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Unformatted text preview: Early Christian Preaching of Salvation in Jesus Christ The Makeup of Christian Communities Palestinian Jewish Christians Hellinistic Jewish Christians Gentile Christians (Pauline/prePauline) Ancient Mediterranean Worldviews
Palestinian Jewish Worldview God acts decisively to bring an end to sin and death and all that opposes him This Age Creation Age to Come Recreation Characteristics of a Palestinian Jewish Worldview Thought temporally Lived between two acts of God (creation / recreation) or two ages (this age / age to come; cf. 4 Ezra 7:50) God rules over history and makes His will known How we respond to God's will is what is crucial. Variety of opinions as to where God's will might be found (Hebrew Bible/LXX; Pentateuch only, HB+oral traditions) History is moving to consummation. The decisive act of God was to be preceded by resurrection from the dead and final judgment. Religious Concerns How can I get into the Age to Come? How can I find forgiveness and make it through the coming judgment? Where do I find God's will for living and being prepared for judgment? When is judgment coming? A Hellenistic Worldview
Realm of Light Astral Powers Realm of Darkness Only 10% of funerary epigrams contain a reference to hope for an afterlife. I did not exist, I came into being, I will exist no more. I do not care--that's life. I did not exist, I do not exist, I do not care. I was nothing, I am nothing; and you who now live, eat, drink, play, come! Characteristics of Hellenistic Worldviews Thought spatially Two realms (light / darkness). Astral powers blocked the interaction between the divine and human realms. Human lives controlled by amoral fate. Religious concerns How can we know God? How can we be free from amoral fate? Preaching Salvation in Jesus Christ To the Jews
Acts 3:1226 Acts 3:1226
Jesus waits in heaven until his Parousia Human "No": Kill the messenger Jesus returns as Messianic judge and restores everything God's messenger/ servant/ the "prophet like Moses" This Age God's "Yes": Raised him from the dead and heals in his name "Repent and turn to God so that your sins may be forgiven" Age to Come Other points of interest: Acts 3:110 The preceding healing of the man who was lame for forty years is a symbol of the restoration of Israel now that Jesus has ascended to God's right hand. Acts 3:2223 40 years of lameness = 40 years of wandering in the desert The leaping and praising lame man is an allusion to Isaiah 35:6 where "the lame shall leap like a deer" as symbol of God's restoration of Israel from exile. Acts 3:2526 Jesus is the expected "prophet like Moses" To not listen to him will result in being cut off from the people of God Therefore, Israel (i.e., God's chosen people) is not defined by ancestry / ethnicity but response to Jesus. Jesus has come to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant Acts 14:1517 / Acts 17:2231 Romans 1:34 / Ephesians 1:2022 1 Timothy 3:16 To the Gentiles Acts 14 & 17 Pagan Gentiles must first reject their polytheism/idolatry. The God of the Jews is the one true God and Creator of everything. The pagan Gentiles must know who their Creator is so that they know with whom their salvation lies. Roman 1:34 / Eph 1:2022
Exaltation Christology Son of God with Power
Resurrection to God's right hand in the heavenly realm above all powers Son of David (remember the Gospel of John) Epiphany Christology 1 Timothy 3:16 Taken up into glory Manifest in the flesh Epiphany Christology Exaltation Christology Jesus' descent brings us knowledge of God Jesus' ascent frees us from amoral fate Jesus is more powerful than the astral powers, daemons, elements. Jesus frees us from amoral fate Jesus declares to us God's will. Jesus provides the forgiveness of sins. The final judgment will occur at the parousia of Jesus Twofoci Christology ...
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- Spring '08