THE POSITION OF THE SUBJECT AT THE CLOSE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
|November 7, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter eighteen||
THE POSITION OF THE SUBJECT AT THE CLOSE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Oskar Holtzman. Das Leben Jesu. Tübingen, 1901. 417 pp.
Das Messianitätsbewusstsein Jesu und seine neueste Bestreitung. Vortrag. (The Messianic Consciousness of Jesus and the most recent denial of it. A Lecture.) 1902. 26 pp. (Against Wrede.)
War Jesus Ekstatiker? (Was Jesus an ecstatic?) Tübingen, 1903. 139 pp.
Paul Wilhelm Schmidt. Die Geschichte Jesu. (The History of Jesus.) Freiburg, 1899. 175 pp. (4th impression.)
Die Geschichte Jesu. Erläutert. Mit drei Karten von Prot. K. Furrer (Zürich). (The History of Jesus. Preliminary Discussions. With three maps by Prof. K. Furrer of Zurich.) Tübingen, 1904. 414 pp.
Otto Schmiedel. Die Hauptprobleme der Leben-Jesu-Forschung. (The main Problems in the Study of the Life of Jesus.) Tübingen, 1902. 71 pp. 2nd ed., 1906.
Hermann Freiherr von Soden. Die wichtigsten Fragen im Leben Jesu. (The most important Questions about the Life of Jesus.) Vacation Lectures. Berlin, 1904. 111 pp.
Gustav Frenssen. Hilligenlei. Berlin, 1905. pp. 462-593: “Die Handschrift.” (“The Manuscript”—in which a Life of Jesus, written by one of the characters of the story, is given in full.) 518
Otto Pfleiderer. Das Urchristentum, seine Schriften und Lehren in geschichtlichem Zusammenhang beschrieben. (Primitive Christianity. Its Documents and Doctrines in their Historical Context.) 2nd ed. Berlin, 1902. Vol. i., 696 pp.
Die Entstehung des Urchristentums. (How Primitive Christianity arose.) Munich, 1905. 255 pp.
Albert Kalthoff. Das Christus-Problem. Grundlinien zu einer Sozialtheologie. (The Christ-problem. The Ground-plan of a Social Theology.) Leipzig, 1902.
Die Entstehung des Christentums. Neue Beiträge zum Christus-Problem. (How Christianity arose. New contributions to the Christ-problem.) Leipzig, 155 pp.
Eduard von Hartmann. Das Christentum des Neuen Testaments. (The Christianity of the New Testament.) 2nd revised edition of “Letters on the Christian Religion.” Sachsa-in-the-Harz, 1905. pp. 295
De Jonge. Jeschua. Der klassische jüdische Mann. Zerstörung des kirchlichen, Enthüllung des jüdischen Jesus-Bildes. Berlin, 1904. 112 pp. (Jeshua. The Classical Jewish Man. In which the Jewish picture of Jesus is unveiled, and the ecclesiastical picture destroyed.)
Wolfgang Kirchbach. Was lehrte Jesus? Zwei Urevangelien. (What was the teaching of Jesus? Two Primitive Gospels.) Berlin, 1897. 248 pp. 2nd revised and greatly enlarged edition, 1902, 339 pp.
Albert Dulk. Der Irrgang des Lebens Jesu. In geschichtlicher Auifassung dar- gestellt. (The Error of the Life of Jesus. An Historical View.) 1st part, 1884, 395 pp.; 2nd part, 1885, 302 pp.
Paul de Régla. Jesus von Nazareth. German by A. Just. Leipzig, 1894.
Ernest Bosc. La Vie ésotérique de Jésus de Nazareth et les origines orientales da christianisme. (The secret Life of Jesus of Nazareth, and the Oriental Origins of Christianity.) Paris, 1902.
THE IDEAL LIFE OF JESUS AT THE CLOSE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY is the Life which Heinrich Julius Holtzmann did not write—but which can be pieced together from his commentary on the Synoptic Gospels and his New Testament Theology. It is ideal because, for one thing, it is unwritten, and arises only in the idea of the reader by the aid of his own imagination, and, for another, because it is traced only in the most general outline. What Holtzmann gives us is a sketch of the public ministry, a critical examination of details, and a full account of the teaching of Jesus. He provides, therefore, the plan and the prepared building material, so that any one can carry out the construction in his own way and on his own responsibility. The cement and the mortar are not provided by Holtzmann; every one must decide for himself how he will combine the teaching and the life, and arrange the details within each.
We may recall the fact that Weisse, too, the other founder of the Marcan hypothesis, avoided writing a Life of Jesus, because the difficulty of of fitting the details into the ground-plan appeared to him so great, not to say insuperable. It is just this modesty which constitutes his greatness and Holtzmann’s. Thus the Marcan hypothesis ends, as it had begun, with a certain historical scepticism.
The subordinates, it is true, do not allow themselves to be disturbed by the change of attitude at head-quarters. They keep busily at work. That is their right, and therein consists their significance. By keeping on trying to take the positions, and constantly failing, they furnish a practical proof that the plan of operations worked out by the general staff is not capable of being carried out, and show why it is so, and what kind of new tactics will have to be evolved.
 Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, Handkommentar. Die Synoptiker. 1st ed., 1889; 2nd ed., 1901. Lehrbuch der neutestamentlichen Theologie, 1896, vol. i.
 In the Catholic Church the study of the Life of Jesus has remained down to the present day entirely free from scepticism. The reason of that is, that in principle it hasremained at a pre-Straussian standpoint, and does not venture upon an unreserved spplication of historical considerations either to the miracle question or to the Johannine question, and naturally therefore resigns the attempt to take count of and explain the great historical problems.
We may name the following Lives of Jesus produced by German Catholic writers:—
Joh. Nep. Sepp, Das Leben Jesu Christi. Regensburg, 1843-1846. 7 vols., 2nd ed., 1853-1862.
Peter Schegg, Sechs Bücher des Lebens Jesu. (The Life of Jesus in Six Books.) Freiburg, 1874-1875. c. 1200 pp.
Joseph Grimm, Das Leben Jesu. Würzburg, 2nd ed., 1890-1903. 6 vols.
Richard von Kralik, Jesu Leben und Werk. Kempten-Nürnberg, 1904. 481 pp.
W. Capitaine, Jesus von Nazareth. Regensburg, 1905. 192 pp.
How narrow are ihe limits within which the Catholic study of the life of Jesus moves even when it aims at scientific treatment, is illustrated by Hermann Schell’s Christus (Mainz, 1903. 152 pp.). After reading the forty-two questions with which he introduces his narrative one might suppose that the author was well aware of the bearing of all the historical problems of the life of Jesus, and intended to supply an answer to them. Instead of doing so, however, he adopts as the work proceeds more and more the rôle of an apologist, not facing definitely either the miracle question or the Johannine question, but gliding over the difficulties by the aid of ingenious headings, so that in the end his book almost takes the form of an explanatory text to the eighty-nine illustrations which adorn the book and make it difficult to read.
In France, Renan’s work gave the incentive to an extensive Catholic “Life-of-Jesus” literature. We may name the following:—
Louis Veuillot, La Vie de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Paris, 1864. 509 pp. German by Waldeyer. Köln-Neuss, 1864. 573 pp.
H. Wallon, Vie de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Paris, 1865. 355 pp.
A work which met with a particularly favourable reception was that of Père Didon, the Dominican, Jésus-Christ, Paris, 1891, 2 vols., vol. i. 483 pp., Vol. ii. 469 pp. The German translation is dated 1895.
In the same year there appeared a new edition of the “Bitter Sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (see above, p. 109 f.) by Katharina Emmerich; the cheap popular edition of the translation of Renan’s “Life of Jesus”; and the eighth edition of Strauss’s “Life of Jesus for the German People.”
We may quote from the ecclesiastical Approbation printed at the beginning of Didon’s Life of Jesus. “If the author sometimes seems to speak the language of his opponents, it is at once evident that he has aimed at defeating them on their own ground, and he is particularly successful in doing so when he confronts their irreligious a priori theories with the positive arguments of history.”
As a matter of fact the work is skilfully written, but without a spark of understanding of the historical questions.
All honour to Alfred Loisy! (Le Quatrième Évangile, Paris, 1903, 960 pp.), who takes a clear view on the Johannine question, and denies the existence of a Johannine historical tradition. But what that means for the Catholic camp may be recognised from the excitement produced by the book and its express condemnation. See also the same writer’s L’Évangile et l’ Église (German translation, Munich, 1904 189 pp.), in which Loisy here and there makes good historical points against Harnack’s “What is Christianity?”
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