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Ordination

(8,047 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Sänger, Dieter | Peters, Christian | Brandt, Reinhard | Meßner, Reinhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Liturgy – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Law and Legal History – VIII. Judaism I. Old Testament The search, mainly from a Protestant perspective, for antecedents of ordination in the Old Testament does not seem very promising, since no direct equivalent to Christian ordination as public commissioning of office-bearers by the community is to be found in the Hebrew Bible. Relevant research is mainly limited to the OT Jewish background of…

Obligation

(801 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Reinhard | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics From a Protestant perspective, obligation (in the sense of binding authority) is assigned only to the Word…

Priesthood

(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk …

Synod

(3,747 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Brandt, Reinhard | Germann, Michael | Ohme, Heinz
[German Version] I. History As it developed in the Early Church and the Middle Ages, the term synod (from Gk σύνοδος/ sýnodos, “assembly, being together on the way”) cannot be separated from the term council. Only in 19th- and 20th-century Protestantism is a separate treatment warranted; in that context – with roots going back t…

Church Unity

(2,522 words)

Author(s): Haustein, Jörg | Brandt, Reinhard | Hardt, Michael
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Theology – III. Ecumenics I. Church History The unity of the church as a theological term does not appear explicitly in the New Testament; it emerged during the early history of the church, although the concept itself is a central NT theme. A further difficulty for a historical presentation is the nature of unity: is it ethical and theological (consensus in faith and conduct; cf. Eph 4:1–6) or juridical and structural (singularity)? The t…