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From the Editors

By What Authority?

Jesus spoke as "one who had authority."

I've always been fascinated by this aspect of his teaching. And I'm not the only one. Matthew, Mark and Luke all report that people were "amazed" by the authority of Jesus' words.

What gave his words such power?

Well, I'm sure his divine identity had something to do with it. Performing miracles probably didn't hurt either. We also know that his style contrasted sharply with the Pharisees who riddled their teaching with references to rabbinical precedents. But I also imagine that his teaching had some indefinable quality, a beautiful blend of power and pathos that left even hardened Roman guards whispering, "No one ever spoke the way this man does."

What about us?

We can't claim the same authority as Jesus, but as his followers shouldn't our words possess a modicum of his authority? Shouldn't our leadership?

This issue is dedicated to the theme of pastoral authority. Tough topic, we know. Authority is a dirty word these days. To make matters worse, religious ...

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