When the Proclaimer became the Proclaimed


In the Gospels, Jesus is presented as the proclaimer of the coming kingdom of God. He directed his hearers to God and his imminent, supernatural intervention in history. The content of his message was the rapidly approaching advent of the Messianic age, God’s coming rule.

In Acts, as in Paul, the early church is found directing people, by contrast, to Jesus, not the coming kingdom. The content of the church’s message, in other words, is Jesus himself. In R. Bultman’s famous words, ‘the Proclaimer became the Proclaimed’ in the experience of the early church.

William R. Telford, The New Testament: A Beginner’s Guide, page 42. Telford is Senior Lecturer in Theology at Durham University.

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Telford quotes from The Theology of the New Testament by the great German New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann, in the following passage:

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Categories: God, Gospels, Jesus, New Testament scholarship, Recommended reading

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