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Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven

KINGDOM OF GOD, OF HEAVEN (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, τῶν οὐρανῶν). The sovereign activity of God as king in saving men and overcoming evil, and the new order which is thus established.


I. The kingship of God in OT teaching

Although the idea of the kingdom of God finds its main expression in the teaching of Jesus, it is a theme which is found throughout the Bible, and the teaching of Jesus can be understood only against the background of earlier thought. In the OT the actual word “kingdom” is infrequent; the basic notion is of the active rule of Yahweh as King over the whole world. This is developed in three ways.

II. The kingship of god in Jewish thought

During the period between the composition of the bulk of the OT and the coming of Jesus, Jewish thought about the character of God’s rule did not stand still, and it continued to develop for a long period afterward. One may trace its growth in the apocalyptic writings some of them dating from the 1st cent. b.c. and the 1st cent. a.d., and in the rabbinic writings, which are of a much later date but contain the teaching ascribed to rabbis of the same period. Many different influences affected Jewish thought at this time, and there were several different schools of thought, often with highly individual points of view, so that it is impossible to present a system of beliefs generally held by all Jews or even to give a fully coherent account of the various shades of opinion which were held and of their historical development. The sources available are scanty and often imperfectly preserved; they present such problems of dating and interpretation that scholars are by no means unanimous in the conclusions which they draw from the evidence.

A. The eternal sovereignty of God. As in the OT the concept of the eternal kingship of God over the world, established at creation, forms the background of Jewish theology. It is found in the apocalyptic writings (e.g. 1 Enoch 9:4.; 84:2f.; Pss Sol 2:33-36; 17:4; 1QSb 4:25f.), but is esp. prominent in the rabbinic lit. (SBK I, 172-178). God’s kingly power was regarded as being exercised primarily over Israel, the nation which recognized Him as its king in contrast to the pagan peoples of the world (Pss Sol 5:21f.; 17:51). Consequently it was the duty of the individual Jew to accept God’s rule over him, as Abraham had done (Jub 12:19). The phrase frequently used for this act is “to take upon oneself the yoke of God’s rule.” For all practical purposes this meant acceptance of His will as revealed in detail in the law of Moses. Since this law was expressed succinctly in the Shema, it could be said that to recite the Shema was to take the yoke upon oneself. The saying of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you” (Matt 11:28-30), bears such a close relationship to this manner of speaking that He must have been echoing Jewish teaching (SBK I, 172-178).

B. The establishment of God’s future reign. The center of Jewish theological interest, however, lay not so much in the idea that God was now king, as in the expectation of His future activity, in setting up His rule visibly and powerfully among men. Within the gospels there is ample proof of the mood of expect-ancy which filled the people quite apart from any stimulus to their enthusiasm supplied by Jesus Himself. The raison d’etre of the apocalyptic writings was their claim to supply information on precisely this topic by reinterpreting the OT prophecies and assuring the people that they were about to be fulfilled (e.g. Pss Sol 17-18; As Moses 10; Sib Oracles 3:46-50, 767-771). The Qumran community is the most notable example of a group of Jews who based their behavior on the hope that God would soon come in kingly power to lead them to victory over their oppressors (1QM 6:6; 12:7; the interpretation of 1QSb 3:5 is uncertain). A number of Jewish prayers, dating in whole or in part from the NT period, contain the same hope. The Qaddish prayer is the best known: “May He set up His sovereignty in your lifetime, and in your days, and in the lifetime of the whole house of Israel, speedily and in a time that is near.”

The form and content of this hope are greatly varied. In the earlier Ap. Lit. the expectation was of an earthly rule of God, centered on Jerusalem with a rebuilt temple, and involving the defeat and destruction of Israel’s enemies and judgment upon the ungodly. The righteous dead would be raised up to share in the bliss of the new age, and the people would live in peace and righteousness. They would be under the rule and protection of God. Sometimes He is thought of as ruling Himself directly over the people (1 Enoch 6-36; 91-104; As Moses 10; Jub), at other times the Messiah is His agent (1 Enoch 90; Test XII Pat; Sib Oracles 3:652-784; Pss Sol 17-18; 4 Ezra 7:28f.; 2 Baruch 39; Targum on Gen 49:10f.). Modern writers tend to call this era the messianic kingdom, whether or not the ancient writers explicitly refer to the Messiah. In some sources, however, the idea of the kingdom took on a more heavenly and transcendent character; there would be a renewal of the creation and the establishment of communication between heaven and earth (As Moses 10; 1 Enoch 104). In 1 Enoch 37-71 the Son of man, a heavenly figure, takes over the place and functions of the earthly, Davidic Messiah. The practice arose of referring to the messianic era as “the age to come” in contrast with the preceding “present age.” Probably many Jews were unconscious of any incompatibility between the this-worldly, strongly nationalistic hope of the messianic kingdom and the more transcendent, cosmic hopes which were beginning to arise, although some thinkers began to separate the two concepts. The messianic age was regarded as a temporary, earthly prelude to the heavenly kingdom of God from which it was separated by the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. The term “the age to come” was reserved for this eternal, heavenly kingdom of God. That this development goes back to the 1st cent. a.d. is shown by its occurrence in 4 Ezra 7:27ff. and 2 Baruch 40, possibly also in 1 Enoch 104. (The date of 2 Enoch is too uncertain for its evidence to be used with any confidence.) As far as the rabbinic material is concerned, most of it is of later date, but there is evidence that during the 1st cent. a.d. the rabbis accepted a scheme similar to that in 4 Ezra with a temporary messianic kingdom preceding the final, eternal state of heavenly bliss (the age to come). Later developments of rabbinic terminology and thought may here be ignored. (For the interpretation given above see esp. SBK I, 178-180; IV 2, 799-976.)

C. Kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven. In the Aram. Targums (paraphrases of the OT text) the phrase “the kingdom of God” was used to tr. OT expressions about God reigning. The way in which the phrase is used shows clearly that it expresses God’s activity in ruling rather than the area or realm over which He rules, although of course the latter meaning is not excluded. In the rabbinic lit. outside the Targums the phrase used was “the kingdom of heaven.” The two phrases are undoubtedly synonymous. The adoption of the latter was due to that same Jewish reverence for the name of God and consequent avoidance of uttering it which led to the substitution of “Lord” for the name “Yahweh” at the same time.

It is difficult to be certain which form of the phrase Jesus used. Mark, Luke and John use “the kingdom of God” in every case, but Matthew has the form “the kingdom of heaven” thirty-two times and “the kingdom of God” only four times (Matt 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43). Either Matthew has corrected the phrase used by Jesus in accordance with Jewish use, or the other gospels have substituted the phrase that would be more intelligible to Gentiles. In any case, there is no difference in meaning between the two phrases; the distinctions drawn between them in The Scofield Reference Bible (note on Matt 6:33) are unfounded.

The phrase “the age to come” (1 Enoch 71:15; Pirke Aboth 2:7; 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch passim) is rare in the gospels (Matt 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; 20:35). Whereas the rabbis used the phrase “the kingdom of heaven” only sparingly to refer to the new era and preferred to describe the awaited blessings of God’s rule by the phrase “the age to come,” Jesus preferred to use the term “the kingdom of God” to express the content of His message about God’s future promise of salvation for His people.

III. The kingship of God in the teaching of Jesus

A. The centrality of the theme. The word “kingdom” is found fifty-five times in Matthew, twenty times in Mark, forty-six times in Luke and five times in John. When allowance is made for the use of the word to refer to secular kingdoms and for parallel VSS of the same sayings of Jesus, the phrase “the kingdom of God” and equivalent expressions (e.g. “kingdom of heaven,” “his kingdom”) occurs about eighty times. The word “king” is used also of Jesus with considerable frequency but only rarely with reference to God (Matt 5:35; cf. 18:23; 22:2). The verb “to rule” is rare (Luke 1:33; cf. 19:14, 27).

B. The nature of God’s kingship

This way of putting the matter indicates that by the kingdom of God Jesus meant the kingly action of God at the end of the age rather than the present, eternal rule of God in heaven, for it would be strange to say that the latter was at hand. Certainly Jesus did speak of the eternal kingship of God (Matt 25:34f.), for it is upon the fact of His present rule that the hope of His future action depends.

What did Jesus mean by saying that the kingdom was “at hand”? The Gr. word ἤγγικεν may legitimately be tr. “is near” or “has arrived.” Did Jesus mean that at the time when He spoke the kingly action of God was about to take place or was already taking place? On purely linguistic grounds a decision is difficult, though the balance of probability favors the former interpretation. The problem must be solved by considering the whole teaching of Jesus.

The result of intense discussion during recent years has been to show that neither theory can stand on its own. Each can be defended only at the cost of explaining away, often by very dubious methods, the evidence for the other. The Weiss-Schweitzer theory paid a one-sided attention to the sayings about the future coming of the kingdom and ignored the sayings to which Dodd later drew attention. Dodd for his part was quite unconvincing in his attempts to interpret the future sayings in line with his view that the kingdom had already come. The most careful study of the evidence to date, that by W. G. Kümmel, has shown that Jesus spoke both of the presence and of the future coming of the kingdom.

Once this polarity or dualism has been recognized, the problem is to explain it. (a) R. Bultmann and his followers have stressed the primacy of the future elements in the teaching of Jesus, but have then reinterpreted His sayings in existential categories in such a manner that the concept of a real future coming of the kingdom has been effectively denied. (b) Kümmel’s own solution was to restrict the presence of the kingdom to its presence in Jesus; in His own person the future consummation already had come, but apart from His presence the kingdom is not present and its coming lies in the future. (c) Others, taking their cue from Mark 9:1, have distinguished between the coming of the kingdom in Jesus’ ministry and its future coming in power (e. g. A. M. Hunter), or between the veiled revelation of the kingdom in the ministry of Jesus and its open manifestation at the end of time (e. g. C. E. B. Cranfield), or between the partial and provisional manner of its manifestation in the ministry of Jesus and its future full manifestation (e. g. H. Ridderbos). There are elements of truth in all these various attempts at elucidation, and they may be combined with each other (as several scholars do combine them), but (d) perhaps the most satisfactory statement of the matter is that suggested independently by R. Schnackenburg and G. E. Ladd who distinguish between the fulfillment and the consummation of the OT promise of the kingdom. “For Jesus, the kingdom of God was the dynamic rule of God which had invaded history in his own person and mission to bring men in the present age the blessings of the messianic age, and which would manifest itself yet again at the end of the age to bring this messianic salvation to its consummation” (G. E. Ladd, op cit., 303). By this terminology the reality of the coming of the kingdom in the ministry of Jesus is safeguarded.

It is prob. wasted labor to attempt to show that one aspect or the other of the coming of the kingdom had the greater significance for Jesus. Although the actual number of sayings referring explicitly to the future coming is greater, it remains true that the teaching about the presence of the kingdom was esp. distinctive of Jesus and contained new ideas about its nature. The truth is that the two aspects were not rigidly separated by Him. The future coming was near because God had begun to act; the present time was full of significance because God already was bringing His final gift of salvation to men.

2. The presence of the kingdom. It is necessary to examine more closely both aspects of Jesus’ message about the kingdom. The evidence in the gospels is fully consonant with the usage of the rabbinic lit. in that the phrase “the kingdom of God” refers primarily to the action of God who follows out His sovereign will toward mankind. This means that the kingdom of God never means an action undertaken by men or a realm which they set up. However noble may be the idea of laboring to establish the kingdom of God, the Biblical terminology is completely inconsistent with the language of modern liberal theology. The kingdom is a divine act, not a human accomplishment nor even the accomplishment of dedicated Christians.

At the same time, however, although the idea of action is primary, the word “kingdom” also means the realm set up by God and the benefits which are associated with it. Men may enter the kingdom (Luke 16:16; cf. Matt 11:12) or receive it as a gift (Luke 12:32).

The deeds of Jesus are, therefore, to be seen as signs of the coming and the presence of the kingdom. They are part of the message (cf. Matt 4:23). They do not simply show the power of God—hence there is no hard and fast division to be made between the miraculous and non-miraculous deeds of Jesus—but rather the kind of power that He displays. The kingdom of God is characterized by grace (Matt 20:1-16) and a compassion that is mighty to help the unfortunate and the outcast.

In these various ways the “mystery” or secret of the kingdom is revealed (Matt 13:10-17; cf. Mark 4:10-12; cf. Luke 8:9f.). The content of the mystery is that God is at work in the ministry of Jesus for the salvation of men before the time comes for judgment and the opportunity for repentance is past. Although the mysterious working of God in this completely unexpected manner was no secret to the disciples (yet even they did not completely comprehend it), it remained hidden from many men; they remained wilfully blind to what God was doing in Jesus and refused to seek out the message concealed in the parables. They could not believe that God was working in Jesus, and so the secret remained hidden from them.

From what has been said, it will be apparent that the message of the kingdom is a message of salvation rather than a message about God in Himself. Jesus said very little about God reigning or acting as king, and He associated the term “kingdom” much more with the blessings that it brought to men. He preferred to think of God not so much in terms of kingship as of fatherhood, and part of His message was the new filial relationship with God which men could enjoy in the kingdom (Matt 6:9f.; cf. Luke 11:2; Luke 12:32; 22:29; cf. Matt 18:3).

The closest connection exists between the presence of the kingdom in the ministry of Jesus and its future consummation. If the presence of the kingdom is closely associated with the person of Jesus (see III B 4), its future coming is associated with the coming of the Son of man. It is true that the connection is not explicitly made in the texts, but it is impossible not to believe that the two events formed part of one single eschatological hope.

The question of the imminence of the future kingdom has been the subject of much discussion. Against the contention of many scholars that Jesus expected its arrivel immediately after His death, W. G. Kümmel has shown that He certainly envisaged an interval between His death and its arrival. During this time the disciples were to preach the Gospel to all the nations (Matt 24:14). Jesus spoke of founding His Church, to which He entrusted the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:18f.). The problem of whether the interval expected by Jesus was as long as it is turning out to be is part of the general question of eschatology in the gospels, and is discussed elsewhere.

4. Jesus and the kingdom. How was Jesus Himself related to the kingdom? Was He simply the herald of its coming like John the Baptist, or was it more closely linked to His person?

Earlier discussion has shown that Jesus brought the kingdom of God to men by His teaching and His mighty deeds. The point to be emphasized now is that they were His words and deeds or those of men sent out by Him. It was through Him that God had chosen to work. He was conscious that a new era had begun: the kingdom was pushing its way forward among men and being proclaimed as good news (Matt 11:12; cf. Luke 16:16).

Furthermore, although Jesus was extremely reticent on the matter in His public teaching, He knew Himself to be the One who perfectly fulfilled the roles of the Messiah and the Son of man. In other words, He was conscious of being the key figure associated with the coming of the kingdom (for the Son of man exercising kingly functions, see Dan 7:13f.; 1 Enoch 69:26-29).

Jesus did not directly link the coming of the kingdom with His death upon the cross. Already before His death, the kingdom of God was present. Nevertheless, the connection is there, and the cross is to be regarded as one of the key stages in the coming of the kingdom. It’s probable that the coming of the kingdom “with power” (Mark 9:1) is to be connected with the events made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The discussion of places of honor in the kingdom (Mark 10:35-45) is closely linked with the thought of the sacrificial death of Jesus; it is only by the way of suffering that the Son of man may enter into His glory. The same thought recurs in Mark 14:25 (cf. Luke 22:16, 18) where Jesus stated that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God had come. These sayings show that Jesus was aware that the kingdom could not fully come except by His death, but they do not fully express the nature of a relationship which could become evident to His disciples only after His death and resurrection.

All this evidence shows that the kingdom is inextricably linked with Jesus Himself. One may well agree with Marcion, who said, “In the Gospel the kingdom of God is Christ Himself,” and with Origen who described Jesus as being “Himself the kingdom” (αὐτοβασιλεία). It must be carefully observed that, since the kingdom of God is primarily God’s action, it is not the person of Jesus in separation from His deeds which constitutes the presence of the kingdom but rather the activity of Jesus in coming into the world from God and in exercising God’s power in bringing salvation and judgment to men.

C. The response of men

1. Entry to the kingdom. The preaching of Jesus about the kingdom demanded a response from men. They were to repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:15). They were to make the seeking of the kingdom their foremost concern in life (Matt 6:33; cf. Luke 12:31). Those who took these steps were promised that here and now in this life they might receive the kingdom and its blessings (Luke 12:32).

Jesus also spoke of entering the kingdom in the future tense, in the same way as that in which He spoke of receiving eternal life or being saved or having a share in the age to come (Mark 10:17, 25f.; 30). These various phrases all signified entry into the everlasting, heavenly kingdom of God. The “conditions” for entry included willingness to become humble and receptive like little children (Matt 18:3f.), and readiness to endure persecution and sacrifice (Matt 5:10; 19:12; Luke 9:60, 62). It would, however, be wrong to think of these as “conditions” in the normal sense, as standards of fitness which men must attain to enable them to qualify for entrance. The ministry of Jesus affords ample proof that entry to the kingdom depends solely upon the grace of God and that this grace comes to the undeserving and sinful. As stated above (III B 4), the primary response which Jesus sought from men was discipleship, the willingness to trust Him and commit their life to Him. We should, therefore, regard these “conditions” as the characteristics of men who are humbly receptive to the grace of God and prepared to make any effort to receive it.

In laying down this way of entry into the kingdom, Jesus was denying entry to any Jews who thought that the kingdom rightfully belonged to them and failed to show the evidence of true discipleship and humble trust in God (Matt 8:11f.; cf. Luke 13:28f.; Matt 21:31, 43; cf. 23:13). The kingdom was no longer to be the exclusive property of the Jews, but was now open to the Gentiles. Although, however, the Jews as a nation had largely misused their opportunities (Matt 23:13), the revelation of God in the OT was still a true means of knowing His will. A Jew who correctly understood the spiritual message of the OT was told by Jesus that he was not far from the kingdom (Mark 12:34); the one thing necessary was that he should accept the Messiah promised in the OT and become a disciple (cf. Mark 10:21).

2. The ethics of the kingdom. To acknowledge the kingship of God implies the acceptance of the kind of behavior which He prescribes. It means submission to the concrete demands of the king (Matt 5:19) and the production of a character more righteous than that of such men as the Pharisees and scribes (5:20; cf. 13:43). There must be a resolute determination to overcome temptation (Mark 9:47) and a willingness to extend to others the forgiveness which God gives to His people (Matt 18:23ff.). The scribe who recognized the primacy of heart love for God and for his neighbor over external sacrifices was declared to be not far from the kingdom (Mark 12:34).

Weiss and Schweitzer erred in thinking that this ethic of Jesus was teaching conditioned purely by the imminent approach of the end of the world, a set of stringent rules to be observed in a time of crisis but unsuitable for ordinary, everyday life. But it is not the nearness of a crisis which determines the content of Jesus’ ethic but rather the nearness of God; and what is demanded is not something that can be fulfilled only by men who are keyed up by the expectation of imminent crisis, but is rather the unchanging requirement of God from His people. The ethic comes with new force in the context of the preaching of the kingdom, and it is expressed more radically than was possible in the legal code of the Pentateuch, but it remains the same ethic as that which is found in the OT.

Once again one must beware of thinking that the ethic is a “condition” of entry to the kingdom, as if God were laying down certain qualities of character as the entrance requirements. Jesus’ message was the Gospel of grace, and the ethic expresses the response which men should make to the Gospel. It is the way of life for those who have already accepted the rule of God and experienced its blessings and who now look forward to the consummation of His rule.

3. The kingdom and the church. Although the word “church” was rare on Jesus’ lips, the idea of the church was certainly present in His teaching. The church is simply the company of those who accept the kingly rule of God and find themselves bound together by their common allegiance to God and His Son. During His ministry Jesus placed before men the need to commit themselves to Him in discipleship, and this group of disciples must be regarded as the church in embryo. Within this larger company the Twelve occupied a special place. To them, and in particular to Peter, Jesus entrusted the keys of the kingdom, i.e. the authority to preach the Gospel of the kingdom and to admit men to it (Matt 16:18f.; cf. 18:17f.). This was their mission during His lifetime, and He commanded them to carry it on after His death.

The Church, therefore, is not to be identified with the kingdom. It is rather part of the manifestation of the kingdom in the world, for it is the company of those who accept the message of the kingdom, own Jesus as their Lord and Master, and act as His agents in continuing to proclaim the Gospel of the kingdom.

4. The kingdom and the world. Although the old tr. of Luke 17:21, “the kingdom of God is within you” (KJV, ASV) is fairly certainly to be rejected, it remains true that the kingship of God is fundamentally a spiritual matter. His kingdom is not to be put on a level with earthly kingdoms (John 18:36), and entrance to it is possible only as a result of spiritual rebirth (3:3, 5). Nevertheless, the stage on which it is manifested is this world, and one day the forces of evil which control this world will finally yield to it. Although it is a spiritual realm and the natural man may be blind to its presence, those who accept God’s rule enjoy an earnest of heavenly blessing here and now in this world, and find themselves required to take up a definite attitude to the “powers that be” which may be arrayed in opposition to it. The kingdom may be said to spread in the world as men accept the rule of God personally, and even as the people of the world are moved to higher principles and more ethical behavior as a result of its working. There is, however, nothing in the teaching of Jesus to suggest that the world is necessarily going to become better or that eventually all men will accept the kingship of God. On the contrary, the establishment of the kingdom at the advent of the Son of man takes place only after the persecution of the disciples and amid the indifference of men.

IV. The kingship of God in the Early Church

C. Other writers. The rest of the NT does not contribute much to the development of the theme. The Epistle to the Hebrews shares the common NT belief that Jesus now reigns as king, employing the language of Psalm 45:6 to express its confession of His divine kingship (Heb 1:8). It also exhorts and encourages its readers with the thought that they possess a kingdom that cannot be shaken; with God as their king, it is implied, nothing should worry them, for the kingdom to which they belong will survive the fate of the perishable world (12:28).

In the Epistle of James there is mention of the future blessings associated with the kingdom of God which are promised to the poor (James 2:5). The thought of James is close to that of the gospel beatitudes, and elsewhere James speaks of the royal law which is promulgated by the king in the command to love one’s neighbor as oneself (James 2:8).

The First Epistle of Peter speaks once of believers as a royal priesthood, thus combining the thoughts of their privilege of reigning and their duty of service (1 Pet 2:9), and the Second Epistle of Peter stresses that men must live in such a way that they will gain entry to the eternal kingdom of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet 1:11).

In the Early Church the concept of the kingdom of God was used, as in the teaching of Jesus, for the future triumphal reign of God. The Church expressed the present era of salvation in other ways, but it did not altogether give up Jesus’ manner of speaking about the presence of the kingdom, for it taught that He is now the exalted Lord and King to whom men must submit. At His Second Coming He will be displayed openly as king, and in the end God the Father will be seen to be all in all when the Son hands over sovereignty to Him. In this life believers share in the blessings of His reign, just as the disciples did during the earthly ministry of Jesus, and they look forward to the consummation of their hopes in the coming kingdom of God and of His Son. See Heaven.

Bibliography Note that in the above article questions regarding the authenticity of sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels have not been discussed, not because they are unimportant, but because an adequate discussion would have seriously exceeded the limits of the article. The reader is, therefore, referred to the bibliography for such discussion.

J. Weiss, Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (1892; Eng. tr. 1971); G. Dalman, The Words of Jesus (Eng. tr., 1909); SBK I, 172-184; IV 2, 799-976; W. Bousset and H. Gressmann, Die Religion des Judentums im Späthellenistischen Zeitalter (1926, 4th ed. 1966); T. W. Manson, The Teaching of Jesus (1931, 2nd ed. 1935); C. H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom (1935, 2nd ed., 1961); A. M. Hunter, The Work and Words of Jesus (1950); W. G. Kümmel, Promise and Fulfilment (Eng. tr., 1957); C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel according to St Mark (CGT) (1959, 2nd ed., 1963); H. Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom (1962); G. Lundstrom, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus (1963); N. Perrin, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus (1963); Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus (1967); R. Schnackenburg, God’s Rule and Kingdom (Eng. Tr., 1963); D. S. Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic (1964); K. L. Schmidt (and others) in TDNT I (1964), 564-593; G. E. Ladd, Jesus and the Kingdom (1966); S. E. Johnson, The Theology of the Gospels (1966); H. Conzelmann, An Outline of the Theology of the New Testament (1969); R. H. Hiers, The Kingdom of God in the Synoptic Tradition (1970).