We are the anointed ones (2 Cor. 1:21)

“It is God

Who establishes us

With you

In Christ.

He has anointed us.”

ὁ δὲ βεβαιῶν ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν εἰς Χριστὸν καὶ χρίσας ἡμᾶς Θεός,

Paul said that it is God who establishes us (ὁ δὲ βεβαιῶν ἡμᾶς) with you (σὺν ὑμῖν) in Christ (εἰς Χριστὸν).  God has anointed us (καὶ χρίσας ἡμᾶς Θεός).  This text contains the classic Latin confirmation terminology: confirmat (establishes) and unxit (anointed).  The Greek text has the two verbs as participles.  Is Paul referring to a real anointing or a symbolic action?  Is this an actual primitive form of the bestowing of the Spirit with an anointing, before the laying-on of hands was used?  The text is metaphorical in the sense that God cannot be the physical minister.  Although this is a reference to an anointing rite, the text is too ambiguous to postulate an actual physical anointing.  However, this anointing usage might have been present as early as the mid first century, because there are no strong arguments against a real indisputable anointing.  If it is a metaphor, what concrete event is this metaphor alluding to?  Is this a personal baptismal conversion act?  Or is this the conversion of the community in general?  Christ’s metaphorical anointing was applied to his baptism, so that there could be a strong emphasis on the relationship between Christ’s symbolic anointing and the Christian’s metaphorical anointing with the Holy Spirit.  This anointing may refer to the pouring of water at baptism, even though the normal form of baptism was immersion, not pouring water.  Finally, this spiritual anointing may help develop faith in preparation for baptism, which is more in line with the Pauline concept, because the role of the Spirit is to provide strength for belief.  The Spirit confirms (έβεβαιώθη) the preaching of Christ in our hearts.  The anointing of Jesus, the Christ, is the same as the anointing of God, which makes us Christians.  Have you been anointed by God in Jesus Christ?

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