The Kingdom, The Power And The Glory -- By: R. E. Nixon

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 004:1 (NA 1958)
Article: The Kingdom, The Power And The Glory
Author: R. E. Nixon

The Kingdom, The Power And The Glory

R. E. Nixon

It is generally accepted that the idea of the kingdom of God was the central theme in the preaching of Jesus. Most scholars would also agree with T. W. Manson that it is ‘something through and through spiritual’ and ‘a personal relation between God and the individual human being’ while, of course, implying a community of people who would live together under the rule of God. But concerning the time of the coming of the kingdom there still remains considerable disagreement. It seems that there are grave weaknesses in all the main positions that have come to my notice at least. Thorough-going eschatology has lost much ground and is faced with many passages in the Gospels as we have them, which seem to state quite clearly that the kingdom has arrived (whatever may be the meaning of engiken in Mk. 1:15). If that is what Jesus taught, we have to assume that a disappointed Church managed to adjust itself well enough to the situation to read back into the words of Jesus a more correct interpretation than He had been able to offer. In opposition to that is set realized eschatology. We are greatly indebted to Prof. Dodd and others for the important light that they have shed upon the subject in this direction, but there are places in such a work as The Parables of the Kingdom where his exegesis seems to be strained further than is legitimate. There are sayings in all strands of the synoptic tradition which are hard to apply to anything but the Parousia (e.g. Mk. 8:38; Mt. 24:27; Lk. 17:24 from Q; Mt. 19:28 from M; Lk. 21:31 from L.) There are too many references to be written off as being due to misunderstanding by the early Church. If they were so radically wrong on so vital a matter, the reliability of the

evangelists must indeed be small. Prof. Fuller says that the kingdom came with the cross and resurrection of Christ, and he, too, though obviously stressing an important truth, appears unable to account satisfactorily for the sayings which seem to assert that the kingdom has actually arrived during the ministry (Mt. 11:12; Lk. 16:16; Mt. 12:28; Lk. 11:20). Likewise, Prof. Manson’s emphasis on Peter’s confession as the turning-point of the ministry, whilst being a valuable insight, seems to stress the human re...

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