Tuesday 2 March 2010

John Webster on the Gospel

John Webster, ‘Gospel’ in Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al. (eds.), Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (London: SPCK, 2005), 263-64.

‘In the NT, the gospel (euangelion) is the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, especially as a matter for public proclamation’ (263).

‘The term has particular prominence in the Pauline writings, where it signifies the christological and soteriological essence of the Christian faith, which lies at the heart of the apostolic mission, and in a polemical context, that by which the authentic Christian faith is distinguished from counterfeits’ (263).

‘[S]ince the gospel concerns God’s saving work in Jesus Christ, it can equally be spoken of as “the gospel of God”… or “the gospel of Christ”. In both designations, the genitive is both subjective and objective, because God and Christ are both equally the origin of the gospel and its content’ (263).

‘Originating in God’s omnipotent rule over all things, the gospel concerns “salvation,” the comprehensive reordering of God’s relation to humankind… Its human correlate is faith, in that the gospel evokes assent and trust from those who renounce self-wrought righteousness and are given to share in the blessings that the gospel pronounces’ (263).

‘Paul sees the gospel as both particular and exclusive: because it is the manifestation of God’s eschatological judgment in Christ, there cannot be “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9)’ (264).

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