The Hidden Tradition of the Kingdom of God
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
2007, paperback, as new
The Kingdom of God has been a major concern of New Testament scholars for many years. What did it mean to Jesus? What does it mean for Christian belief and practice today? 'To understand what was meant by the Kingdom of God' writes Margaret Barker in the Introduction, 'it is necessary to recover what remains of that hidden tradition of the holy of holies and the high priesthood... Recovering the original Kingdom... enables us to glimpse again the original vision. We see... the complexities of the Kingdom that explain what it became in later Christian teaching.' The Hidden Tradition of the Kingdom of God shows how the variety of beliefs about the Kingdom, and the related problems of eshatology, all derive from Temple traditions about the holy of holies. This inner sanctum was the Kingdom in the midst, the Unity beyond all change and decay. It was the state whence the Lord came forth, and where the faithful would go, to see him in his glory. 'We live in a time when politics, and also geopolitics, are enormously affected by passionate arguements over ehat it would mean to establish the "Kingdom of God" on earth. Anybody with an interest in the outcome of those arguements should pay close attention to Margaret Barker's insightful and thought-provoking investigation of the background and context in which the first Christians spoke of the Kingdom.' Bruce Clark, Religious Affairs Correspondent, The Economist
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