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New Testament and Mission

Historical and Hermeneutical Perspectives

Johannes Nissen

This book brings together insights from two fields of study: biblical scholarship and missiology. The Great Commission in Matthew’s Gospel is often seen as the biblical foundation for mission. The New Testament, however, reflects a variety of models for mission. Each model is examined with regard to historical meaning as well as hermeneutical significance. The final chapter focuses on three issues of great importance for the present situation: unity and diversity in mission, the gospel in relation to cultures, and Bible and dialogue models.


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1. Introduction: Aim and method of this study 13 1. Biblical scholarship and missiology 13 2. Text and experience 13 3. Historical meaning and contemporary significance 15 4. Perspectives, paradigms and models 16 5. Mission and missions 16 6. Questions of definitions 17 Notes 19 2. Mission as disciple-making: The Gospel of Matthew 21 Introduction 21 I. A Re-reading of the "Great Commission" 21 1. The term "mission command" 21 2. Focus an the locality or the task? 22 II Mission in Matthew: Its motivations and content 23 1. All authority 23 2. Two mission strategies in conflict 23 3. Jesus' compassion for the harassed and helpless 24 4. The content of mission: God's kingdom and his justice 25 III. The subjects and addressees of mission 26 I. Missionary discipleship 26 2. The church as mission 27 3. The Jews and the nations 27 4. The centripetal and the centrifugal mission 27 5. The little ones 28 IV. Hermeneutical Perspectives 29 1. Evangelism and Christian education 29 2. Mission — not manipulation 29 3. Mission in Christ's way 30 4. Justice as an integral part of mission 32 5. The church as mission 32 7 6. Christ's presence among the little ones 32 Notes 33 3. Crossing boundaries: Mission in Mark's Gospel 37 Introduction 37 I. The Kingdom of God and the crossing of boundaries 38 1. The Gospel as a mission text 38 2. The inclusive character of the Kingdom 38 3. Crossing boundaries in Galilee 39 4. Crossing boundaries...

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