For Holtzmann, Schenkel, and Weizsäcker, as for Weisse, Jesus desires “to found an inward kingdom of repentance.”
|November 16, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter fourteen||
The points of distinction between the Weissian and the new interpretation are as follows: —Weisse is sceptical as regards the detail; the new Marcan hypothesis ventures to base conclusions even upon incidental remarks in the text. According to Weisse there were not distinct periods of success and failure in the ministry of Jesus; the new Marcan hypothesis confidently affirms this distinction, and goes so far as to place the sojourn of Jesus in the parts beyond Galilee under the heading “Flights and Retirements.” The earlier Marcan hypothesis expressly denies that outward circumstances influenced the resolve of Jesus to die; according to the later, it was the opposition of the people, and the impossibility of carrying out His mission on other lines which forced Him to enter on the path of suffering. The Jesus of Weisse’s view has completed His development at the time of His appearance; the Jesus of the new interpretation of Mark continues to develop in the course of His public ministry.
There is complete agreement, however, in the rejection of eschatology. For Holtzmann, Schenkel, and Weizsäcker, as for Weisse, Jesus desires “to found an inward kingdom of repentance.” It was Israel’s duty, according to Schenkel, to believe in the presence of the Kingdom which Jesus proclaimed. John the Baptist was unable to believe in it, and it was for this reason that Jesus censured him—for it is in this sense that Schenkel understands the saying about the greatest among those born of women who is nevertheless the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. “So near the light and yet shutting his eyes to its beams—is there not some blame here, an undeniable lack of spiritual and moral receptivity?”
Jesus makes Messianic claims only in a spiritual sense. He does not grasp at super-human glory; it is His purpose to bear the sin of the whole people, and He undergoes baptism “as a humble member of the national community.”
His whole teaching consists, when once He Himself has attained to clear consciousness of His vocation, in a constant struggle to root out from the hearts of His disciples their theocratic hopes and to effect a transformation of their traditional Messianic ideas. When, on Simon’s hailing Him as the Messiah, He declares that flesh and blood has not revealed it to him, He means, according to Schenkel, “that Simon has at this moment overcome the false Messianic ideas, and has recognised in Him the ethical and spiritual deliverer of Israel.”
“That Jesus predicted a personal, bodily, Second Coming in the brightness of His heavenly splendour and surrounded by the heavenly hosts, to establish an earthly kingdom, is not only not proved, it is absolutely impossible.” His purpose is to establish a community of which His disciples are to be the foundation, and by means of this community to bring about the coming of the Kingdom of God. He can, therefore only have spoken of His return as an impersonal return in the Spirit. The later exponents of the Marcan view were no doubt generally inclined to regard the return as personal and corporeal. For Schenkel however, it is historically certain that the real meaning of the eschatological discourses is more faithfully preserved in the Fourth Gospel than in the Synoptics.
 Holtzmann, Kommentar zu den Synoptikern, 1889, p. 184. The form of the expression (Fluchtwege und Reisen) is derived from Keim.
 “Thus the course of Jesus’ life hastened forward to its tragic close, a close which was foreseen and predicted by Jesus Himself with evergrowing clearness as the sole possible close, but also that which alone was worthy of Himself, and which was necessary as being foreseen and predetermined in the counsel of God. The hatred of the Pharisees and the indifference of the people left from the first no other prospect open. That hatred could not but be called forth in the fullest measure by the ruthless severity with which Jesus exposed all that it was and implied—a heart in which there was no room for love, a morality inwardly riddled with decay, an outward show of virtue, a hypocritical arrogance. Between two such unyielding opponents—a man who, to all appearance, aimed at using the Messianic expectations of the people for his own ends, and a hierarchy as tenacious of its claims and as sensitive to their infringement as any that has ever existed—it was certain that the breach must soon become irreparable. It was easy to foresee, too, that even in Galilee only a minority of the people would dare to face with Him the danger of such a breach. There was only one thing that could have averted the death sentence which had been early determined upon—a series of vigorous, unambiguous demonstrations on the part of the people. In order to provoke such demonstrations Jesus would have needed, if only for the moment, to take into His service the popular, powerful, inflammatory Messianic ideas, or rather, would have needed to place Himself at their service. His refusal to enter, by so much as a single step, upon this course, which from any ordinary point of view of human policy would have been legitimate, because the only practicable one, was the sole sufficient and all-explaining cause of His destruction.”—Holtzmann, Die synoptischen Evangelien, 1863, pp. 485, 486.
 “Ein innerliches Reich der Sinnesänderung.” “Sinnesänderung” corresponds more exactly than “repentance” to the Greek ???????? (change of mind, change of attitude), but the phrase is no less elliptical in German than in English. The meaning is doubtless “kingdom based upon repentance, consisting of those who have fulfilled this condition.”
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
|Also in print from Barnes and Noble
As an E-book at: