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future dominion of believers as represented in 20 4 ,
where they live and reign with Christ 1,000 years.
Other references to this future sovereignty are
found in Ro 5 17 , 2 Ti 2 12 , and 1 Co 6*- (where they




judge the world and the very angels). But if
fia<n\eijovffiv be retained, then the standpoint of the
author is that already that sovereignty of the
saints prophesied in Un I 22 - ** has begun. The
Church, down-trodden and oppressed, is already
the dominant power in the world. St. Paul ironi-
cally congratulates the Corinthians on the assump-
tion of kingly authority (1 Co 4 8 ). Their vaunting
may have been due to a perversion of this doctrine
of the present sovereignty of the saints.

LITERATURE. The various handbooks on NT Theol. ; H.
Weinel, Die Stellung des Urchrigtentumj zum Staat, 1908 ; A.
Deissmann, LicM vom Osten, 1908.


title 'King of kings,' assumed of old by the Baby-
lonian monarchs and adopted by the Achaemenidae,
is proved by coins and inscriptions to have been
laid claim to, about the beginning of the Christian
era, by various other Oriental potentates, e.g. the
kings of Armenia, the Bosporus, and Palmyra
(A. Deissmann, Licht vom Osten, 1908, p. 265). It
had been applied by the Jews to their God (2 Mac
13 4 , 3 Mac 5 s5 ), and is combined with the appella-
tion ' Lord of lords ' (bestowed on Jahweh in Dt 10 17 ,
Ps 136 s ) to form the supreme title ' King of kings
and Lord of lords,' with which God is invested
in 1 Ti 6 15 . This heaping up of attributes has a
parallel in I 17 . It is not evident what is its precise
purpose in the context. Some would explain it as
a counterblast to Gnostic misrepresentations. H.
Weinel (Die Stellung des Urchristentums zum
Staat, 1908, pp. 22, 51), who recalls the Babylonian
origin of the title, finds some trace of the old Baby-
lonian astrology in the further course of the pas-
sage, ' who only hath immortality, dwelling in the
light which no man can approach ' (cf. Ja I 17 , ' the
Father of lights,' i.e. stars). The same lofty title
is applied in Rev 17 14 19 16 to Christ, in earnest of
the certainty of His triumph over the kings of the
earth. In view of the hostility to the Roman
Empire which breathes throughout the Book of
Revelation, and the express references in it to the
worship of the Emperor (13 8 - 15 14 9 20 4 ), it is pro-
bable that this title is deliberately assigned to
Christ in assertion of His right to that dignity and
reverence which were falsely claimed by the
Roman Emperor (see artt. KIXG and LORD).


in Synoptic Gospels. The conception of the King-
dom which occupies so large a place in the first
three Gospels finds a relatively small place in the
remaining books of the NT. In our earliest Gospel*
that of St. 'Mark the Kingdom of God is the
main topic of Christ's preaching. He began His
ministry by announcing the good news that the
Kingdom of God was at hand (I 15 ). To His disciples
was entrusted the ' secret plan ' about the Kingdom
(4 11 ). The Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly
explained that it would come like harvest after a
period of growth, i.e. it would present itself in due
time when the period of heralding its advent was
over (4 26 * 29 ). Its coming would not be long delayed,
for some who heard Christ speak would see it come
with power (9 1 ). The possession of wealth was an
impediment to entry into it; i.e. wealth hindered
men from enrolling themselves as disciples of
Christ, the coming King (10 23 ' 24 ). Elsewhere we
read not of the coming of the Kingdom, but of the
Coming of the Son of Man (so in 13 26 14 62 ). The
meaning attached to ' gospel ' in this book as the
good news of the coming Kingdom preached by
Christ is primitive, and earlier than the Pauline
use of ' gospel ' for the good news about Christ.

In the First Gospel the term is changed. We

* It does not fall within the scope of this art. to consider at
length the idea of the Kingdom in Christ's teaching.

read now of the 'kingdom of the heavens' rather than
of the Kingdom of God. But the main line of idea
is the same (see W. C. Allen, St. Matthew [ICC,
1907], pp. Ixvii-lxxi). The emphasis which is placed
in this Gospel upon the near coming of the Son of
Man to inaugurate the Kingdom (cf. 16 28 24 3<34 ,
etc.) is due largely to the Mattheean collection of
discourses used by the editor.

St. Luke returns to the phrase 'the Kingdom of
God,' and though in general outline the idea of the
Kingdom is the same as in the two prior Gospels,
there are one or two suggestions that St. Luke was
beginning to realize that a considerable period of
history might precede the coming of the Son of
Man to inaugurate the Kingdom. Jerusalem is to
be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of
the Gentiles are fulfilled (21 24 ). And there is a hint
of the idea which was soon to overshadow the
anticipation of the near approach of the Son of
Man, that in a very real sense the Kingdom was
already present (17 , 'within' or 'among you').

2. References in other NT books. References to
the Kingdom occur in St. Mark some 16 times, in
St. Matthew some 52 times, and in St. Luke about
43 times. By contrast with this the comparative
paucity of references to the Kingdom in the remain-
ing books is very striking. In the Fourth Gospel
it occurs only 5 times, and in all these passages
the conception is that of a spiritual Kingdom which
might be conceived of as now present. In Acts it
occurs 8 times, 6 of them being references to speak-
ing or preaching about the Kingdom. In the whole
of St. Paul's Epistles it occurs only 13 times, in the
Catholic Epistles only twice (Ja 2 5 , 2 P I 11 ), in
Hebrews only twice ( I 8 12 28 ), in the Apocalypse 5
times(l 6 - 9 5 10 ll 15 12 10 ).

3. References to Christ as King. Outside the
Gospels there is also a very infrequent reference to
Christ as King except in so far as this was involved
in the title ' Christ or ' anointed.' In the Gospels
such references occur almost entirely in connexion
with the events of the last few days of the Lord's
life (entry into Jerusalem, trial before Pilate).
The exceptions are Mt 2 2 (where the Magi inquire
after the one who has been born King of the Jews),
25 s4 (where the term ' king' is placed in the mouth
of Jesus as descriptive of the Son of Man sitting
upon the throne of glory), Jn I 49 (where Nathanael
addresses Him as ' King of Israel '), and 6 15 (where
it is said that the multitudes wished to make Him
a king). Nowhere in St. Paul, in the Catholic
Epistles, or in Hebrews is the term applied to
Christ. But in Ac 17 7 the accusation is made
against Christians that they acted contrary to the
decrees of Csesar, saying that there was another
king, one Jesus. Lastly, in the Apocalypse the
exalted Lamb, and the Rider on the Avhite horse,
titled 'the Word of God,' are called 'King of
kings and Lord of lords' (17 14 19 16 ; see preceding

4. Reasons for paucity of references in apostolic
literature. If we now ask why the idea of king-
ship as applied to Christ finds so little space in the
literature of the Epistles, the answer must be mani-
fold. (1) The conception of kingship found partial
expression in the terms 'Christ 'and 'Lord.' (2)
The avoidance of the term ' king ' was an obvious
precautionary measure. Ac 17 7 is significant in
this respect. The early Christian teachers had
enough difficulties to contend with without invit-
ing the accusation that they were guilty of treason
against the State. Apart from Matthew, which
was probably intended originally for circulation
amongst Jewish Christians, the only writing of.
the NT which in so many words assigns the title

' King' to Jesus is the Apocalypse, a book written
at a time when State persecution had driven the
writer to an attitude of definite hostility to the



Roman Empire, and had induced him to throw
over the cautious attitude of a previous generation
towards the State. (3) It was soon felt that the
teaching of Christ was many-sided and capable
of more than one interpretation. Roughly, there
were two ways of thinking about the Kingdom. It
might be thought of eschatologically as a Kingdom
to be founded when Christ returned. This is per-
haps the view which prevails in the NT. It is
difficult to prove this, because the passages which
speak of the Kingdom are not brought into im-
mediate connexion with those which speak of the
Second Coming of Christ. And it is therefore often
open to question whether the Kingdom referred to
is a Kingdom to be established when He comes, or
a Kingdom of which the Christian disciple feels
himself even now to be an actual member by virtue
of his relationship to God through Christ. But the
eschatological sense is probable in 1 Th 2 12 , where
St. Paul prays that his converts may walk worthily
of God, who calls them 'to his kingdom and glory,'
and in 2 Th 1 s , ' that you may be accounted worthy
of the kingdom of God, on behalf of which you
suffer.' The same may be said of 2 Ti 4 1 , 'his
appearance and his kingdom,' and 2 Ti 4 18 , 'shall
save me into his eternal kingdom.' This eschato-
logical sense appears also in 2 P I 11 , ' an entry shall
be granted unto us into the eternal kingdom of
our Lord and Saviour,' and less certainly in He 12 28 ,
'receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken.'
But the word ' kingdom ' here may perhaps rather
mean that Christians even now become members
of a spiritual kingdom which will remain unshaken
even during the final catastrophe which will cause
the dissolution of the material universe. The
passages which speak of Christians as inheriting a
kingdom may refer to the Kingdom in the eschato-
logical sense, or, less probably, to the Kingdom
conceived as present (cf. 1 Co 6 9 - 10 15 s0 , Gal 5 21 ,
Eph 5 5 , Ja 2 s ).

But the phrase ' Kingdom of God ' might also be
interpreted of the present life which Christians
now live, in so far as this is governed by obedience
to Him. The writers of the NT seem sometimes
to regard Christians as already members of the
coming Kingdom, living according to its laws, and
enjoying even now in some measure its privileges.
So St. Paul in Ro 14 17 , 'the kingdom of God is
not meat and drink, but righteousness, and joy,
and peace in the Holy Spirit,' and in 1 Co 4 20 , ' the
kingdom of God is not in word but in power.' So
too Col I 13 , ' hath translated us into the kingdom
of the Son of his love.' On the whole, this sense
seems to be not primary but derivative and con-
sequential. Just as the writer of the Hebrews
thinks of the true rest as still in the future, be-
longing to the world to come (4 9 - 10 ), and at the
same time feels that Christians in some sense
anticipate and enter into that rest even now (4 s ),
so the NT writers think of the Kingdom of God as
waiting to be manifested when Christ comes again,
and yet feel that in some sense the Christian is
even now a member of it, and that, as the number
of Christian disciples increases, the Kingdom
widens here upon earth. But in the NT this
belief is always conditioned by the certainty that
the Second (Joming of Christ is necessary to the
full manifestation of the Kingdom.

This double-sidedness of the conceptions ' king-
dom ' and ' king ' may in some measure explain
why the apostolic writers avoid them.* And it is
significant that another term which was closely
connected with the doctrine of the Second Advent
is also left unused outside the Gospels. The term
' Son of Man ' is employed in the first three Gospels
chiefly in connexion with the ideas circling round

* San day finds in St Paul's conception of 'righteousness' his
equivalent for the Gospel term ' kingdom ' (JThSt i. 481 ff.).

the thought of the Death, Resurrection, and
Second Coming of Christ. Similarly in the
Fourth Gospel it is used chiefly in passages which
speak of the lifting up or glorification of the Son
of Man. Outside the Gospels it occurs only once
in the mouth of Stephen ; here too of the glorified
state of the Messiah (Ac 7 s6 ). The remaining NT
Avriters never use it. And yet the thought of the
Coming runs like a silver thread of hope through
all their writings. They seem to have felt that
on the one hand the phrase ' Son of Man ' was too
technically Jewish for Gentile readers, and on the
other that the terms ' King' and ' Kingdom' were
open to grave misconception. -The King for whose
appearance they looked was no earthly monarch,
and His Kingdom was no rival to earthly kingdoms,
nor even in so far as it was now partially present
did it prevent men from loyal obedience to the
existing government. Hence they choose other
terms in which to clothe the Gospel hope of Christ's
return, and the state of felicity which would ensue.
St. Paul uses such terms as the following : ' to
wait for his Son from heaven' (1 Th I 10 ), 'the
parousia' of the Lord Jesus (1 Th 2 19 3 13 4 15 S 23 ),
the Lord descending from heaven (1 Th 4 16 ), 'the
day of the Lord' (1 Th 5 2 , 2 Th 2 2 , 1 Co I 8 5 5 ,
2 Co I 14 , Ph I 6 ), ' the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus
from heaven ' (2 Th I 7 ), ' waiting for the apocalypse '
(1 Co I 7 ), ' until the Lord come'(l Co 4 5 ), 'until he
come' (1 Co II 26 ), 'the day when God shall judge
. . . through Jesus Christ' (Ro 2 16 ), 'from whence
we await the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ ' (Ph
3 20 ), ' the Lord is near ' (Ph 4 5 ), ' the manifestation
of Christ ' (Col 3 4 ), ' the epiphany of our Lord Jesus
Christ' (1 Ti 6 14 ), 'the epiphany of our Saviour
Jesus Christ ' (Tit 2 W ).

In the Catholic Epistles we have : ' the Parousia
of the Lord is at hand ' ( Ja 5 8 ), ' the apocalypse of
Jesus Christ' (1 P I 13 ), 'when the chief Shepherd
is manifested' (1 P 5 4 ), 'the day of the Lord'
(2 P 3 10 ), the manifestation of Christ (1 Jn 3 2 ) ; in
Hebrews : ' he that cometh will come, and will not
tarry' (10 37 ); and in the Apocalypse, the many
references to the Coming of Christ, beginning
with I 7 .*

By thus expressing the Christian hope in terms
of expectation of the Return of Christ, and by
substituting for ' King ' and ' Son of Man ' such
terms as 'Lord,' 'Saviour," Chief Shepherd,' the
apostolic writers were able to avoid suspicion of
political propaganda, and to give to the thought
of the Second Coming a far wider significance than
any which they could have suggested by laying
too much emphasis upon the future as the estab-
lishment of a Kingdom, however much they might
have attempted to give to this term a spiritual
and non-material connotation. For, after all,
Christ is and will be more than king, and ' king-
dom ' does not go very far in expressing the con-
ditions of the life with Him for which Christians

5. Apostolic conception of the Kingdom. If we
now ask what ideas the writers of the Apostolic
Age attached to the term ' Kingdom of God ' or
' of Christ,' the answer must be that for them as in
the teaching of Christ in the Gospels it is a term
to symbolize the inexpressible that is to say, the
future blessedness of the redeemed, t The Anointed
King had risen from the dead, and was seated at
the right hand of God. His reign had therefore
begun. Why then did they not conceive of His
Kingdom as a heavenly one into which -His
followers were admitted at death? Mainly, no
doubt, because of the teaching, ascribed to Christ

* On the unique feature of the Apocalypse the thousand
years' reign of Christ upon earth see A. Robertson, Regnum
Dei, p. 113.

t ' It .connotes, with infinite richness of meaning, all that is
implied in the word " Salvation "' (Robertson, op. cit. p. 50).



Himself, that He would return to gather together
His elect. Partly, too, because of the common
apocalyptic teaching that before the inauguration
of the Messianic Kingdom there must be the final
act in the present world-order, the general resur-
rection, final judgment, and transformation of this
world to fit it to be the arena of the heavenly
Kingdom. Thus the Kingdom was in being, but
it awaited its manifestation. The King was
crowned, His subjects could serve Him. But
however close the union between Him and them,
there was a sense in which they were now absent
from the Lord, and awaited His coming. The
Kingdom would be fully manifested only when He
came. Meanwhile the Kingdom could be spoken
of as a present reality rather because the Christian
could be transported by faith into the presence of
the King than because he brought (by his Christian
life) the Kingdom down into this present world.

There is hardly any trace in the Epistles of the
mediaeval idea that the Church on earth was the
Kingdom of God. And the idea of some modern
theological writers, that this world as we know it
will develop under Christian influence until it
becomes the Kingdom, is quite alien to their
thought. Indeed, the apostolic writers seemed to
regard this world as incapable of becoming the
arena of God's Kingdom. They felt that human
nature as now constituted could reach a very im-
perfect measure of Christian perfection. Limited
as we are, even Christian knowledge must be im-
perfect ; ' now we see through a mirror, in a riddle,'
cries St. Paul (1 Co 13 12 ).

There was also the problem of physical death.
So long as that remained, Christ's sovereignty
could not be fully manifested. The ultimate per-
fection which is the goal of the individual Christian
could only be dimly guessed at. ' It doth not yet
appear what we shall be, but we know that if he
shall be manifested, we shall be like him, for we
shall see him as he is ' (Un 3 2 ). And in a wonder-
ful passage St. Paul seems to express the belief
that physical nature as now known to us must
undergo some transformation at Christ's return
before it can be the scene of His Kingdom : ' we
know that the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth together in pain even until now.' ' For
the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for
the manifestation of the sons of God ' (Ro 8 19 - **).

Consequently, their anticipation for this world
was far from being a hope of gradual amelioration.
The period immediately preceding the coming of
the Kingdom would be one of evil and not of good.
Cf. 1 Th I 10 , ' the wrath to come,' 2 Th 2 1 -", in
the last day evil times shall come,' 2 Ti 3 1 , and the
Apocalypse, passim. The writer of 2 Peter stands
alone in anticipating a destruction of the present
world by fire (2 P 3 7 ). If any one of these writers
had been asked whether the Kingdom was now
present, he would have answered, No. Christ was
King, but His Kingdom would be manifested only
when He came. If he had been further asked
what that Kingdom would be, or in what relation
it would stand to this present world, he would
probably have answered that nearly all that con-
stitutes this present world would have vanished
imperfection, sin, death ; and that as to the nature
of the new world he could say but little save that
Christ would be there, and that His servants would
serve Him, and that that was enough for anyone
to know.

When modern writers ransack the records of
Christ's teaching or the other apostolic writings
for traces of the conception that the Kingdom of
God is now present in human life, it is, of course,
possible to find them. For, wherever a human
soul is in communion with the absent King, there
in some measure is the sovereignty of God exhibited

and the reign of Christ realized. But in the NT
the admission that the Kingdom is now in some
sense present, whether in the subjection of the
Christian soul to the law of Christ, or in the
Church of which He is the Head, or in the life of
God streaming down into the world through the
Spirit of Christ in the forms of righteousness and
peace, is always made on the understanding that
these foreshadowings of the Kingdom of God imply
a far more perfect realization of the Kingdom in
the future, and that when Christ comes again the
Kingdom will come in such sense that by com-
parison it will seem never to have come before.
The relation between the Kingdom now and the
Kingdom of the future is perhaps much the same
as that between the presence of Christ now and
His presence when He returns. None has ever so
fully been conscious of the life of Christ in him as
was St. Paul : ' I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me.' Yet none has ever looked forward more
earnestly, with greater expectation of living hope,
to the day of Christ's return. He could even
speak of this present life as a condition of absence
from the Lord (2 Co 5 6 ). By contrast with such
knowledge as we have of Christ now, vision of
Him when He came again would be ' face to face '
(1 Co 13 12 ).

LITERATURE. A. Robertson, Regnum Dei, London, 1901 ;
A. B. Bruce, The Kingdom of God*, Edinburgh, 1891 ; J. S.
Candlish, The Kingdom of God, do. 1884; J. Orr, art.
'Kingdom' in HDB ii. ; W. Sanday, 'St. Paul's Equivalent
lor the " Kingdom of Heaven " ' in JThSt i. [1900] 48L


KISH (e>'p,K/y), the father of Saul, called Cis in
the AV (Ac 13 a ).


KNOWLEDGE. The distinctive sense in which
the apostles speak of knowledge has reference to
the knowledge of God, and especially to the know-
ledge of God and the world through Jesus Christ.

1. The organ of knowledge. St. Paul teaches
clearly (Ro I 18 - 23 ) that, apart from any special
revelation, God has exhibited so plainly His attri-
butes of eternal power and divinity m creation
that there is given to man an instinctive knowledge
of God. There is a certain intelligence in mankind
which, apart from the power of the senses, makes
God known by the heart when He is not understood
by the reason. Indeed, men became darkened in
their understandings when they began to indulge
in reasoning, and in trying to be wise they became
fools. Thus St. Paul places the intuitive moral
consciousness as the central organ of the true
knowledge of God. When the Apostle speaks of
the means by which the Christian knowledge of
God is acquired, he develops this principle. It is
true that St. Paul admits that for the knowledge
of the facts of Christ's life he and others are in-
debted to the testimony of witnesses (1 Co 15 s ), and
that for bringing faith and knowledge the preach-
ing of the word of truth is invaluable, but he
insists pre-eminently that in all true knowledge of
God in Christ the spirit of man is directly acted
upon by the Spirit of God (1 Co 2 4 -, Eph 3 s ).

St. Paul, who excelled in logic and speculation,
cannot be regarded as unnecessarily decrying the
logical faculty or the speculative gift, and yet he
speaks of reasonings (\oyurfj.ovs) and of vaunting
speculations ('every high thing,' irav fywp.a.) as
possible strengths of the enemy that required to
be cast down, and of the need of bringing every
thought into the obedience of Christ (2 Co 10 s ).
Perhaps this attitude may have been accentuated
for the Apostle by the fact that in his own
experience so much of his knowledge should have
come directly in visions, as in the vision of Jesus,
the Exalted Christ (Ac 9 s ), in the vision of the man




of Macedonia (16 10 ), and in the vision of the third
heaven (2 Co 12 1 ).

St. John declares that all men have the organ
of spiritual vision by which God, who is light, is
revealed to them. Many refuse to exercise this
organ, and prefer to dwell in darkness, and thus
lose the power of knowing, while spiritual vision
becomes clearer and stronger by a purer and better
moral life. Those who keep the commandments
of God come to a growing knowledge (1 Jn 2 3 ), and
only those in whom love is abiding really possess
this Divine knowledge (4 7 ). Whoever persists in
sinning does not know God (3 6 ). The organ of
knowledge is spiritual and ethical, not merely
logical or speculative.

Thus both these apostles are alike in their
insistence that the organ of Divine knowledge is
to be found in this deep faculty of the soul. The
apostles would agree in the saying : ' Pectus facit
Christianum,' if not : ' Pectus facit theologum.'

2. The object of knowledge. Much of the
earliest teaching of the apostles was to demonstrate
that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ of God (Ac
2 s6 ), and the object of all their knowledge and
preaching might be summed np in the phrase of
St. Paul : ' to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ' (2 Co

Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 217 of 234)