Steadily my laptop or “smart” telephone autocorrects Themelios to Themeless. The latter would make a moderately unlucky identify for a global journal of theology! On this editorial, I’ll replicate on the journal’s identify, its historical past, and my hopes for its future contribution. We actually wouldn’t need Themelios to change into “theme-less.”
1. The Journal’s Title
The journal’s identify transliterates the Greek time period θεμέλιος, which is often rendered “foundation” in its fifteen NT occurrences. θεμέλιος refers back to the basis on which a constructing rests. Jesus highlights the utter folly of setting up a home with no basis (Luke 6:49)—a warning to those that would hear his phrases and never heed them. Likewise, he urges would-be disciples to rely the fee lest their lives resemble an deserted development venture with a basis however no tower on it (Luke 14:27–30). Paul stresses that the church is “God’s building” established on the safe basis of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:9–11). The apostle identifies Jewish and Gentile believers collectively as “members of the household of God, built on the foundation [ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ] of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:19–21).
2. The Journal’s Historical past
The Worldwide Fellowship of Evangelical College students first printed the journal Themelios in October 1962. The preliminary quantity featured articles by Howard Marshall, Donald Guthrie, Leon Morris, Francis Schaeffer, and others, in addition to a superb exposition of Ephesians 2:20 by the Irish missionary theologian R. J. McKelvey. McKelvey causes that Isaiah 28:16 lies behind the NT authors’ figurative references to Christ because the “cornerstone” and “foundation” laid in Zion. Because the cornerstone (ἀκρογωνιαῖος), Christ not solely helps the superstructure of God’s home but additionally serves to unify it as it’s constructed (συναρμολογέω in Eph 2:21). McKelvey argues that the troublesome phrase “the foundation of the apostles and prophets” refers back to the twelve apostles and the OT prophets as the muse on whom membership within the church rests for Gentile and Jewish believers alike.