Titius, in his work on the New Testament doctrine of blessedness, develops the teaching of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God as a present good.
|November 8, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter sixteen||
The effect which Baldensperger and Weiss had upon Weiffenbach was to cause him to bring out in full strength the apologetic aspect which had been somewhat held in check in his work of 1873 by the thoroughness of his exegesis. The apocalyptic of this younger school, which was no longer willing to believe that in the mouth of Jesus the Parousia meant nothing more than an issuing from death clothed with power, is on all grounds to be rejected. It assumes, since this expectation was not fulfilled, an error on the part of Jesus. It is better to rest content with not being able to see quite clearly.
Protected by a similar armour, the successive editions of Bernhard Weiss’s Life of Jesus went their way unmolested down to 1902. Not with an apologetic purpose, but on the basis of an original religious view, Titius, in his work on the New Testament doctrine of blessedness, develops the teaching of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God as a present good.
In the same year, 1895, appeared E. Haupt’s work on “The Eschatological Sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels.” In contradistinction to Bousset he takes as his starting-point the eschatological passages, examining each separately and modulating them back to the Johannine key. It is so delicately and ingeniously done that the reading of the book is an aesthetic pleasure which makes one in the end quits forget the apologetic motif in order to surrender oneself completely to the author’s mystical system of religious thought.
It is, indeed, not the least service of the eschatological school that it compels modern theology, which is so much preoccupied with history, to reveal what is its own as its own. Eschatology makes it impossible to attribute modern ideas to Jesus and then by way of “New Testament Theology” take them back from Him as a loan, as even Ritschl not so long ago did with such naïvete. Johannes Weiss, in cutting himself loose, as an historian, from Ritschi, and recognising that “the real roots of Ritschl’s ideas are to be found in Kant and the illuminist theology,” introduced the last decisive phase of the process of separation between historical and “modern” theology. Before the advent of eschatology, critical theology was, in the last resort, without a principle of discrimination, since it possessed no reagent capable of infallibly separating out modern ideas on the one hand and genuinely ancient New Testament ideas on the other. The application of the criterion has now begun. What will be the issue, the future alone can show.
But even now we can recognise that the separation was not only of advantage to historical theology; for modern theology, the manifestation of the modern spirit as it really is, was still more important. Only when it became conscious of its own inmost essence and of its right to exist, only when it freed itself from its illegitimate historical justification, which, leaping over the centuries, appealed directly to an historical exposition of the New Testament, only then could it unfold its full wealth of ideas, which had been hitherto root-bound by a false historicity. It was not by chance that in Bousset’s reply a certain affirmation of life, something expressive of the genius of Protestantism, cries aloud as never before in any theological work of this generation, or that in Haupt’s work German mysticism interweaves its mysterious harmonies with the Johannine motif. The contribution of Protestantism to the interpretation of the world had never been made so manifest in any work prior to Weiss’s. The modern spirit is here breaking in wreaths of foam upon the sharp cliffs of the rock-bound eschatological world-view of Jesus. To put it more prosaically, modern theology is at last about to become sincere. But this is so far only a prophecy of the future.
 W. Weiffenbach, Die Frage der Wiederkunft Jesu. (The Question concerning the Second Coming of Jesus.) Friedberg, 1901.
 A. Titius, Die neutestamentliche Lehre von der Seligkeit und ihre Bedeumng für die Gegenwart. I. Teil: Jesu Lehre vom Reich Gottes. (The New Testament Doctrine of Blessedness and its Significance for the Present. Pt. I., Jesus’ doctrine of the Kingdom of God.) Arthur Titius, now Professor at Kiel, was born in 1864 at Sensburg.
 Die eschatologischen Aussagen lesu in den synoptischen Evangelien, 167 pp Erich Haupt, now Professor in Halle, was born in 1841 at Stralsund.
 Cf. the preface to the 2nd ed. of Job. Weiss‘s Die Predigt Jesu vom Reiche Gottes. Göttingen, 1900.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
|Also in print from Barnes and Noble
As an E-book at: