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Barry D. Smith
Barry D. Smith

Barry D. Smith is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Atlantic Baptist University, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

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Jesus’ Twofold Teaching about the Kingdom of God

Published: May 2009
£50.00
Recent research on Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God has in common the assumption that it remains the same throughout the time of his proclamation of it. The data that cannot be harmonized are usually judged to be inauthentic, originating from Christian prophets in the early church. Smith shows in closely argued detail how essential it is to differentiate two historical contexts for Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. The nature of the Kingdom of God is conditional upon its acceptance and the acceptance of its messenger —which is to say, Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God is hypothetical. This is the non-rejection context of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. But some of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God presupposes a context of the rejection of his message by the majority of Jews and especially the Jewish authorities. In this new context, Jesus teaches that the Kingdom will still come but not in the way first delineated, in the non-rejection context. This can be called the rejection context of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. No attempt should be made to assimilate all the data into one historical context. Distinguishing two contexts for Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God allows us to appreciate how Jesus modifies his teaching in the light of the rejection of the Kingdom. Without this differentiation of two historical contexts, it is impossible to make sense of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God.
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Jesus’ Twofold Teaching about the Kingdom of God

£50.00
Recent research on Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God has in common the assumption that it remains the same throughout the time of his proclamation of it. The data that cannot be harmonized are usually judged to be inauthentic, originating from Christian prophets in the early church. Smith shows in closely argued detail how essential it is to differentiate two historical contexts for Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. The nature of the Kingdom of God is conditional upon its acceptance and the acceptance of its messenger —which is to say, Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God is hypothetical. This is the non-rejection context of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. But some of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God presupposes a context of the rejection of his message by the majority of Jews and especially the Jewish authorities. In this new context, Jesus teaches that the Kingdom will still come but not in the way first delineated, in the non-rejection context. This can be called the rejection context of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God. No attempt should be made to assimilate all the data into one historical context. Distinguishing two contexts for Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God allows us to appreciate how Jesus modifies his teaching in the light of the rejection of the Kingdom. Without this differentiation of two historical contexts, it is impossible to make sense of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God.
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What Must I Do to Be Saved? Paul Parts Company with His Jewish Heritage

Published: Apr 2007
£50.00
How can one escape God's wrath and gain eternal life? On this crucial theological question, Paul differs from other members of the second-Temple Jewish community. Their soteriology is synergistic: for them, though eschatological salvation is due to God's merciful removal of human guilt, obedience to the Law is also indispensable. The divine and the human co-operate. Paul however believes that under such a scheme anything less than perfect obedience to the Law is futile. In consequence, if there is to be salvation for sinful humans, it must be a salvation independent of all human effort and achievement, and thus solely through faith. Contrary to the recent consensus, Paul's concern was not primarily the inclusion of gentiles into the church. This non-synergistic soteriology of Paul's may seem undermined by some of his own statements, that believers must submit to eschatological judgment and that the person without good works will be disqualified from eschatological salvation. But this conclusion is incorrect. For what he holds is that the good works indispensable for salvation are necessarily performed by the believer as manifestations of the indwelling Spirit present in those who have faith in Christ.
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What Must I Do to Be Saved? Paul Parts Company with His Jewish Heritage

£50.00
How can one escape God's wrath and gain eternal life? On this crucial theological question, Paul differs from other members of the second-Temple Jewish community. Their soteriology is synergistic: for them, though eschatological salvation is due to God's merciful removal of human guilt, obedience to the Law is also indispensable. The divine and the human co-operate. Paul however believes that under such a scheme anything less than perfect obedience to the Law is futile. In consequence, if there is to be salvation for sinful humans, it must be a salvation independent of all human effort and achievement, and thus solely through faith. Contrary to the recent consensus, Paul's concern was not primarily the inclusion of gentiles into the church. This non-synergistic soteriology of Paul's may seem undermined by some of his own statements, that believers must submit to eschatological judgment and that the person without good works will be disqualified from eschatological salvation. But this conclusion is incorrect. For what he holds is that the good works indispensable for salvation are necessarily performed by the believer as manifestations of the indwelling Spirit present in those who have faith in Christ.
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