Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Kingdom in 1 Thessalonians
My Aussie friend Dr. David Luckensmeyer writes:
"In First Thessalonians, the basileia tou theou is the royal rule of God which began with the death and resurrection of Jesus and is established at the parousia of the Lord. It is a paradigmatic alternative to the Imperial rule, where the benevolent King, through a mediator (Jesus), offers a community identity and existence which rises above a this-worldly social disintegration. The eschatological discourse in the letter offers a balanced perspective regarding present conflict and future reality. The kerygmatic hope, which includes a responsibility to holy living, centres on the parousia of the Lord. That occurence is representative of life (1:9; 4:15, 17: 5:10), of deliverance from orge (1:10; 5:9), of hope, glory, joy, and a crown of boasting (2:12, 19, 20), of resurrection (4:14, 16), of celebration (4:17), of being with the Lord always (4:17), and of salvation (5:9). The picture that emerges in the eschatological discourse of First Thessalonians is nothing short of the basileia tou theou itself."
David Luckensmeyer, "Basileia in First Thessalonians," in "I Sowed Fruits into Hearts" (Odes sol. 17:13): Festschrift for Professor Michael Lattke (ECS 12; Strathfield: St. Paul's, 2007), 155.