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Holman Bible Dictionary

Kerygma

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(kih rihg' muh) Transliteration of the Greek term which means both “the act of preaching” and “the content of the preaching.” Preaching in the biblical sense is primarily the act of proclaiming the acts of God. It is more than the ability to speak in beautiful or eloquent words. This kind of preaching will not persuade anyone to become a disciple of Jesus. Preaching in the biblical sense is persuasive because it is done in the Spirit and with power (1 Corinthians 2:4 ). God intervenes in the lives of the hearers through the act of preaching; the kingdom of God comes through the act of preaching (see Matthew 12:41 ; Luke 11:32 ). In the act of preaching the hope we have of eternal life is revealed (Titus 1:1-3 ).

The content of preaching in the New Testament centers on Jesus. According to Paul, some see the preaching of a crucified Savior as foolish; but for those who believe it means eternal life (1 Corinthians 1:21 ). Of course, the preaching about Jesus concerns not only His death on a cross but also His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12 ).

In modern times some scholars have attempted to determine the exact content of the preaching of the early church. One of the more prominent attempts analyzed the sermons of the apostles in Acts. According to this reconstruction, the preaching of the early church included the following elements: (1) the prophecies of the coming Messiah have been fulfilled, (2) the prophecies were fulfilled by the Davidic descent, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, (3) Jesus has been exalted to God's right hand as the Head of the new Israel, (4) the Holy Spirit is the sign of Christ's present power and glory, (5) Christ will return, and (6) a call for repentance. See Gospel .

Phil Logan


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Kerygma'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/k/kerygma.html. 1991.

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