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date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter adopts a narrative approach to the ecclesiology of the Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, seeking to understand the shape of the gospel narrative and its impact on its audience(s). The deep structure of synoptic ecclesiology is built around two intertwined ecclesiological models: a ‘people of God’ ecclesiology and a ‘discipleship’ ecclesiology. John’s call to repentance and baptism, and the promise of the Spirit, marks the inauguration of the eschatological gathering-in of the people of God. The process continues in Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom in words of authority and deeds of power. The call of the disciples marks the inauguration of a messianic community, called to follow Jesus, to confess him as Messiah, and to follow him on the way of the cross. This is a radical call to a lifestyle based on an attitude of eschatological expectancy; to table-fellowship built around the remembered presence of Jesus; and to a commissioning and empowering for a future mission to the world.

Keywords: Acts of the Apostles, discipleship, eschatology, Jesus, John the Baptist, kingdom of God, Messianic community, mission, Synoptic Gospels

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