s collaboration on First Corinthians, is, in my estimation, even better than their very solid and substantial commentary on ­Reve­lation. A detailed introduction sets the stage for Paul’s letter by surveying questions of authorship, date, historical background to Corinth, circumstances for writing, unifying themes, and, as a special bonus, a collection of interpretations and famous quotations by LDS authorities for each chapter of the letter, organized in decreasing order of the frequency of comments on the chapter. This commentary advances by light years what previous Mormon projects of this nature have done.

— Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Draper and Rhodes collectively have many decades of experience teaching and writing about the New Testament in a faith-promoting manner. This volume examines First Corinthians on many levels, both secular and spiritual. Their rendition closely follows the Greek when possible while also idiomatically and skillfully rendering cryptic and ambiguous passages into plain English. Their analysis often illuminates terms, doctrines, and concepts that sometimes escape traditional New Testament scholarship. Their commentary deeply explores the first-century setting and context of this important letter of Paul. The results are invaluable for students, teachers, leaders, and scholars of all types who seek wisdom by study and also by faith.

— Brent J. Schmidt, Professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University-Idaho, author of Relational Grace: The Reciprocal and Binding Covenant of Charis

$29.99 Add to cart