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Rapture

(461 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter
[German Version] is a sudden transfer by means of divine power to a remote location, usually heaven (Ascension), or to a far-away country, on a mountain, etc. This may pro-¶ vide for temporary protection or enable an ecstatic reception of revelation. It is granted to those with a special relationship to God as an alternative to death. Because it involves the physical body and not just the taking up of the soul, the search for a body by those left behind is often futile, and there is no grave. Frequently, rapture is a way to cope with an unnatural or unsolved death. The raptured one …

Virgin Birth

(1,601 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Radl, Walter | Beinert, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The myths of many peoples speak of conception without a father. For the background of the virgin birth in the New Testament, the only examples of interest to religious studies are famous men whose special dignity or capacity is based on having been begotten by a god – especially rulers. A birth legend of the Egyptian king, for example, legitimates him as the “son of Re” (see II below). When Mesopotamian rulers are called the seed of a god and are born of a goddes…

Son of God

(2,958 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Karrer, Martin | Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Son of God as a title applied to an individual must be distinguished from children of God (Child of God) applied to several individuals or a group (e.g. the Israelites). The New Testament title alludes to Davidic messiahship, based on 2 Sam 7:14a (Messiah: II, 2), where God promises Solomon fatherly oversight and appoints him as his representative on earth. Ps 2:7 (cf. Pss 89:27f.*; 110:1–3) uses that text to assert the worldwide dominion of the king of Israel. The “begetting” a…

Sohn Gottes

(2,645 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Karrer, Martin | Nüssel, Friederike
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich S.G. ist als Auszeichnung eines einzelnen Menschen zu unterscheiden von der Gotteskindschaft mehrerer Personen oder von Gruppen (z.B. der Israeliten). Dem ntl. Titel liegt im Kontext davidischer Messianität die Verheißung 2Sam 7,14a zugrunde (Messias/Messianismus: II.,2.). Gott sagt Salomo väterliche Fürsorge zu und bestellt ihn zu seinem irdischen Repräsentanten. Ps 2,7 (vgl. Ps 89,27f.; 110,1–3) leitet daraus die Weltherrschaft des israelit. Königs a…

Ascension of Christ

(3,139 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Schmitt, Armin | Boring, M. Eugene | Farrow, Douglas B. | Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – V. Art History – VI. Judaism I. Religious Studies The attempt to ascend to the abode of the gods is associated with myths and expressions of the impossible (Deut 30:12; Prov 30:4) and of presumption (Isa 14:13f.; the Aloads, Bellerophon). Nevertheless divine help empowers (Wind, cloud, wings, Angels…