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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Kin, Kindred, Kinship

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KIN, KINDRED, KINSHIP.—‘The antique conception of kinship is participation in one blood, which passes from parent to child, and circulates in the veins of every member of the family. The unity of family or clan is viewed as a physical unity; for the blood is the life,—an idea familiar to us from the OT,—and it is the same blood, and therefore the same life, that is shared by every descendant of the common ancestor. The idea that the race has a life of its own, of which individual lives are only parts, is expressed even more clearly by picturing the race as a tree, of which the ancestor is the root or stem and the descendants the branches’ (W. R. Smith, RS [Note: S Religion of the Semites.] 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] 40f.). This conception underlies the words ‘kin’ (συγγενής, Mark 6:4) and ‘kindred’ (συγγένεια, Luke 1:61). But it was Christ’s purpose to organize society according to another conception of the basis of unity. He made kinship depend not upon physical but spiritual affinities (Matthew 12:48 etc.). ‘Already, in the spiritual religion of the Hebrews, the idea of Divine fatherhood is entirely dissociated from the basis of natural fatherhood. Man was created in the image of God, but he was not begotten; God-sonship is not a thing of nature, but of grace’ (RS [Note: S Religion of the Semites.] 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] 41). There, however, the sonship of the nation is emphasized: in Christ’s teaching the personal relationship is brought into prominence. Sonship depends on personal faith (John 1:12), and its evidence is individual submission to the will of God (Matthew 12:48 ff.). In His allegory of the Vine (John 15:1), Jesus practically adopts the old figure. He Himself takes the place of stem or root, but the branches share the common life only on condition of an abiding faith (cf. St. Paul’s figure of the olive-tree, Romans 11:17 etc.). The ancient kindred of blood, with its narrow physical limits, gives place in the NT to a fellowship of faith which is open to all mankind. See also art. Family.

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Kin, Kindred, Kinship'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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