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From Jesus to the New Testament

Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon

Jens Schröter

Publication Year: 2013

As the inaugural volume in the Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity series, Jens Schröter’s celebrated From Jesus to the New Testament is now available for the first time in English. Schröter provides a rich narrative to Christian history by looking back upon the theological forces that created the New Testament canon. Through his textual, historical, and hermeneutical examination of early Christianity, Schröter reveals how various writings that form the New Testament’s building blocks are all held together. Jesus not only bound the New Testament, but launched a theological project that resulted in the canon. Schröter’s study will undoubtedly spark new discussion about the formation of the canon.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Series: Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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Editors’ Introduction

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pp. vii-x

The new series Baylor–Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity aims to facilitate increased dialogue between German and Anglophone scholarship by making recent German research available in English translation. In this way, we hope to contribute to the advancement of our common field of study. The target audience for the series is primarily scholars and graduate...

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Preface to the English Edition

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pp. xi-xii

It is a great joy to me that the English translation of my book Von Jesus zum Neuen Testament will inaugurate the new series Baylor–Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity. The research communication across linguistic and confessional borders, which has now been firmly established in New Testament science for many years, thereby receives further confirmation...

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Preface to the German Edition [V–VI]

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pp. xiii-xiv

The studies presented here were written between 2000 and 2006. For their publication together they were all revised and coordinated with one another. Here the focus was especially on emphasizing the overarching perspectives that linked the individual contributions together. These studies aim to set important early Christian conceptions in relation to one another in...

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pp. 1-6

From Jesus to the New Testament—this signals a development that led, in the first three centuries of the history of Christianity, to the formation of a distinct religious self-understanding. This was bound up with the emergence of a specific view of reality and history. With this we have already named an initial focal point of the studies presented here....

Part I Recollection and History in Early Christianity

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1 [9–22] New Testament Science beyond Historicism

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pp. 9-20

One of the central tasks of New Testament science is to mediate to the respective present a picture of the beginnings of Christianity that is based on the early Christian witnesses. In this way it makes a fundamental contribution to Christian theology as a historically grounded science. The intellectual-historical presuppositions upon which it is based have taken ...

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2 [23–35] Reflections on the Relationship between Historiography and Hermeneutics in New Testament Science

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pp. 21-32

The reflections set forth in the previous chapter on the question of the epistemological presuppositions of the construction of history will be continued in what follows.
In the appropriation of the past as history it is also a matter of a community’s identity foundations and ethical convictions of value, which Jürgen Habermas characterized as “postsecular” in his acceptance speech...

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3 [37–54]Construction of History and the Beginningsof Christianity

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pp. 33-48

Martin Walser’s novel Ein springender Brunnen (A Springing Well) begins with these sentences. They express a central insight into the engagement with the past that can be brought into contact with current discussions in the theory of history and should meet here with broad affirmation: events that take place—thus Walser as well as statements from the theory of history—...

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4 [55–77] History in Light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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pp. 49-70

With the concepts “recollection” and “history” the subtitle of this contribution takes up a dynamic specific to the discourse in the human sciences of the last twenty years: when history is spoken about at present, then the key words “recollection” and “memory” also always crop up. In the meantime, the relevant research takes place in a variety of fields. Three examples may be mentioned:...

Part II Jesus—Paul—Luke

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5 [81–104] Beginnings of the Jesus Tradition

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pp. 73-94

In the contributions of the first part, the question of the epistemological presuppositions of the conception of a history of early Christian theology stood at the center. In chapters 3 and 4, material aspects also came to expression: the interpretation of the activity and fate of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, the conceptualization of an early Christian history by Luke with the example of the Areopagus speech, and the reference to the death and ...

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6 [105–146] On the Historicity of the Gospels

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pp. 95-132

With respect to its methodological presuppositions and the approach based upon them, historical Jesus research belongs to the science of history: it analyses the historical materials1 that are available and on this basis draws pictures of the historical person of Jesus. The new orientation in recent years has stressed this character of Jesus research. It has distinguished...

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7 [147–169]The Unity of the Gospel

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pp. 133-154

In his study “The Emergence of Christology”1 Petr Pokorný comes, in the section on “the oldest faith-witnesses,” to the conclusion that it is “scarcely possible to argue with the different confession-like statements for the existence of different early Christian Christologies that were contradictory. The firmly formed statements differ from one another through their different...

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8 [171–201] The Universalizing of the Law in Galatians

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pp. 155-184

In connection with the remarks of the previous chapter, the concern in what follows will be with the view that Paul developed in Galatians concerning the Jewish law’s function and area of jurisdiction.1 That this letter—alongside the letter to the community in Rome—represents the most important witness for this central question of Pauline theology is uncontroversial.2 It...

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9 [203–222] Metaphorical Christology in Paul

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pp. 185-204

In the investigation of concepts and ideas that early Christianity used for the interpretation of the person of Jesus, research has occupied itself for a long time and intensively with historical and tradition-historical questions. Thus the relationship between the activity and fate of Jesus on the one hand and the emergence of the christological convictions of early Christianity...

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10 [223–246] Luke as Historiographer

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pp. 205-226

The following two chapters are devoted to the Acts of the Apostles. With this a third focal point within the writings of the New Testament is brought into view. In part III we will then come back once more to this writing from another perspective, namely the role of Acts in the formation of the New Testament canon.1
The special character of Acts within the early Christian literature lies first in the fact that in it we encounter for the first time a presentation of ...

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11 [247–267] Salvation for the Gentiles and Israel

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pp. 227-246

In his 1983 literature review on Acts, Eckhard Plümacher observed that “not so much the future hope that had become doubtful but above all an uncertainty concerning the continuity with the past . . . represents the occasion of the Lukan work.”1 With this formulation Plümacher points to a turn in Luke scholarship that was emerging ever more clearly in this period and was to have extremely far-reaching consequences for the...

Part III On the Way to the New Testament

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12 [271–295] Jesus and the Canon

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pp. 249-272

In the previous chapters of this book various paths were considered upon which early Christianity emerged as an independent ancient religious community. It became clear that central components for this development are represented by the presentation of the activity of Jesus in the Gospels, the position that Paul developed of the Christ message directed equally—if also in a particular way for each—to Jews and Gentiles, and the conception ...

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13 [297–329] The Acts of the Apostles and the Emergence of the New Testament Canon

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pp. 273-304

In the previous chapter we investigated reception paths of the Jesus tradition in early Christianity. It became clear that at the beginnings of Christianity a sphere of tradition existed that included sayings of Jesus, catechetical-paraenetic traditions, and Scripture words. This material was handed on as “teaching of the apostles” and combined in the Gospels with...

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14 [331–340] “The Church Has Four Gospels,the Heresy Many”

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pp. 305-314

At an earlier point it was already pointed out that the New Testament is only one part of the literary production of early Christianity, alongside which stand the writings collected in the “Apostolic Fathers” and the “Apocrypha.” 1 This gives rise to the question of how it came to the selection of precisely these writings to be included in the canon. Recently there has again been increased discussion of this in connection with the emergence of the ...

Part IV What Is “Theology of the New Testament ”?

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15 [343–354]Particularity and Inclusivityin Early Christianity

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pp. 317-328

In the chapters of the preceding part, the question of the emergence of the New Testament was illuminated from various sides. It thereby became clear that the corpus of writings accepted in the church developed in parallel and in close relation to the confession to which early Christianity knew itself to be obligated. The Jesus tradition retained in the four-gospel collection was therefore demarcated from competing interpretations. Acts obtained ...

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16 [355–377] The Meaning of the Canon for a Theology of the New Testament

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pp. 329-350

The last chapter of this book deals with the question of how a theology of the New Testament would have to be conceived under the presuppositions of the historical-critical science of the Bible.1 Here the concern will be less with individual aspects—such as the relationship between the history of early Christian religion and theology of the New Testament,2 the placement of the activity of Jesus in a theology of the New Testament,3 ...


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pp. 351-392

Index of Ancient Sources

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pp. 393-406

Index of Modern Authors

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pp. 407-412

Subject Index

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pp. 413-417

E-ISBN-13: 9781602588240
E-ISBN-10: 1602588244
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602588226
Print-ISBN-10: 1602588228

Page Count: 431
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity