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Colossians, Epistle to the

(689 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
1. Occasion and Contents Colossians was written to a church that Paul did not found. It was designed to strengthen the position of its founder, Epaphras (1:7–8; 4:12–13), when erroneous teaching threatened the congregation. The first part (chaps. 1–2) contains doctrine and polemics. After the opening greeting in 1:1–2 comes an introduction (vv. 3–20), whose beginning reminds us of Phlm. 4–5. It culminates in a soteriological formula in vv. 13–14 and a hymn to Christ in vv. 15–20. In the then-and-now schema of vv. 21–23 the addressees are reminded of their reconciliation to God …

Ephesians, Epistle to the

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
1. Contents Ephesians is a theological treatise in epistolary form. Its main theme is the church. There are no references ¶ to the congregation addressed, nor are there any actual polemics. The first part (chaps. 1–3) develops the theology. The greeting in 1:1–2 is surprisingly similar to that in Colossians. Vv. 3–14 then praise God (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3–7) for his saving work for believers. Vv. 15–19 contain a thanksgiving to God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:4–9) that reaches a climax with a description of the saving event in vv. 20–23. The soteriological consequences are shown in 2:1–10, especially vv. 5–7, w…


(268 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] (Joseph Barnabas) was an early Christian missionary of Jewish descent, mentioned four times by Paul: once in Col, but frequently in the first part of Acts. Since Paul always mentions him without any further introduction, he was obviously known to the congregations. According to Gal 2:1, 9, Barnabas was involved, together with Paul, in the process that led to the mission agreement of the “Apostolic Council” (cf. Acts 15:2, 12). The fact that neither of them has to work (1 Cor 9:6) demonstrates the closeness of their mis…

Primitive Christianity

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] I. Definition 1. Initially the term Urchristentum, “primitive Christianity,” first used by J.B. Basedow in 1779 (Alkier, 161–169), meant “original, authentic” Christianity, as distinct from the later church (III). Critical scholarship in the 19th century debated whether “primitive Christianity” constituted an (ideal) monolithic entity or whether a dynamic “history of primitive Christianity” (F.C. Baur) could be written. Since the turn of the 20th century, the expression has denoted the…


(22,095 words)

Author(s): Filoramo, Giovanni | Müller, Hans-Peter | Lindemann, Andreas | Sautter, Gerhard | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Philosophy of Religion – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam (cf. Present and Future Eschatology, Consistent Eschatology) I. Religious Studies 1. The Problem of Terminology Eschatology (“discourse” or “doctrine” [Gk λόγος/ lógos] concerning the “last things” [Gk ἔσχατα/ éschata]) is a neologism that was introduced in the late 18th century in the con- text of the definition of the “last things,” i.e. of the novissima of medieval theology (death, …

Barnabas, Epistle of

(426 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] Traditionally attributed to the Apostolic Fathers, this anonymous writing does in fact contain some epistolary elements (1:1–5; 6:5; 21:9). On the whole, however, it is intended as a fundamental instruction in the Christian way of life and in the correct understanding of the Old Testament. First attributed to the “Apostle Barnabas” by Clement of Alexandria, who quotes Barnabas several times, the Epistle of Barnabas is usually thought to have been composed around 130–132, should the state…

Apostolic Fathers

(334 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] The term “Apostolic Fathers” goes back to J.-B. Cotelier, who in 1672 published the works of “the holy fathers who flourished in the apostolic age.” His edition contained the Epistle of Barnabas (Barnabas, Epistle of) and the two letters of Clement (Clement, Letters of), the letters of Ignatius (Ignatian epistles) and the letters of Polycarp of Smyrna along with the account of his martyrdom, and also the Shepherd of Hermas . The term “Apostolic Fathers” – now including the Didache, Diognetus , and the fragments of Papias and …


(23,549 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut | Kaiser, Otto | Lindemann, Andreas | Brümmer, Vincent | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Art – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. It is fundamentally true that God is not an object of religious studies, since God – as theology teaches – cannot be made an object of empirical scientific study. Religious studies can only address the concepts that human beings have expressed concerning their God (or gods: God, Representations and sym…

Love of One's Neighbor

(2,576 words)

Author(s): Mühling, Markus | Mathys, Hanspeter | Avemarie, Friedrich | Lindemann, Andreas | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Meaning – II. Old Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Ethics I. Meaning Love of one's neighbor is the love of creaturely persons, for other concrete creaturely persons (“neighbors”) as being in the image of God; it includes love of enemies (Matt 5:44 = Luke 6:27; Enemy,). The Reformers believed that the twofold law of love (Mark 12:29–31 parr.), expressive of a well-ordered creation, embodies all the demands of the law (cf. Luther, BSLK 586). The love…

Judaism and Christianity

(5,219 words)

Author(s): Schaller, Berndt | Lindemann, Andreas | Meyer, Michael A. | Beintker, Michael
[German Version] I. Problems of Terminology – II. Early Judaism – III. New Testament and Primitive Christianity – IV. Early Church – V. Middle Ages to the Present – VI. The Church and Judaism Today I. Problems of Terminology The terminological distinction between Judaism and Christianity (Ἰουδαϊσμός – Χριστιανισμός) made its first appearance at the beginning of the 2nd century, initially in the Ignatian Epistles (Ign. Magn. 10.3; Phld. 6.1). It was a product of Christian usage, borrowed from the contrast between Judaism and Hellenism (Ἑλληνισμός) current in Jewish circles;…

Bultmann, Rudolf

(903 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] (Aug 20, 1884, Wiefelstede, Oldenburg – Jul 30, 1976, Marburg). I. Bultmann earned his doctorate in 1910 with a study of Paul's rhetoric ( Der Stil der paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe, repr. 1984); he qualified as professor in 1912 with a thesis on Die Exegese des Theodor von Mopsuestia (unpublished until 1984). In 1916, he became associate professor of NT at Breslau and in 1920 professor at Giessen, moving to Marburg in 1921. His major work on form criticism ( Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition) appeared in…

Clement, Letters of

(833 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[German Version] I. First Letter of Clement – II. Second Letter of Clement I. First Letter of Clement Counted among the Apostolic Fathers, 1 Clement is an elaborate, Greek written letter from the Roman to the Corinthian church. Despite the constant use of “we,” it seems to have been authored by a single person; the attribution to Clement I (Romanus) is first attested in Dionysius of Corinth (c. 170, cited in Eus. Hist. eccl. IV 23.11). The earliest textual witness (with a few lacunae) is the biblical manuscript known as Codex Alexandrinus (5th cent.; canonicity should not be …

Law and Jurisprudence

(7,535 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Schiemann, Gottfried | Lindemann, Andreas | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Legal Definition – II. History of Religion – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. Greco-Roman Antiquity – V. New Testament – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Ethics of Law – VIII. Sociology of Law I. Concept and Legal Definition There is no generally accepted definition of law. At most, there is a consensus that law is basically to be understood as the politically institutionalized order of human relations. The observance of the (general) rules (i.e. compliance or sanctioning of transgressions) emanatin…


(2,259 words)

Author(s): Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Mathys, Hanspeter | Avemarie, Friedrich | Lindemann, Andreas | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Zum BegriffN. ist die Haltung der Liebe von geschöpflichen Personen zu konkreten nächsten geschöpflichen Personen als Ebenbildern Gottes (Gottebenbildlichkeit) und schließt die Feindesliebe (Mt 5,44=Lk 6,27; Feind/Feindesliebe) mit ein. Im Doppelgebot der Liebe (Mk 12,29–31 parr.), das Ausdruck der Wohlordnung der Schöpfung ist, bündeln sich nach reformatorischer Ansicht die Forderungen des Gesetzes (vgl. Luther, BSLK 586). Nach diesem Doppelgebot ist die N. dem Menschen nach d…


(6,145 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Schiemann, Gottfried | Lindemann, Andreas | Et al.
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff und juristisch Eine allg. akzeptierte Definition des R. existiert nicht. Einigkeit besteht allenfalls darüber, daß das R. im Kern die staatl. institutionalisierte Ordnung menschlicher Beziehungen ist, wobei die Einhaltung der aus ihr fließenden (generellen) Regeln – Befolgung oder aber Sanktionierung von Verstößen – durch legitime physische Gewalt (Staat), jedenfalls aber durch einen durch Zuständigkeits- und Verfahrensnormen organisierten Sanktionsapparat garantiert i…


(2,447 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Andreas
[English Version] I. Definition und zeitliche Abgrenzung 1. Der Begriff U., offenbar erstmals 1779 bei J.B. Basedow belegt (Alkier 161–169), bez. zunächst das »urspr., wahre« Christentum, das von der späteren Kirche (: III.) unterschieden wird. In der krit. Forschung des 19.Jh. ist umstritten, ob »das U.« eine (ideale) Einheit bildete oder ob es eine spannungsvolle »Gesch. des U.« (F. Ch. Baur) gab. Im 20.Jh. wird mit dem Begriff die Anfangszeit des Christentums bez., ohne daß damit eine bes. theol. …