“The Self-consciousness of Jesus in the Light of the Messianic Hopes of His Time,”
|November 16, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter fifteen||
That is all finely observed. For the first time it had dawned upon historical criticism that the great question is that concerning the identity or difference of the Parousia and the Resurrection. But the man who had been the first to grasp that thought, and who had undertaken his whole study with the special purpose of working it out, was too much under the influence of the spiritualised eschatology of Schleiermacher and Weisse to be able to assign the right values in the solution of his equation. And, withal, he is too much inclined to play the apologist as a subsidiary role. He is not content merely to render the history intelligible; he is, by his own confession, urged on by the hope that perhaps a way may be found of causing that “error” of Jesus to disappear and proving it to be an illusion due to the want of a sufficiently close study of His discourses. But the historian simply must not be an apologist; he must leave that to those who come after him and he may do so with a quiet mind, for the apologists, as we learn from the history of the Lives of Jesus, can get the better of any historical result whatever. It is, therefore, quite unnecessary that the historian should allow himself to be led astray by following an apologetic will-o’-the-wisp.
Technically regarded, the mistake on which Weiffenbach’s investigation made shipwreck was the failure to bring the Jewish apocalyptic material into relation with the Synoptic data. If he had done this, it would have been impossible for him to extract an absolutely unreal and unhistorical conception of the Second Coming out of the discourses of Jesus.
The task which Weiffenbach had neglected remained undone—to the detriment of theology—until Baldensperger repaired the omission. His book, “The Self-consciousness of Jesus in the Light of the Messianic Hopes of His Time,” published in 1888, made its impression by reason of the fullness of its material. Whereas Colani and Volkmar had still been able to deny the existence of a fully formed Messianic expectation in the time of Jesus, the genesis of the expectation was now fully traced out, and it was shown that the world of thought which meets us in Daniel had won the victory, that the “Son of Man” Messiah of the Similitudes of Enoch was the last product of the Messianic hope prior to the time of Jesus; and that therefore the fully developed Danielic scheme with its unbridgeable chasm between the present and the future world furnished the outline within which all further and more detailed traits were inserted. The honour of having effectively pioneered the way for this discovery belongs to Schürer. Baldensperger adopts his ideas, but sets them forth in a much more direct way, because he, in contrast with Schürer, gives no system of Messianic expectation-and there never in reality was a system—but is content to picture its many-sided growth.
He does not, it is true, escape some minor inconsistencies. For example, the idea of a “political Messiahship,” which is really set aside by his historical treatment, crops up here and there, as though the author had not entirely got rid of it himself. But the impression made by the book as a whole was overpowering.
 Wilhelm Baldensperger, at present Professor at Giessen, was born in 1856 at Mülhausen in Alsace.
 A new edition appeared in 1891. There is no fundamental alteration, but in consequence of the polemic against opponents who had arisen in the meantime lt is fuller. The first pan of a third edition appeared in 1903 under the title Die messianisch-apokalyptischen Hoffnungen des Judentums. See also the interesting use made of Late-Jewish and Rabbinic ideas in Altrett Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 2nd ed., London, 1884, 2 vols.
 Emil Schürer, Geschichte des judischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi. (History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ.) 2nd ed., part second, 1886, pp. 417 S. Here is to be found also a bibliography of the older literature of the subject. 3rd ed., 1889, Vol. ii. pp. 498 ff.
Emil Schürer was born at Augsburg in 1844, and from 1873 onwards was successively Professor at Leipzig, Giessen, and Kiel, and is now (1909) at Göttingen.
The latest presentment of Jewish apocalyptic is Die judische Eschatologie van Daniel bis Akiba, by Paul Volz, Pastor in Leonberg. Tübingen, 1903. 412 pp. The material is very completely given. Unfortunately the author has chosen the systematic method of treating his subject, instead of tracing the history of its development, the only right way. As a consequence Jesus and Paul occupy far too little space ln this survey of Jewish apocalyptic. For a treatment of the origin of Jewish eschatology from the point of view of the history of religion see Hugo Gressmann, now Professor at Berlin, Der Ursprung der israelitisch-jüdischen Eschatologie (The Origin of the Israelitish and Jewish Eschatology), Göttingen, 1905. 377 pp.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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