Tag Archives: Kerygma

Exploring the Kerygma, Part 2

Chris Evangelista
Catherine Sider Hamilton
2 November 2011

Exploring the Kerygma: Part 2

Section 1
Four elements of the core kerygma can be clearly seen through a cursory reading of Matthew 27:45-60. Most obviously, Jesus’ death is at the forefront as it is the account of his crucifixion. In addition, there is a statement establishing that Jesus is the Messiah as the centurion utters in amazement: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (27:54, ESV). Also, it is also explicitly stated that several witnesses were “looking from a distance, [witnesses] who had followed Jesus from Galilee” (27:55, ESV). Finally, Jesus’ burial was narrated at the end of the pericope. Of these four elements, Jesus’ death and burial really stand as the main emphases, as this pericope is, after all, an account in which Jesus’ death is central. However, it does seem that the author did take care to mention that certain people were watching from a distance, emphasizing the fact that there are witnesses to this event.

While these four elements can easily be seen, a fifth one may also be discerned through careful reading and reasoning. This element is that these events are accomplished in God’s power. This is evident in the curtain being torn in two, the earth shaking and rocks splitting, and some of the saints coming back to life (27:51-53). Though these events are not explained in the passage, such astonishing events occurring at the moment of Jesus’ death can only suggest that God was supernaturally at work throughout the event.

On the one hand, several elements would seem to be missing from the passage at first reading. Foremost of this is the explanation that all of this had happened for the forgiveness of sin. Any thought of the resurrection is also missing, though to be sure, this will be covered later on in the narrative. Finally, also seemingly absent is any reference to these events fulfilling Old Testament scripture.

On the other hand, we may also see several elements being added in this account. Most curiously, there is the declaration of Jesus as the “Son of God”, which although is one of the elements of the core kerygma, who makes the declaration comes as a surprise. It is a Roman centurion and not one of the disciples, witnesses, or even a Jew who recognizes Jesus as such at the moment of his death. Another added element is in verse 50 where it says that Jesus “yielded up his spirit” at the moment of his death. This seems to suggest that Jesus was in control even of his own death, which shows his willingness to sacrifice himself to death. Finally, as mentioned above, the supernatural events occurring in verses 51-53 are not part of the core kerygma, though it may be seen as an extension of other elements from the core. Continue reading

Exploring the Kerygma, Part 1

My second paper of 2011-2012 … Grade received: A-

Chris Evangelista
Prof. Catherine Hamilton
5 October 2011

Exploring the Kerygma: Part 1

Four constituent parts of the Gospel message can be discerned to have been proclaimed in the early church: (1) Jesus died, (2) he rose from the dead, (3) he physically appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, and (4) all of these occurred in accordance to Jewish scriptures. These elements were drawn out of a process of closely reading and comparing Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, and the context and content of five sermons in Acts found in 2:14-39, 3:12-26, 4:8-12, 5:30-32, and 10:34-43.

That Jesus died and rose again are the two elements of the core Gospel message that are most obvious in the passages listed above. It seems that the disciples intended to be quite clear that this really happened, and that these two elements must be part of the core message. The fact that Jesus rose again from the dead is even proclaimed twice in the Acts 2 (verses 24 and 36) and Acts 3 (verses 15 and 26) sermons. To be sure, variations can be found between each of the passages; however, these variations are somewhat superficial.

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