The pre-literary development of the Kerygma
Selby, Donald Joseph
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Statement of the Problem. Throughout the New Testament there are numerous references to the preaching of the early Christians which was addressed to non-believers with a view to persuading them to accept the Christian Way. This preaching was known as kerygma. Since it was by this means that adherents were won for the new Faith, the kerygma manifestly lies at the base of the development of early Christianity and an understanding of its nature and development is important for the history of the first period of the growth of the Christian Church. This study is an attempt, by an examination of the New Testament evidence, to discover the nature and inner logic of the kerygma by which its development into the forms in which it is found in the New Testament can be retraced. Summary of the Argument. Three types of evidence are found in the New Testament for the kerygma. The first consists of actual descriptions thereof and is found in the speeches in Acts and two references in Paul's letters (Rom. 1:1-6 and I Cor. 15:1-15). With the exception of these last two passages, this direct evidence occurs in a document of comparatively late date and the suspicion cannot be altogether avoided that the speeches in question were composed for the occasions by the author. They, therefore, may represent little more than a second-generation Christian's opinion of apostolic preaching. The second type of evidence consists of the indirect allusions to the kerygma in the editorial passages in Acts and in the Epistles. Since the majority of these are found in Paul's letters, they have the advantage of coming, for the most part, from the earliest writings in the New Testament. On the other hand, their incidental character and relation to other interests in the letters leaves open the question as to how complete their evidence is and in how far they reveal the actual emphasis of the kerygma. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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