204

If one presents a text to the theologians for examination, then they do not ask whether the text is conclusive in itself, perhaps contains new ideas that could advance science.

Sea lion babies, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989
Sea lion babies, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989

No, they only ask how the new text relates to the school opinion of the theological direction to which they belong. Conformity is required, dissenters are punished with the end of their career. My theses have already failed once.

 

Now it starts: The deviator and everything foreign that contradicts the Christian truth to be preserved are mercilessly beaten up. Of course, while maintaining good manners! A holy wrath seizes the letter writer, one literally sees the devil personally, who hides under the cloak of scientific arguments and who has to be fled with the inkwell.

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203

The replies of the theologians show a uniform scheme:

Sea Lioness, Baby, North Seymor, Galapagos August 1989
Sea Lioness, Baby, North Seymor, Galapagos August 1989

Since theology sees itself as the keeper and defender of eternal truths, anything new can only be an attack on these eternal truths and therefore only wrong. To see a new view on old problems as enrichment does not belong to the categories in which theologians think. Curiosity for the new, for the unknown, which distinguishes the scientist, is completely frowned upon in theology.

 

It is always only a question of not letting the old truths appear as shopkeepers. The old truths should rather be presented in a saleable packaging, which can then be entirely new. That is the business of theology.

202

Professors as publicly appointed academic teachers should not only represent their subject competently,

Sea lion, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989
Sea lion, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989

but should also know the advantages and problems of their subject and be able to discuss them in public.

 

Of the many professors I wrote to, only a few had the courage and took the trouble to answer at all. I was very happy about the letters and would like to thank them very much.

 

The content of the answers, however, showed me that the authors could probably train pastors and religious teachers for church service.

 

But they fail when it comes to representing the Christian faith argumentatively in a public, non-church and atheistic environment.

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201

Answer to the Professors (continued)

Sea lions, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989
Sea lions, Rápida, Galapagos August 1989

When I questioned a Jewish empire in the 10th century B.C. with many good arguments in 1997 with the study “The Historical David”, hardly anyone was interested. When Finkelstein and Silbermann did the same four years later (“The Bible Unearthed”, 2001), the idea met with much approval.

 

Even though my study was not a success at that time, my concept later proved to be correct.

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200

Of the many professors I wrote to, only a few had the courage and took the trouble to answer at all. I was very happy about the letters, I would like to express my gratitude for them.

Snake (non-toxic), Rápida, Galapagos August 1989
Snake (non-toxic), Rápida, Galapagos August 1989

But, my professors: I was very surprised and annoyed by the arrogance with which most of you treated me. Am I then a student in the 1st semester? My year of birth was on the back of my study!

 

I started my theology studies in 1968 and since then I have not stopped thinking through the problems of Jesus and Bible research. Many of you were not even born then! In my Bible there is also something about respect for old age, not in yours?

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199

Is the ecclesiastical study of Jesus and the Bible a modern science or just scholasticism, i.e. a school science that serves to defend certain ideas and institutions?

Lava Lizard, Bartolomé, Galapagos August 1989
Lava Lizard, Bartolomé, Galapagos August 1989

I sent the 280 theses of my blog as a book (in German and in English) to more than 150 theologians. The answers were published in the blog.

 

There were some short friendly responses. Most of the letters were written in the typical pastoral tone that characterizes theological speech.

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198

Request comments … – the answers

Professor Dr. Klaus Wengst, Bochum, on 6 August 2018

Lava Lizard, Fernandina, Galapagos August 1989
Lava Lizard, Fernandina, Galapagos August 1989

For technical reasons you can find the english translation of the following text via the “Google Übersetzer” on the german blog: https://bibel-blog.com/2019/02/11/198/

 

Sehr geehrter Herr Neumann,

… Nun habe ich endlich Ihr Jesusbuch zur Hand genommen. Ich gestehe ohne Umschweife, dass mir Ihr Anschreiben und Ihr Vorwort, die mich beide Respekt vor Ihrem eigenständigen Weg haben lassen, bei Weitem besser gefallen als Ihre Thesen.

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