What skills are important in biblical studies


Divine justice is achieved when everyone gets what they need.

Justice with God is more than just a balanced law. It's about all creatures getting their rights. It does not matter, for example, that those who do more get more. It's about the goodness of God. It's radical, it doesn't make a difference. With God, for example, it does not matter whether you come first and work a lot or whether you are the last and work less than the others. That is the punch line of the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt 20: 1–16): Everyone gets as much as they need. That everyone gets as much as they need is the condition for peace and a feature of God's kingdom.

In order for God's righteousness to come true, God gives commandments to people and makes a covenant with the people of Israel, so the Old Testament tells. That God does not break his covenant even though people break his commandments is a sign of his righteousness that goes beyond a human measure (Ps 7:18; Ps 40:11; Ps 71: 16-19). The Bible also tells of desperation that God's righteousness will not prevail. In the book Preacher, the writer is resigned. He states: There is God's righteousness, but it cannot be seen “under the sun”. Job, whose fate is reported in an entire book in the Old Testament, has the experience that he strives for God, but it is not worth it. Finally, in the Gospel of Matthew, it becomes clear that people sorely miss righteousness in the world. In the so-called Beatitudes, Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they are to be satisfied. "(Mt 5,6)

The righteousness of which the Bible speaks is a righteousness that God creates and that becomes a reality in his kingdom. Since the kingdom of God is not yet complete, righteousness can only be seen as a process. Paul makes this clear: righteousness is not a quality of God, but an act of God that makes people righteous. Faith gives people access to this action of God. Faith is also the only condition for righteousness to become a reality. Paul quotes the prophet Habakkuk: "The righteous will live by faith" (Rom 1:17)

By faith man can do justice to other people. It is not about being just before God or being loved by God, but about the fact that man knows that God has made himself just and loved. This means that Christians trust that God will accept them as human beings and that something will be done with them. They live on the future that God has promised them: “But now that you are free from sin and have become God's servants, you have your fruit in it that you become holy; but the end is eternal life ”(Rom 6:22).

Further content and links

  • ask

    What is the Church doing for justice in the world?

    Answer: Diakonie Deutschland, as the welfare association of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), advocates justice within Germany. With "Bread for the World", the EKD has its own large aid organization that is active all over the world. "Bread for the World" fights against hunger, misery and need with numerous initiatives and programs. The relief organization particularly supports the poor in being able to lead a self-determined life. That is why "Bread for the World" ensures, among other things, that particularly disadvantaged groups such as children, young people and women have access to education. It is also a goal of the aid organization that everyone has clean drinking water and health care.

    With its programs and projects, "Bread for the World" also fights for human rights and peace in order to create the social conditions for justice. In addition to the concrete aid work of its organizations and works, the EKD participates in political debates and works on an international level, for example in the World Council of Churches as well as in the Lutheran World Federation and the Reformed World Federation. According to the EKD, the political key to justice lies in the strengthening of the United Nations and a functioning “global governance”, i.e. a commitment that goes beyond the interests of nation states and associations of states judge the G8 and G20. Civil society and non-governmental organizations need to be more closely involved in global decisions.

    What is the Church doing about the growing inequality between rich and poor in Germany?

    Answer: The church is committed to fair participation. Fair participation means that not only do all people have enough to live in material terms, but that all people are also involved in life and in shaping society and are recognized. The biblical basis for this is the image that the body of Christ has many members and that every person has distinctive gifts and abilities.

    In contemporary society, the Church sees the particular need to strengthen the social security systems that ensure that poor people first have money for food, a roof over their heads and access to health care. Furthermore, the Church sees improving education for poor and disadvantaged people as the key to increasing their chances in the labor market. Finally, the church is working on a socio-economic model to change life in society in the long term. Above all, those who have benefited from economic and social developments up to now have to take on responsibility. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is working with the German Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church, for example, to develop such a model. This is how ten ecumenical theses arose that call on people in Germany to take responsibility for a just society together.

    The ten theses

    1. Shared responsibility means putting economic growth at the service of people.
    2. Shared responsibility means sustainably developing the social market economy.
    3. Shared responsibility means renewing regulatory and ethical standards for the economy.
    4. Shared responsibility means consolidating public finances.
    5. Shared responsibility means anchoring ecological sustainability in lifestyles and business styles.
    6. Shared responsibility means distributing the social burdens associated with demographic change fairly.
    7. Shared responsibility means contributing to equal opportunities through inclusion and participation.
    8. Shared responsibility means enabling broad participation in gainful employment as an important expression of social participation.
    9. Shared responsibility means promoting personal development and social and economic progress through education.
    10. Shared responsibility means helping to shape a European community of solidarity and responsibility.

    In its commitment to justice in society, however, the EKD is clearly aware of one aspect: poor people often find no place in church life, in church services and in church parishes. The church is primarily a place for the well-to-do, where poor people are marginalized in many different ways: for example through a certain "middle-class" habitus and the intellectual demands of the sermons. The distance between the various social classes is also reflected in the parishes. It can happen that Christians in their congregations let poor people feel through pejorative looks and gestures that they are not welcome. That is why the EKD keeps its own claim in mind: “A church that renounces the demand for justice, whose members do not exercise mercy and which no longer opens up to the poor or even denies them opportunities to participate, is - in all sorts of ways external success and recognition in society - not the Church of Jesus Christ. "

  • discussion

    When the United Nations passed the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" on December 10, 1948, it was a milestone on the way to respect for the dignity and freedom of people around the world. Human rights demand much of what the Christian churches stand for. It is all the more astonishing that it took the churches a long time to participate in the political enforcement process of human rights. There were historical reasons for this: wherever work on the conception of human rights was carried out on a political level, the "Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen" of the French Revolution of 1789 stood in the background. Since the French Revolution also and especially turned against the churches, this initially made all human rights drafts for the churches suspect.

    But the two world wars led to a rethink in the churches: They recognized that even the Christian faith cannot prevent people from causing terrible suffering to one another. After the Second World War there was a willingness to look beyond the Christian faith for alliances in order to ensure peace and justice in the world. Today the major churches and the World Council of Churches are among the greatest supporters and promoters of human rights. Initially, her focus was on the enforcement of the right to religious freedom, but later on the commitment to social rights was added. Human rights take up an important foundation of the Christian faith, which was significantly shaped by the theologian Augustine, who lived in the fourth century and said: Because human beings were created in the image of God, every human being has a special dignity.

  • Left

    Video on Justice:
    For a future in solidarity and justice, word of the Council of the EKD and the German Bishops' Conference on the economic and social situation in Germany:
    Topic page "Justice" on reformiert.de:
    "Bread for the World" website:
    Lexicon article on God's righteousness:
    Lexicon article on equity in education:

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