Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

School

Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, MA: New Testament

First Advisor

Laurențiu F. Moț

Second Advisor

Zoltán Szallós-Farkas

Third Advisor

Ranko Stefanovic

Abstract

Topic

The ideas of New Testament authors seem to stand in contradiction to each other: some appear to focus on justification by faith, whereas others seems to proclaim that works need to be performed in order to be saved. It is therefore very difficult to deduce relevant practical implications from the doctrine of salvation because it is often explained in a rather superficial and dissatisfactory way.

Purpose

The development of the interpretation of the doctrine of salvation is outlined in a chapter about church history. In the following chapter relevant Bible text passages in Paul, James, John, and Peter about the doctrine of salvation are examined carefully. Because the doctrine of salvation has some practical and theological consequences, the implications of it will be discussed in another chapter before coming to a final conclusion.

Sources

Throughout each period of time during church history, there appeared to be two groups of scholars and theologians who tried to convince church members of their opinion. One group tried to emphasize righteousness by faith; the other group stressed the importance of deeds (as New Testament authors appear to do also). But this study indicates that Bible authors actually wrote about the same topic from different points of view. They focused on different aspects that contribute to the whole picture. They did not contradict each other.

Conclusions

A closer study reveals no theological differences among the different writers’ points of view and approaches concerning the doctrine of salvation. Some of them tried to focus on justification and sanctification in their correct chronological order, some focused on the truthfulness of faith that presents itself through appropriate works, and others emphasized the importance of both aspects to show that they are inseparable.

Subject Area

Justification (Christian theology), Salvation--Christianity, Good works (Theology)

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