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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I mentioned ,,Heilsgeschichte" (salvation history) in my sermon last Sunday. I thought I'd flesh out the concept a bit more, since I utilize it often in sermons.

I don't know a whole lot about the historical background of the concept. The basic premise I've seen is that the the term was used in Old Testament studies in the 1950s as a theological principle, reading Scripture as the story of God’s redeeming acts in history. That's a fairly decent understanding of the term, but I suspect there is more historical background, and I intend to do more research on it.

I found a website that had a few paragraphs on Heilsgeschichte, and I translated them from the original German. Here is a paragraph that gives a brief summary of the principle. It is from


,,The salvation history covers the Christian faith, and is centered (,,fullness of the time” Gal. 4.4; Eph. 1.10) spatially in the Roman province of Judea and temporally in the first decades of the Christian era in the life and deeds, the crucifixion and resurrection, of Jesus of Nazareth. The creation story of the Bible with the fall into sin are regarded as the announcement and preparation of salvation history, especially the story of Israel from Abraham to Moses (Exodus), David, the Prophets until the Babylonian Exile, and the rebuilding of the temple. The history of Christ is regarded as the ,,last time” or ,,end time,” for the gospel comes to all people until the number who are saved is fulfilled and the Christian Messiah Jesus Christ will come again in glory (Messiah, final judgment, eschatology, apocalypse)" (Geistige Nahrung).

More to follow ...

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