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Sacrifice - Sacrifice of Christ

(1,812 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
Part of Sacrifice: 1. Concept of Sacrifice 2. Substitution (Representation) 3. Sacrifice of Christ 1. That Christ redeemed us through a sacrifice is most explicitly attested in the NT in the Letter to the Hebrews. Here its cultic sense is characterized as an expiatory sacrifice, as also appears from the description of the life and death of Christ as obedience to the Father and from the fact that Christ gave his life for the sins of men. In the other parts of the NT the sacrifice of Christ appears in the sayin…


(1,612 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
Etymologically, “martyrdom” means much more than “suffering death for the faith”, a restricted sense which the word came to have very early, not indeed in the NT, but attested in the account of the martyrdom of Polycarp, c. 150. In the NT it means giving testimony, but in words, by preaching, and not that of being killed in odium fidei. It is revealing for the nature of the Christian faith that a word which in general(though not exclusively) meant testimony came to be used in christianity for that given by suffering death for the Christian faith, while …


(1,072 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
1. The reality denoted by the term mediator is of central importance for the Christian faith. The ОТ people of God was aware that its relation to God passed through intermediaries. The form of mediation changed in the course of history, assuming different forms in the patriarchs, national leaders such as Moses, Joshua, judges and kings, prophets and levitical priesthood. Religious mediatorship received its, fullest expression in the incarnate Son of God; the faith of the NT people of God is therefore essentially a religion of the mediator. Mediatorship denotes a position and the fu…

Ecclesiastical Office - Office and Charism

(1,724 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
Part of Ecclesiastical Office: 1. In Canon Law 2. Office and Charism It is not seldom that one finds, in the explanation of the nature of the Church, that office and charism are set one against the other. Those in official positions can interpret their task in so rigid a fashion as to take up a more or less uncomprehending attitude with regard to charisms. Likewise, it is not seldom that charismatics are tempted to see in the officials of the Church their born enemies. It has occasionally been put forward o…

Sacrifice - Concept of Sacrifice

(2,023 words)

Author(s): Otto Semmelroth
Part of Sacrifice: 1. Concept of Sacrifice 2. Substitution (Representation) 3. Sacrifice of Christ In the technical sense, sacrifice designates the attitude of man before God. The significance is twofold. Sacrifice is the expression of man’s duty of total dedication to God, but it is only possible with regard to God. And again, sacrifice makes the special relationship of man to God visible in a way which excludes any one-sided humanization or secularization of the notion of God. While it is true that sacrific…