Eksegeties-teologiese ondersteuning van die Belydenis van Belhar
Keywords:Confession of Belhar, Baptism Formula, body of Christ, Reconciliation, Justice
AbstractIn the NGTT (Section 46, numbers 3 & 4, September and December 2005) Professor Piet Strauss of the University of the Free State’s Faculty of Theology, mentioned in an article a few reasons why the Confession of Belhar cannot be seen or accepted as a confession. One of the reasons is that the Confession of Belhar deals with peripheral moral values only, and not with core Biblical values. This contribution is an attempt to identify and analyse possible underlying Scriptural principles of the Confession of Belhar. The Confession of Belhar is structured around three (Biblical) concepts, i.e. church unity, reconciliation and justice. This contribution surveys the exegetic-theological meaning of these theological concepts. This survey reflects on: • Church unity as portrayed by John 17, Jesus’ prayer for His disciples; • Paul’s contribution in this regard: (a) the so called Baptism Formula, in Galatians 3:28; (b) Paul’s metaphor for the body of Christ, referring to the church; • Reconciliation in the New Testament seen against the background of the Old Testament and as seen by Paul and other authors of the New Testament; • Justice described in the New Testament as seen against the background of the Old Testament; how Paul and other authors of the New Testament describe it. How must we interpret their contributions? The conclusion is that all New Testament authors portray these words as core values, not only as believers experienced it in the early church, but also as stated by the Holy Scripture. This study shows that these facts have far reaching consequences for the church of today.
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