God, Kingdom of


God, Kingdom of

also called  Kingdom Of Heaven,  

      in Christianity, the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king, or the fulfillment on Earth of God's will. The phrase occurs frequently in the New Testament, primarily used by Jesus Christ in the first three Gospels. It is generally considered to be the central theme of Jesus' teaching, but widely differing views have been held about Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God and its relation to the developed view of the church.

      Though the phrase itself rarely occurs in pre-Christian Jewish literature, the idea of God as king was fundamental to Judaism, and Jewish ideas on the subject undoubtedly underlie, and to some extent determine, the New Testament usage. Behind the Greek word for kingdom (basileia) lies the Aramaic term malkut, which Jesus may have used. Malkut refers primarily not to a geographical area or realm nor to the people inhabiting the realm but, rather, to the activity of the king himself, his exercise of sovereign power. The idea might better be conveyed in English by an expression such as kingship, rule, or sovereignty.

      To most Jews of Jesus' time the world seemed so completely alienated from God that nothing would deal with the situation short of direct divine intervention on a cosmic scale. The details were variously conceived, but it was widely expected that God would send a supernatural, or supernaturally endowed, intermediary (the messiah or Son of Man), whose functions would include a judgment to decide who was worthy to “inherit the Kingdom,” an expression which emphasizes that the Kingdom was thought of as a divine gift, not a human achievement.

      According to the first three Gospels, most of Jesus' miraculous actions are to be understood as prophetic symbols of the coming of the Kingdom, and his teaching was concerned with the right response to the crisis of its coming. The nationalistic tone of much of the Jewish expectation is absent from the teaching of Jesus.

      Scholarly opinion is divided on the question as to whether Jesus taught that the Kingdom had actually arrived during his lifetime. Possibly, he recognized in his ministry the signs of its imminence, but he nevertheless looked to the future for its arrival “with power.” He may well have regarded his own death as the providential condition of its full establishment. Nevertheless, he seems to have expected the final consummation in a relatively short time (Mark 9:1). Thus, Christians were perplexed when the end of the world did not occur within a generation, as Paul, for example, expected. Christian experience soon suggested, however, that, as the result of Christ's Resurrection, many of the blessings traditionally reserved until the life of the age to come were already accessible to the believer in this age. Thus, though the phrase Kingdom of God was used with decreasing frequency, that for which it stood was thought of as partly realized here and now in the life of the church, which at various periods has been virtually identified with the Kingdom; the Kingdom of God, however, would be fully realized only after the end of the world and the accompanying Last Judgment. The Johannine writings in the New Testament played a large part in the transition to this traditional Christian understanding of the Kingdom of God.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • God, kingdom of —  Бога Царство …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Kingdom of God — • In this expression the innermost teaching of the Old Testament is summed up, but it should be noted that the word kingdom means ruling as well; thus it signifies not so much the actual kingdom as the sway of the king Catholic Encyclopedia.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Kingdom of Heaven — may refer to: *Kingdom of God * Kingdom of Heaven , a 2005 film …   Wikipedia

  • kingdom — /king deuhm/, n. 1. a state or government having a king or queen as its head. 2. anything conceived as constituting a realm or sphere of independent action or control: the kingdom of thought. 3. a realm or province of nature, esp. one of the… …   Universalium

  • kingdom come — Synonyms and related words: Agapemone, Arcadia, Beulah, Beulah Land, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Canaan, Cloudcuckooland, Cockaigne, Eden, Eldorado, Erewhon, Garden of Eden, Goshen, Happy Valley, Heaven, Land of Beulah, Land of Youth, Laputa, Never… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Kingdom theology — is a system of Christian thought based on the various teachings on the kingdom of God found throughout the New Testament, which speak of the coming of the kingdom of God as a future event in some places, but in other places as an ongoing or even… …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of David — was a part of the Empire Series of history documentaries for the PBS television network produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting in joint venture with Red Hill Productions of Los Angeles, California.The documentary chronicles the story of how the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of Nri — Anieze Nrị ← 948–1911 …   Wikipedia

  • Kingdom of God — Kingdom King dom, n. [AS. cyningd[=o]m. See 2d {King}, and { dom}.] 1. The rank, quality, state, or attributes of a king; royal authority; sovereign power; rule; dominion; monarchy. [1913 Webster] Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Ps. cxiv.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kingdom Come (comics) — Kingdom Come Cover to the Absolute Kingdom Come hardcover edition (2006). Art by Alex Ross. Publication information Publisher DC Comics …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.