The ancient historians and the classical philologists would have many important things to say about the biblical themes, b
but the canon of subjects of the universities prevents them from dealing scientifically with biblical themes.
Without the quarrel with dissenters, theology has atrophied. What great insights has it provided in the last hundred years in which the other sciences have been successful?
Theology still clings to the biblical fairy tale of the great kingdom of David, to the source separation in the Pentateuch of the 19th century and to the supernatural miracles of Jesus! If this is to be science, then good night.
Theology is not a science, only scholasticism, because it does not endure radical criticism, it dies as science of oxygen deficiency.
“Science dies of oxygen deficiency without a fight.” (Christian Benne, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 September 2018).
I would like to make one thing clear here:
I am not important.
My theses are not important.
But Jesus’ message of reconciliation is important.
This message of Jesus is great, it is a great cultural heritage of mankind.
Jesus’ message of reconciliation does not deserve to atrophy in the ivory towers of the theologians as a museum exhibit. In contrast to some theology professors, the Jesus message does not have to fear the rough wind of critical science, the critical inquiries of the opponents of Christianity.
I very much regret that theologians do not show the sovereignty
in dealing with fundamental criticism of theology and church that is otherwise characteristic of them as university teachers.
There are many highly learned men and women among them with whom I would like to talk shop about God and the world. But with “God” and “Jesus” their friendship ends. There they know no pardon, no Christian grace, only hard church reasons.
In his book “Die Geburt der modernen Wissenschaft in Europa” (German, Munich 1997),
the well-known Italian historian of science Paolo Rossi compared scholasticism and modern science with early modern times. The medieval scholastic method is strongly reminiscent of the way theology works today, as manifested in its letters of reply.
Rossi writes (p. 19): “Modern science resembles the exploration of a new continent, medieval science the persistent exploration of problems according to codified rules.“
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.
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.
The replies of the theologians show a uniform scheme:
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.
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.
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.
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?