Authored by: M. C. Steenberg

The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Thought

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  December  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415442251
eBook ISBN: 9780203864517
Adobe ISBN: 9781135193430


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When Jesus Christ ascended in glory from the midst of his disciples forty days after his resurrection, a people’s vision of God was forever changed. Ten days later, when the Spirit came upon them “as divided tongues” at Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:3), their experience of the risen Lord was enflamed with a missionary zeal that would see it spread throughout the known world in a dramatically short span. Yet from the very moment that St Peter emerged from that upper room and preached the church’s first homily to the people (cf. Acts 2:14–41), there came to the fore a tension that had been stirring since the archangel first announced to Mary that she would bear a child to be called “Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32). The Father is confessed to have a Son. God is perceived in a dramatic, new way. St Peter put the matter directly to his hearers in Jerusalem: “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

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