Jewish-Christianity subsequently painted it over with the colours of Jewish eschatology
|November 16, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter fifteen||
Weiffenbach’s work, “Jesus’ Conception of His Second Coming,” published in 1873, sums up the results of the previous discussions of the saliect. He names as among those who ascribe the expectation of the Parousia, in the sensuous form in which it meets us in the documents, to a misunderstanding of the teaching of Jesus on the part of the disciples and the writers who were dependent upon them-Schleiermaeher, Bleek, Holtzmann, Schenkel, Colani, Baur, Hase, and Meyer. Among those who maintained that the Parousia formed an integral part of Jesus’ teaching, he cites Keim, Weizsäcker, Strauss, and Renan. He considers that the readiest way to advance the discussion will be by undertaking a critical review of the attempt to analyse the great Synoptic discourse about the future in which Colani had led the way.
The question of the Parousia is like, Weiffenbach suggests, a vessel which has become firmly wedged between rocks. Any attempt to get it afloat again will be useless until a new channel is found for it. His detailed discussions are devoted to endeavouring to discover the relation between the declarations regarding the Second Coming and the predictions of the Passion. In the course of his analysis of the great prophetic discourse he rejects the suggestion made by Weisse in his Evangelienfrage of 1856, that the eschatological character of the discourse results from the way in which it is put together; that while the sayings in their present mosaic-like combination certainly have a reference to the last things, each of them individually in its original context might well bear a natural sense. In Colani’s hypothesis of conflation the suggestion was to be rejected that it was not “Ur-Markus,” but the author of the Synoptic apocalypse who was responsible for the working in of the “Little Apocalypse.” It was an unsatisfactory feature of Weizsäcker’s position that he insisted on regarding the “Littel Apocalypse” as Jewish, not Jewish-Christian; Pfleiderer had distinguished sharply what belongs to the Evangelist from the “Little Apocalypse,” and had sought to prove that the purpose of the Evangelist in thus breaking up the latter and working it into a discourse of Jesus was to tone down the eschatological hopes expressed in the discourse, because they had remained unfulfilled even at the fall of Jerusalem, and to retard the rapid development of the apocalyptic process by inserting between its successive phases passages from a different discourse. Weiffenbach carries this series of tentative suggestions to its logical conclusion, advancing the view that the link of connexion between the Jewish-Christian Apocalypse and the Gospel material in which it is imbedded is the thought of the Second Coming. This was the thought which gave the impulse from without towards the transmutation of Jewish into Jewish-Christian eschatology. Jesus must have given expression to the thought of His near return; and Jewish-Christianity subsequently painted it over with the colours of Jewish eschatology.
 Wilhelm Weiffenbach, Director of the Seminary for Theological Students at Freidherg, was born in 1842 at Bornheim in Rhenish Hesse.
 The English reader will find a constructive analysis of what is known as the “Little Apocalypse” in Encyclopaedia Biblica, art. “Gospels,” col. 1857. It consists of the verses Matt. xxiv. 6-8, 15-22, 29-31, 34, corresponding to Mark xiii. 7-9ff, 14-20, 24-27, 30. According to the theory first sketched by Colani these verses formed an independent Apocalypse which was embedded ia the Gospel by the Evangelist—F. C. B.
 Untersuchungen über die Evangelische Geschichte, 1864, pp. 121-126.
 “Über die Komposition der eschatologischen Rede Matt. xxiv. 4 ff.” (The Composition of the Eschatological Discourse in Matt. xxiv. 4 ff.), Jahrbuch f.d. Theol. vol. xiii., 1868, pp. 134-149.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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