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Chapter Summary

The popularization of the term 'eschatology' by Johannes Weiss and Albert Schweitzer with reference to the end of time, history and the cosmos has resulted in a general restriction of the term to national and cosmic expectation alone in the jargon of Biblical research. One of the most significant aspects of the progress of Biblical research during the first six decades of the twentieth century has been the gradual recognition of the significance which eschatology had in the origin of the Christian faith and in its subsequent early theological and historical development. In early Christianity, the rite of Baptism was universally regarded as the indispensable means of incorporating the individual believer into the Christian community. The ethical norms of early Christianity were largely a heritage from Judaism, and consequently had a communal rather than an individual orientation.

Keywords: baptism; biblical research; early Christianity; Judaism; realized eschatology



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