Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 6)
The exegesis of the Gospel texts often follows unspokenly the so-called canonical exegesis,
which Ratzinger presents as exemplary, but which also largely determines the interpretation in theology: The individual text is shortened in the sense of the Gospel as a whole and beyond that of the New Testament canon.
In the spirit of Werner Kelber’s approach, however, the interpretation in historical research should be opened to a broad interpretation, to different ways of understanding, first to the question of what message has the individual pericopes, what image of Jesus conveyed them.
Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 5)
Werner H. Kelber has written a remarkable essay
(Der historische Jesus. Bedenken zur gegenwärtigen Diskussion aus der Perspektive mittelalterlicher, moderner und postmoderner Hermeneutik, in Jens Schröter and Ralph Brucker, Der historische Jesus, 2002, pp. 15-66) pointed out that the interpretation range of biblical texts has narrowed since the Middle Ages and in modern times by the fourfold sense of writing on the literal sense and further on to the historical sense of the texts.
Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 4)
I therefore plead for the separation of Jesus research and faith in Christ.
The patronizing of historical research on early Christianity by the Church should cease, as should the definition of today’s Christian identity by the accidental and repeatedly revising results of historical Jesus research.
Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 3)
On the other hand, the Church cannot depend on the coincidental results of historical science.
The cultural identity of Christians is based on the universal Christian and denominational traditions to which the churches, with their religious and ethical heritage, are committed and which they must carefully adapt to the ever-present situation. It would be wrong if the Jesushistorians wanted to act as the new masters of the Christian faith.
Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 2)
I see Benedict/ Ratzinger and the historical Jesus research, which he does not negate, but only makes selective use of, on the same path that reason wants to use as a precursor to faith.
The path of the Enlightenment, the path of modern science, however, is the rigorous separation of reason, the science of religious patronage. This also results in the autonomy of religion and faith.
The separation of reason and faith, between religion and science, which was fought for in the Enlightenment, the Jesus researcher wants to reverse, and in doing so they fall into the trap into which Scholasticism with its proofs of God had already fallen.
Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued)
My theses may take some getting used to, so here are some preliminary remarks:
The failure of research into the life of Jesus, pluralism, arbitrariness and the lack of consensus in the published images of Jesus are widely deplored. It is not only Martin Kähler, Luke Johnson and Klaus Wengst who criticize historical Jesus research and demand the return to the biblical Christ of faith.
The representatives of the Life Jesus research up to the 3rd Quest, from Albert Schweitzer to John D. Crossan also see the results critically. The attempt to combine historical reason and Christian faith in Jesus research to promote faith must be regarded as failed.
Request for comments …, my cover letter of March 12, 2018
Dear lady, dear sir,
… The figure of Jesus is still an unsolved mystery and an exciting task for New Testament Science.
I have tried to carry out the project of the historical Jesus as a historical project, a scientific, reason-based project that serves scientifically objective and neutral in value to search for the historical beginnings of Christianity. In particular, my aim is to make the emergence of the Christian religion plausibly understandable to sceptical Christians and those who are far from the church.
Is ecclesial research on Jesus and the Bible a science?
To answer this question, I published the 280 theses of my blog at the beginning of 2018 in German and English as a book and sent them in book form to more than 150 theologians, mainly New Testamentists, in Germany, Europe and North America with the request for a statement. I will publish my cover letter and the answers of the theologians in the blog.