Original Research

Die vier Nicaanse merktekens van die kerk as rigtingwysers in ‘n ekklesiologiese diskoers

M. Etienne Schalekamp, Ben J. de Klerk
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 46, No 2 | a104 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v46i2.104 | © 2012 M. Etienne Schalekamp, Ben J. de Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 July 2012 | Published: 26 November 2012

About the author(s)

M. Etienne Schalekamp, Department of Practical Theology, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa
Ben J. de Klerk, Department of Practical Theology, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

Abstract

Die ondersoek het rondom die vier begrippe in die Geloofsbelydenis van Nicea gesentreer, naamlik eenheid, heiligheid, katolisiteit en apostolisiteit. Die vraag wat nagegaan was, is of hierdie vier merktekens kan dien as riglyne in ’n ekklesiologiese  diskoers. In die artikel was eerstens aandag gegee aan die Belydenis van Nicea oor die  merktekens van die kerk, daarna was nagevors of die vier merktekens reeds in beginsel in die brief  aan die Efesiërs gevind kan word, en laastens is die merktekens kursories openbarings-histories getoets volgens die briewe aan die sewe gemeentes in Openbaring. Die bevindings  wat gemaak is kom op die volgende neer: die kerk in die eerste eeue, volgens die  merktekens van die kerk, het sy identiteit vanuit haar oorsprong missionêr geïdentifiseer en daarom  was die merktekens in hulle gerigtheid op die aktiwiteit (taak) van die kerk steeds  missionêr, om uitdrukking te gee aan die missionêre identiteit van die kerk. Die vier merktekens van  die kerk, naamlik eenheid, heiligheid, katolisiteit en apostolisiteit, behoort steeds bepalend vir  die kerk se missionêrekklesiologiese identiteit te wees.

The four marks of the church in the Confession of Nicea as guidelines in an ecclesiological discours. The research centred around the four concepts in the Confession of Nicea namely unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity. The question investigated was whether these four marks could serve as guidelines for an ecclesiological discourse. In this article attention was firstly paid to the Confession of Nicea about the marks of the church, next it was looked into whether these marks could in principle be traced in the letter to the Ephesians. Lastly, the the marks were tested in a revelation-historically, cursory manner and in accordance with the letters to the seven congregations in Revelations. The conclusions reached amounted to the following: during the earliest centuries and/or ages the church identified, in accordance with the marks of the church, its identity as being missionary. That is why the marks in their alignment to the activities of the church, are still missionary, to give expression to the missionary identity of the church. The four marks of the church namely unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity should still be determining the missionary ecclesiological identity of the church.

Keywords

Marks; Confession of Nicea; Unity; Holiness; Catholicity; Apostolicity; Letter to the Ephesians

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