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New Testament and Evangelism


New Testament and Evangelism Preliminary remarks The New Testament presupposes a very different world than ours. This is a world that values: Connection – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: New Testament and Evangelism

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Preliminary remarks
  • The New Testament presupposes a very different
    world than ours.
  • This is a world that values
  • Connection
  • Community
  • Patronage relationships
  • Extended family

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Our world values
  • Independence
  • Originality
  • Relationships are based on the needs of
    individuals, and the nuclear family
  • We do not normally consider our extended

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How modern thought can misinterpret an ancient
    concept Oikos
  • In Church Growth literature, the term is meant to
    apply to the individual and ones extended
  • Thus, when one becomes a Christian, the person is
    encouraged to witness to friends and family

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Oikos in the New Testament
  • Oikos in Greek does not mean the person and ones
  • It is dealing with the household structure of the
    ancient world
  • It refers to all those under the authority of the
    patriarchal leader, the oikonomos in Greek, or
    the Paterfamilias in Latin.

Evangelism in the New Testament
  • Oikos in the New Testament
  • Members of the oikos include
  • Father
  • Mother
  • Children
  • Extended family (married children and their sons
    and daughters)
  • Slaves
  • Freed slaves and those in business relationship.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Obligations within the oikos
  • Oikonomoi, or Paterfamiiae are expected to
    provide for the well being of the members of the
  • The members of the household are expected to
    accept the judgment and the authority of the
    oikonomos or paterfamilas

New Testament and Evangelism
  • What does this mean for evangelism?
  • What then is meant by Acts 1631-34?
  • What tensions can be envisioned in 1 Pet 218-25
    313-22, where slaves suffer for their faith.
    What situation can we posit?
  • What is presupposed in 1 Pet 31-4, where women
    are addressed to be both obedient to husbands and
    win them without a word?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Euangelizesthai to proclaim good news/
  • Is the word from which we gain the word,
    evangelical, or in German Evangelische
  • In secular language, it is a term with strong
    political meaning.
  • The term is used for the proclamation of news of
    victory (G. Friedrich, Euangelizomai, ktl,
    TDNT 2710

Evangelism and the New Testament
  • In the LXX, the participle is used for one who
    brings good news from a battlefield (ibid., 712).
  • In Isa 526-7, the term refers to God, who is
    compared to one who gives good news (ibid., 713).
  • The word is also combined in the LXX with
    soteria, salvation (see

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Euangelizesthai occurs once in Mt. 10 or 11 times
    in Lik. 15, times in Acts, 21 times in Paul,
    twice in Hebrews, three times in 1 Peter, and 2
    times in Rev (ibid., 717).
  • In Lk, the term is used in 210, where the angel
    proclaims Good News at the birth of Jesus.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The term is also used in Priene inscription in
    conjunction with the battle of Actium, where
    Octavian is announced as soter, who brings peace.
  • How does this usage correspond to Lk. 210-14?
  • Note also, that Vespasian was acclaimed emperor
    by his army in Palestine, and a hymnic response
    to accession of a new emperor was common in the
    emperor cult (see Lk 214).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • What does use of Euangelizesthai in Lk 2 imply?
  • All of Jesus life is summed up as good news,
    not simply his birth.
  • What is meant here?

Evangelism and the New Testament
  • In the context of Lk 2, Euangelisesthai is an
    imperial term.
  • It is a term used in imperial cult to discuss the
    accession of a new emperor, as well as victory in
  • The use of the term in Lk. 2, along with the
    attendant acclamation by the heavenly host (i.e.,
    army), is intentional.
  • It states there is a new power, to whom believers
    owe allegiance.

Evangelism in the New Testament
  • What does this term tell us about the
    implications of proclaiming the good news in
    Lukes context?
  • What are the implications to Lukes readers?
  • What does this mean for us?

Evangelism in the New Testament.
  • Lukes use of euangelizesthai to proclaim a new
    reign is further developed in Lk 418, 43 and
  • In 418, Jesus refers to Isa 611, and applies it
    to himself.
  • In 1616, it is related to the Kingdom of God.
  • Who initiates the kingdom?
  • What does this proclamation mean?

Evangelism in the New Testament
  • Lukes hearers could not help but understand
    euangelizesthai as a political term.
  • Evangelism is not something safe.
  • It has implications, especially to those on the
  • It is seen as disruptive, as breaking the social
    order that the empire is seeking so carefully to
  • What would be the reaction to this message by the

Evangelism and the New Testament
  • In light of the challenge of the gospel in Luke,
    it is amazing that in Acts, people in authority
    are well disposed to the gospel.
  • Acts 131-12, Sergius Paulus, is well disposed to
    the Gospel.
  • Acts 1814-22, Galio does not condemn Paul.
  • See also Acts 2630-32, where Agrippa II give
    Paul a favorable verdict

Evangelism in the New Testament
  • Does this mean that the authorities have nothing
    to fear from Christians?
  • Or does it mean the Christians have nothing to
    fear from the authorities?
  • See P.W. Walaskay, And So we Came to Rome (SNTSMS
    49 Cambridge, New York Cambridge Univ. Press,

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Euangelizesthai in Paul
  • See Rom 1015,
  • Here, two important words are combined, kerussein
    and eungelizesthai
  • Kerussein means to proclaim as a herald, and we
    will discuss it shortly.
  • In Rom 1015, we encounter a quotation of Isa
    527, in reference to those who proclaim the Good
    News, i.e. the messengers of the Gospel.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Note the context of Rom 1015.
  • It is the fourth subsection of his argument about
    Israel (Fitzmyer Romans AB 33 New York
    Doubleday, 1992, 595)
  • The argument is in form of a diatribe, How will
    they call on to him they have not believed? And
    how will they believe whom they have not heard?
    And how will they hear apart from a herald

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The one proclaimed is Israels Messiah
  • Those proclaiming are the those like Paul, those
  • Yet, in 1016, not all believed.
  • Paul alludes to Isa. 531, Lord, who believed our
  • IN 1018, he refers to Ps. 185 (LXX)
  • In 1019, Deut 3221 (LXX) is cited
  • In 1020-21, Isa 651-2.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • What is Pauls message here?
  • Using a series of quotations, or catena, Paul
    notes that although Christ is proclaimed, not all
  • This sets up his theology of remnant in Rom 11,
    for as Rom 111 states, God has not forsaken his

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Pauls point in combing kerussein and
    euangelizesthai points to the act of proclaiming.
  • Not all believe, in fact, only a remnant do.
  • Yet, Paul and his compatriots are not relieved of
  • Rather, Paul sees the proclamation of the gospel
    in the apostolic mission as one of sharing and
    completing that of the Messiah (see also on
    1520-21) (JDG Dunn, Romans 9-16 WBC 38b
    Dallas Word, 1988, 622).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • If the apostolic proclamation is sharing in the
    mission of Christ, what are the ramifications?
  • Evangelism is not simply telling people how to
    get to heaven.
  • Rather, it is proclamation with full authority
    and power. Signs and wonders accompany the
    message. They belong together, for the Word is
    powerful and effective (Friedrich,
    Euangelizomai, 720).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In short, evangelism is a function of Gods
    eschatological program for introducing the new
    age of Gods reign.
  • While Paul never uses the term Kingdom of God,
    certainly the concept is not far off.
  • Yet, Israel does not believe.
  • What is the apostle to do?
  • He is to continue to evangelize the Gentiles, in
    hope that their salvation will lead to the
    salvation of Israel.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Pauls evangelistic program is revolutionary, for
    it brings two groups together, Jew and Gentile,
    in one community
  • This is one of the central messages of Rom 9-11
    (see A. Segal, Paul the Convert), and is behind
    much of the thinking of Galatians

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Thus, one is not saved simply from, but also
  • One is saved out of the old age (see Rom 1-3)
  • But at the same time, one is saved into a new
    humanity (see Rom 5-8).
  • Evangelism constitutes the creation of a new
    eschatological community.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • If the preacher in the Hellenistic world, acts
    like a herald, how does he function.
  • Like Moses (Ex 410), Jer (16) and Jonah, the
    apostle acts by divine command. He tells what
    God has done for him, he becomes a missionary for
    his religion (G. Friedrich, Kerux, ktl, TDNT

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How does this proclamation work out in the NT?
  • John proclaims baptism and remission of sins (Mk
  • John also proclaims the one who follows him (Mk.
  • In Mk 114, Jesus proclaims repentance for the
    kingdom of God has come upon the hearers.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In all three of these cases, the verb is
  • The use of the verb is not accidental
  • It is indication of the announcement by Gods
    agents of Gods intervention into human affairs.
  • In the case of Jesus, He does not announce that
    something will happen. His proclamation is itself
    event. What he declares takes place in the moment
    of its declaration Its result is that the Word
    proclaimed becomes reality (ibid 706-07).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In the case of apostles and disciples, they
    proclaim the good news as the work of Christ in
    his crucifixion and resurrection (see 1 Cor
  • As messengers, they act not in their own
    interest, but in Christs. People are not to
    become attached to them, but to Christ (1 Cor
    122 24, 927 2 Cor 45) (ibid., 710)

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How does this imagery work out in the lives of
    Pauls audience.
  • We must remember, that Paul is not the only
    preacher in his day, there are many philosophers,
    especially of the Cynic variety, who preach a
    wisdom while berating others (see A. Malherbe,
    Paul and the Popular Philosophers. W. Meeks, The
    First Urban Christians B Winter, Philo and Paul
    Among the Stoics).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • First Paul differentiates himself from popular
  • In 2 Cor 217, Paul notes that he and his
    companions are not peddlers of Gods word,
    unlike many others.
  • While Paul is contrasting himself with opponents,
    he is also contrasting himself with the popular
    image of the itinerant philosopher, who would
    berate those who do not accept the philosophy
    spouted (see Lucian of Samosata, Philosophies for

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In contrast to eloquent displays of philosophers,
    the word of preaching comes not with persuasive
    words, but in demonstration of spirit and power
    (1 Cor 24).
  • It is the wisdom of God, previously hidden, which
    the spiritual powers of this world do not know
    (1 Cor 26-8).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In contrast to the philosopher, who is a slave
    to philosophy, but who proclaims human wisdom
  • Paul notes that we proclaimed not ourselves, but
    Jesus Christ Lord, and ourselves your slaves on
    account of Jesus.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Likewise in 2 Cor 1010, Paul contrasts himself
    with opponents, who are schooled in rhetoric and
    philosophical training.
  • They can make a wonderful public display.
  • Pauls performance, is lacking.
  • Yet, as we see in 1012-115, Paul does not
    consider himself inferior.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How does Pauls evangelism work
  • In Acts 18, we note that Paul works at trade as a
    leatherworker until funds come from Thessalonica.
  • This fact is confirmed in 2 Cor 118-11 and 1 Cor
    9, where Paul notes that he works to provide the
    Gospel free of charge.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • On the one hand, Paul does make public
    declamations to persuade audiences, as is common
    in his society.
  • Yet, he also conducts evangelism in the context
    of common business.
  • In the sweat of the workshop, in daily contact
    with customers, he takes the opportunity to
    discuss with them the claims of Christ, and
    thereby wins believers (see 1 Thess 29, where
    Paul mentions how he and his companions labored
    and worked like an ox to not be a burden, but to
    herald the gospel)

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Pauls experience is noticable
  • Indeed, Pauls approach is very different from
    the Cynic, who makes a living by begging support,
    so as to live off of philosophy. (See A.
    Malherbe, Paul and the Popular Philosophers
    idem, Paul and the Thessalonians).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How does Pauls experience inform our
    evangelistic methods?
  • Who are the most effective in outreach?
  • How should we educate these individuals to be
    more effective?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • What you are saved into, The Gospel accounts
  • What is the meaning of the Great Commission of
    Mt 2819-20?
  • How does this function in the context of
    Matthews Gospel.
  • What does it inform us about how the NT writers
    envisage evangelism and the church?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • How is Mt 2819-20 usually understood?
  • Can you give examples of how the Great
    Commission is used in preaching or teaching?
  • What is the message about evangelism that is
    given explicitly or implicitly

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Mt. 2819-20 in the context of Matthew.
  • Mt. 2819-20 is the last of the three with us
    or with you statements in the Gospel of

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The first is Mt 123, where the name Emmanuel
    is translated as God with us.
  • Here, Joseph is told to take Mary for his wife,
    and name the son Jesus, For he shall save his
    people from their sins.
  • Isa 714 is quoted, and the term Emmanuel is

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Who is God with?
  • Is God with all people?
  • Or, is God with Israel?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • God is with Israel, as we see in 121, for he
    shall save his people from their sins.
  • This theme is reiterated in 105, where the
    disciples are not to go into the way of the
    Gentiles (way can mean either road, or way of
    life, the term hodos translates the Hebrew notion
    of halak
  • Yet, in the Great Commission, disciples are made
    of all nations

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The second with statement is in 1820.
  • Here, the phrase with you is in the context of
    church discipline and church order.
  • In particular, in 1819-20, there is the
    exhortation that where there is agreement of two
    or three there am I in the midst of them.
  • Jesus is not simply a historical figure.
  • He is a present figure.
  • He is found in the presence of the Matthean
    community, or the church.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Now we come to the Great Commission.
  • Unlike 121 and 105, the disciples are now sent
    to the nations (panta ta ethne)
  • The are not commanded to go, that is presupposed
    in the aorist participle, having gone.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • They are commanded to make disciples.
  • This is done through baptizing, and teaching.
  • With the conclusion that I am with you always.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Why are the disciples, now apostles, sent to the
    whole world.
  • We see here a reflection of Matthews theology of
    the rejection of Israel.
  • This theology is seen in part in Mt. 23
  • It is also found in Mt 2724-25, the strange hand
    washing scene, where the Gentile, Pilate, washes
    his hand in Jewish custom.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Why Jesus sends the disciples to the whole world
    in Mt. 28 (contd)
  • In Mt. 2725, the people say that Jesus blood is
    upon them and their children
  • For Matthew this refers to the destruction of
    Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE
  • This phrase is not about eternal Jewish guilt
    (after all, Romans crucified Jesus).
  • Unfortunately, that is how it has been used in
    church history.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • If Israel is not rejects Jesus, to whom should
    the disciples go.
  • They go to all the nations.
  • This scene also reflects the reality of Matthews
    congregation, which is likely becoming more and
    more Gentile.
  • But, what does the Great Commission say about

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Matthew is known as the churchs gospel for a
  • He has the strongest ecclesiology, as Mt 18 makes
  • He is the only evangelist who uses the term
  • When Jesus is with people, he is with the
    people of God, either Israel (Mt 121) or the
    church (1820).

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Evangelism, then, is not a crusade or personal
  • Rather, it is in the context of baptism and
    church instruction, in the context of catechism
    and incorporation into the community.
  • This image is also found in the Didache
  • The Didache is a manual of church instruction
    from Syria, late 1st or early 2nd century, which
    gives instruction in the two ways, as well as
    instruction on how to tell true and false
    prophets, and church life.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The Great Commissions understanding of
  • In light of Israels rejection, the disciples are
    to widen the breadth of the preaching of the
    kingdom of God to all the nations.
  • They are to make disciples through baptism and
    church instruction.
  • They are to incorporate converts into the life of
    the church, where Jesus presence is found.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • What is remarkable about this text for us.
  • We live in a highly individualized age.
  • We tend to think of evangelism as one on one,
    often divorced from the greater life of the
  • In fact, in Mt 2819-20, it is intimately bound
    with incorporation into the community.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Christ is experienced in community, in the
    context of baptism and instruction.
  • How does this image influence our understanding
    of evangelism?
  • Note, evangelism becomes corporate, not
  • The imagery is certainly at odds with our
    post-Enlightenment expectations of the autonomy
    of the individual.
  • This phenomenon is even clearer in Jn 1412-21.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • See my article, John 1412-21 as a Paradigm for
    the Wesleyan Understanding of Mission.
  • What do we notice as a Johannine understanding of
  • This text gives us a paradigm for evangelism
    within the context of a relational community.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The Gospel of John is usually thought to have
    very little to say about evangelism.
  • Yet, is this hypothesis consistent with a gospel
    that begins with the Logos hymn of 11-18, or
    Jesus prayer of Jn 17?
  • Evangelism is there, but it is not found as we
    are conditioned to expect it.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Greater works Jn 1412-14
  • Jesus promises greater works.
  • Certainly, this can and does include works of
  • Yet, where Jesus ministry is restricted in time
    and space, could not another greater work be
    reaching a vastly larger population with the Good
    News of Christ?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • See in particular Jn 1413
  • What is meant by whatever the disciples ask in
    Jesus name, they will receive?
  • Is it prosperity gospel?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • In Jn 1413
  • When disciples receive whatever they ask in
    Jesus name, they receive because their will is
    so bound up with Gods.
  • As those who continue Jesus work on earth, their
    will is his, which includes outreach.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Keeping the Commandments and the Paraclete
  • If Mt. 2819-20 understands evangelism as
    incorporation through instruction and baptism,
    John expresses this communal aspect in a
    different manner.
  • It is keeping the commandments, particularly the
    love command (Jn 1334-35).
  • It is also manifested in the presence of the
    Paraclete, who continues to instruct the
    Johannine community

New Testament and Evangelism
  • As Jesus presence is assured to the Matthean
    community by Jesus presence where two or more
    are gathered, so the teaching of the presence of
    the Paraclete in the Johannine community is an
    expression of the divine presence.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • It is the Paraclete who teaches the disciples
    (1426), and bears witness of Jesus (Jn
  • Again, witness is born by community.
  • The Paraclete assures the legitimacy of the
  • At the same time, disciples are led into all
    truth through the Paraclete, the active presence
    of God in the community.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The disciples are also not left orphans
  • At the death of a philosopher, such as Socrates,
    the philosophers students could be said to be
  • The disciples are not.
  • Because they have the active presence of the
    Paraclete in their midst, they are not orphaned,
    and are empowered to keep commandments of love,
    as well as greater works of outreach.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • Conclusions
  • Much of the paradigm of the NT for evangelism is
    foreign to us, yet also powerful.
  • It presupposes the ancient world of patronage,
    where one patron (the world, darkness, etc.), is
    exchanged for another, God.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • It is expressed in evocative language, that
    carries with it very specific baggage
  • Everyone in the Greco Roman world knew what
    euangelizesthai and kerussein meant
  • These are loaded terms.
  • They carry with them political or imperial

New Testament and Evangelism
  • By proclaiming the euangelia the early church
    proclaims an alternate reality to that confronted
    every day in the empire and the imperial court.
  • By being heralds, the early apostles and
    preachers are claiming they carry all the
    authority of their sponsor, in this case God. Do
    we dare make such claims?

New Testament and Evangelism
  • At the same time, evangelism is carried on in
    daily life.
  • Pauls example of working day and night,
    providing an alternative to some popular
    philosophers is instructive.
  • By his integrity, as well as his discussion of
    his new philosophy in the context of the
    everyday, people are drawn to his message.

New Testament and evangelism
  • Likewise, evangelism has a corporate element.
  • This feature is made abundantly clear in both Mt
    2819-20 and Jn 1412-21.
  • While we did not have time to look at the house
    churches of Pauls urban experience, certainly
    the apostles objections to factionalism in 1 Cor
    1, 4, as well as his horror at abuses of the
    Lords Supper (1 Cor 11) are tied into his
    understanding that the Body of Christ (1 Cor
    12-14) cannot be divided.

New Testament and Evangelism
  • The challenge to us
  • To proclaim the power of the Gospel, which is the
    inbreaking of Gods reign in humanity.
  • To do so in ways that are both culturally
    relevant and true to the apostolic message.
  • To do so in a way that both appeals to the
    individual, but retains the biblical commitment
    to the importance of the community of believers.
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