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Ecumenical Theology

(2,270 words)

Author(s): Geense, Adriaan | Campbell, Ted A.
1. Term and Agencies 1.1. The practice of ecumenical theology is much older than the term itself. It began with Paul’s arguments concerning the unity of churches of Jews and Gentiles (Jewish Christians; Judaism) and their many groups and charismata and continued as theology developed with a common concern for truth. It prepared the way for the decisions of the ecumenical councils and accompanied ¶ the reception of these rulings. In a paradoxical way it was also the driving force behind the polemical writings of the Reformers, whose aim was to reform the one church, not to split it. 1.2. As an …

Ecumenical Symbols

(407 words)

Author(s): Schnitker, Thaddeus A. | Campbell, Ted A.
The term “ecumenical symbols” is sometimes used to describe Christian confessions of faith that have been affirmed across the boundaries of confessional traditions. Most specifically, the term refers to the use of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene (or Niceno-Constantinopolitan) Creed, and less commonly to the Athanasian Creed (or, from its opening words, the Quicunque Vult), the three creeds affirmed in the Lutheran Book of Concord and the Anglican Articles of Religion. Although these creeds were affirmed in both Roman Catholic and Protestant bodie…

Episcopacy

(4,649 words)

Author(s): Wood, Susan K. | Campbell, Ted A.
1. NT and Patristic Periods The history of the origin of bishops is obscure. Recent scholarship has attempted to discover pre-Christian antecedents, both Jewish and Gentile, in such sources as the Septuagint and Philo. In the LXX version of the OT, the term episkopos (from which Eng. “bishop”) is used of God (Job 20:29; Wis. 1:6) as well as of ordinary “overseers,” but never of cultic persons. Philo uses the term once, of Moses. The Qumran MSS have also raised again the possible Jewish origins of a position that could be described as an overseer or inspector ( mĕbaqqēr, from bāqar, “look…