Monday, September 13, 2010

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).  Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).

The Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven) is a key concept in Christianity based on a phrase attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels. The phrase occurs in the New Testament more than 100 times. Basileia tou theou was commonly translated into English as “Kingdom of God” in the New Testament, and refers to the reign or sovereignty of God over all things.

This was as opposed to the reign of earthly powers, especially the Roman empire, which occupied Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, as well as other cities mentioned in the Bible as visited by Jesus, most notably, Jerusalem.

Discussion of the basileia dates backs for centuries. Eusebius identified basileia with monarchy while Augustine of Hippo foresaw a merger of the church and basileia. Aquinas, however, ignores the concept and, considering its prominence in Jesus dialectic, it was relatively little discussed by Christian theologians until Johannes Cocceius (1660} and Hermann Samuel Reimarus in the 18th century, during what has become known as the "first quest" for the historical Jesus.


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