Messengers of discriminating love. The twelve apostles as disciples of Jesus and missionaries of the gospel

Project Details


Twelve apostles were chosen by Jesus to be his disciples during his ministry in Israel, and after the Ascension they went out and proclaimed the gospel everywhere, beginning in Jerusalem. How was their message received? They were disciples of a controversial rabbi and preached the crucified Christ: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Greeks (Paul in 1 Cor. 1:23, on behalf of all Christian preachers). What differences occurred, in particular with respect to preaching and/or response, between a Jewish and a Greek audience? Similar questions could be asked concerning other differences between people, for instance their life, calling, and socio-cultural context. How did the twelve apostles articulate in all such situations their message of ‘discriminating love’: the tension between the notion of love and salvation on the one hand and the notion of sin and the coming judgment on the other hand? Since the apostolic testimony implies a sometimes strongly contested truth claim, the witness (μάρτυς) may also become a martyr, as the Book of Revelation shows.
Based on the above reflections, the following main research question can be formulated: how did the controversial message of the twelve apostles relate to their individual life stories and their joint mission—could they practice what they preached?
Effective start/end date1/01/18 → …


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