The article focuses on the birth of the church. The point at which the church began its existence is located within the boundaries of formative Judaism. The parting of the ways is explained as a movement from faction to sect, to the eventual formation of the church in its own right as distinct from the synagogue. The historical Jesus should therefore not be seen as the founder of the church. However, the article argues that the relation of the life and death of the historical Jesus to the resurrection belief of the post-paschal Jesus movement constitutes the cradle of the church. This continuum between Jesus and New Testament Christendom is referred to by means of the German phrase die Sache Jesu. Reconsideration of this trajectory results in the conviction that the vision and program of the historical Jesus cannot be neglected when one reflects on the nature of the church in the New Testament or on the vocation of the church through history to the present day. Two thought complexes form the kernel of die Sache Jesu: God's unbounded presence and the concept that everyone has unmediated and non-hierarchical access to the grace of God.
Spine cut of Journal binding and pages scanned on flatbed EPSON Expression 10000 XL; 400dpi; text/lineart - black and white - stored to Tiff
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