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Page 68, line 7 from top, read Mark xiii. 32 instead of Mark xiii. 14.

12 from bottom, read Ex. iv. 22 instead of Ex. xxii. 4.
74, 13 from bottom, read Matt. xi. 25 instead of Matt. xxii. 23.
94, 17 from top, read Luke xiii. 16 instead of Luke xvi. 16.
97, 8 from top, read Matt. x. 8 instead of Mark x. 8.
105, note 1, read Matt. xxii. 40 instead of Mark xxiii. 40.
116, line 2 from bottom, read Luke xvii. 3, 4 instead of Luke

xvi. 3, 4.
141, top line, read επιστρέφειν stead of επιστρέφεσθαι.

line 9 from bottom, read Matt. iv. 17 instead of Matt. iv. 12.
173, 15 from top, read Matt. xvi. 21 ff. instead of Matt. xxi. 21.
191, 8 from top, read Luke xii. 8 instead of Luke xviii. 8.
199, 2 from top, read Matt. xxvi. 64 instead of Matt. xxiv. 64.
215, 6 from bottom, read Mark xii, 24, 25 instead of Matt.

xii. 24, 25.




The following work, which has now the honour of being translated into English, and which contains the main product of many years of theological occupation with the New Testament, has met with a more favourable reception in Germany than I could have expected. Not that my anticipations that it would displease the extreme parties on right and left have been falsified; for even the moderate party now dominant in Germany, whilst regarding it with more respect, has treated it as alien to itself. All the more encouraging is that practical criticism, which consists in the eager purchase, diligent reading, and warm praise of a book by susceptible readers. This experience pleases me the more that I view New Testament theology as the source destined to rejuvenate our traditional Church and doctrinal systems, concerning the insufficiency of which our age, with all its other differences, is pretty unanimous. There are undoubtedly needs and feelings in England like our own, though, perhaps, the power of orthodox scholasticism may not be so great, and the inclination to abandon tradition and go back to the Holy Scriptures much stronger; and therefore I hail it as a new sign of the spiritual fellowship of German and English Protestantism, that my effort to promote a deeper and freer conception of the New Testament religion has met with sympathy on the other side of the Channel, and is to gain a wider sphere of influence through a careful and intelligent translation.

Biblical theology, as a science still in its infancy, is liable to more uncertainty as to what exactly are its idea and the limits of its task than any other branch of theological science. And therefore, I am not surprised that the criticisms of my book, which have hitherto appeared, have been directed mainly against that enlargement of its idea and sphere which is peculiar to my work. It is said that I have modernised to some extent the biblical views, and treated them in a manner too subjective, and in this way have made biblical theology approximate too closely to a biblical dogmatic. This impression is no doubt connected with the fact that to me the doctrinal views of the New Testament are not mere thoughts of past times, but words of eternal truth addressed to us likewise.

But I should regret if this religious attitude of mine, which in itself is surely permissible, were found not only to have shown itself in certain incidental allusions to the prevalent systems of doctrine which have no essential bearing on my task, but also to have disturbed the scientific impartiality and objectivity of my historical account.

I have as yet waited in vain for a proof of the latter, for the fact that others expound contested points of the Scriptures in another way than I do is no such proof.

The only English criticism of my book that I have seen is that of Professor Dickson in the Critical Review. He has satisfied himself with calling in question the scheme of procedure laid down as necessary for a proper treatment of my task. In spite of his great sympathy with my general theological position and his hearty recognition of my work, this critic decidedly prefers the principles on which the wellknown work of Dr. Weiss is constructed, and views the points in which my treatment departs from those principles as peculiarities which lessen the value of my treatise. We, in Germany, prize Weiss' book as the most thorough and complete collection of materials for a historical account of the New Testament religion, but no one can call it a historical account in the proper sense. Not only is the book very hard reading, but one may go through it carefully, and at the end be just as wise as he was before about the religion of the New Testament as a whole. It is undoubtedly used much more as a book of reference than as a book for reading, and there was absolute need of its being supplemented by an entirely different treatment of the subject.

In undertaking this task I have kept well in view the conditions and limitations of a historical presentation.

I am


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conscious of the wide difference between such a work as C. I. Nitzsch's System of Christian Doctrine and a biblical theology which is to treat especially of the New Testament. The work of Nitzsch is a doctrinal system of biblical dogmatic and ethics, drawn indiscriminately from the various Scripture writers; while my task is to examine the several historical accounts of the religion revealed in the New Testament, and exhibit in accordance with this, not what we have to believe, but what Jesus and His apostles believed.

But although there is no dispute about the historical character of biblical theology, yet the idea one has of the way in which history should be written, the high or low conception one forms of historical writing, is matter of importance. Even chronicles are a kind of history, but an imperfect kind, which has ceased to satisfy anyone. At the present day we demand more from history than a mere compilation of notes, carefully selected from the original sources and put in a convenient form. For this would yield no true picture, or at best only a Chinese painting without spirit or life: the actions and thoughts of old times and other nations would remain to us strange and unintelligible. We demand of history a living picture of the unfamiliar life of men in the remote past, not the digging out and exhibition of imperfect mummies, but the mental reproduction of living forms with whom we can think and feel But to this end a certain translation into our own modes of thought and expression of that which is past and unfamiliar is absolutely indispensable. We must, of course, in the first place transfer ourselves into the past and steep ourselves in it, as my critic demands; yet we must not content ourselves with this, but must seek to revive the past and bring it into the present.

This higher idea of history lies at the basis of all the really important contributions to profane history which our century has made; they may all, from an antiquated standpoint, be reproached with a “modernising" of antiquity. Am I to be blamed for venturing to apply this higher idea of history to the biblical history of religion ? Where could it be more applicable than in the case of the Bible, which is meant to present us, not with a record of antiquities, but with imperishable words of eternal life?

These considerations, I believe, completely justify those peculiar principles of procedure which my English critic rejects as unjustifiable and suspicious. The primitive Christian religion as mirrored in the New Testament writings is unquestionably a historical phenomenon, a historical fact and form of life, and the business of biblical theology is to represent it as such. Now this religion lies before us in a small number of popular sketches of the life of Jesus and of some occasional writings of His apostles or companions of His apostles. A procedure such as is demanded by my reviewer, of simply ascertaining and arranging the doctrines that are expressly stated, would be quite insufficient, because that which these sources present, in the shape of formal doctrine, is far from exhausting their religious doctrinal content. How much of what belongs to the religion of the new covenant have we to gather from mere hints, or presuppositions of Jesus and His apostles! If we were to leave these out of account we would, for example, have, in the case of Paul, no doctrine of God; in the case of Jesus, no doctrine of man, that is, in either case we would be deprived of one of the two poles between which religion altogether moves. When my critic again and again maintains that biblical theology has to do simply with that which the Bible presents of religious teaching, he overlooks the fact that a great part of that teaching is presented, not in the form of doctrine, but as mere doctrinal material, and that for that very reason we cannot be satisfied with a procedure of merely ascertaining and combining, such as he will alone admit.

But even that which he regards as so suspicious, “the translation ” of what we find in the Bible into our own modes of thought and speech, is indispensable. For we are to endeavour to understand what we find in the Bible; and as we are neither Jews nor Greeks of the first Roman Empire, but Germans or Englishmen of the nineteenth century, how are we to understand without a translation in the widest and deepest sense of the word ? A translation of the biblical speech, in the ordinary sense, into German or English of the present day, is itself a kind of modernising process. mere dictionary translation would help us very little, would give us only words without intelligible meaning. There must be

But a

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