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The Quest of the Historical Jesus

* XIV *


David Friedrich Strauss. Das Leben Jesu fur das deutsche Volk bearbeitet. (A Life of Jesus for the German People.) Leipzig, 1864. 631 pp.

Der Christus des Galubens und der Jesus der Geschichte. Eine Kritik des Schleiermacher'schen Lebens Jesu. (The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History, a Criticism of Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus.) Berlin, 1865. 223 pp. Appendix, pp. 224-240.

Der Schenkel'sche Handel in Baden. (The Schenkel Affair in Baden.) A corrected reprint from No. 441 of the National-Zeitung, of the 21st September 1864.

Die Halben und die Ganzen. (The Half-way-ers and the Whole-way-ers.) 186S.

Daniel Schenkel. Das Charakterbild Jesu. (The Portrait of Jesus.) Wiesbaden, 1864 (ed. 1 and 2). 405 pp. Fourth edition, with a preface opposing Strauss's "Der alte und der neue Glaube" (The Old Faith and the New), 1873.

Karl Heinrich Weizsacker. Untersuchungen fiber die evangelische Geschichte, ihre Quellen und den Gang ihrer Entwicklung. (Studies in the Gospel History, its Sources and the Progress of its Development.) Gotha, 1864. 580 pp.

Heinrich Julius Holtzmann. Die synoptischen Evangelien. Ihr Ursprung und geschichtlicher Charakter. (The Synoptic Gospels. Their Origin and Historical Character.) Leipzig, 1863. 514 pp.

Theodor Keim. Die Geschichte Jesu von Nazara. (The History of Jesus of Nazara.) 3 vols., Zurich; vol. i., 1867, 446 pp.; vol. ii., 1871, 616 pp.; vol. iii., 1872, 667 pp.

Die Geschichte Jesu. Zurich, 1872. 398 pp.

Karl Hase. Geschichte Jesu. Nach akademischen Vorlesungen. (The History of Jesus. Academic Lectures, revised.) Leipzig, 1876. 612 pp.

Willibald Beyschlag. Das Leben Jesu. First Part: Prelimn:ary Investigations, 1885, 450 pp. Second Part: Narrative, 1886, 495 pp.; 2nd ed. 1887-1888.

Bernhard Weiss. Das Leben Jesu. 1st ed., 2 vols., 1882; 2nd ed., 1884. First vol., down to the Baptist's question, 556 pp. Second vol., 617 pp.

"MY HOPE IS," WRITES STRAUSS IN CONCLUDING THE PREFACE OF HIS NEW Life of Jesus, "that I have written a book as thoroughly well adapted for Germans as Renan's is for Frenchmen." He was mistaken; in spite


of its title the book was not a book for the people. It had nothing new to offer, and what it did offer was not in a form calculated to become popular. It is true Strauss, like Renan, was an artist, but he did not write, like an imaginative novelist, with a constant eye to effect. His art was unpretentious, even austere, appealing to the few, not to the many. The people demand a complete and vivid picture. Renan had given them a figure which was theatrical no doubt, but full of life and movement, and they had been grateful to him for it. Strauss could not do that.

Even the arrangement of the work is thoroughly unfortunate. In the first part, which bears the title "The Life of Jesus," he attempts to combine into a harmonious portrait such of the historical data as have some claim to be considered historical; in the second part he traces the "Origin and Growth of the Mythical History of Jesus." First, therefore, he tears down from the tree the ivy and the rich growth of creepers laying bare the worn and corroded bark; then he fastens the faded growths to the stem again, and describes the nature, origin, and characteristics of each distinct species.

How vastly different, how much more full of life, had been the work of 1835! There Strauss had not divided the creepers from the stem. The straining strength which upheld this wealth of creepers was but vaguely suspected. Behind the billowy mists of legend we caught from time to time a momentary glimpse of the gigantic figure of Jesus, as though lit up by a lightning-flash. It was no complete and harmonious picture, but it was full of suggestions, rich in thoughts thrown out carelessly, rich in contradictions even, out of which the imagination could create a portrait of Jesus. It is just this wealth of suggestion that is lacking in the second picture. Strauss is trying now to give a definite portrait. In the inevitable process of harmonising and modelling to scale he is obliged to reject the finest thoughts of the previous work because they will not fit in exactly; some of them are altered out of recognition, some are filed away.

There is wanting, too, that perfect freshness as of the spring which is only found when thoughts have but newly come into flower. The writing is no longer spontaneous; one feels that Strauss is setting forth thoughts which have ripened with his mind and grown old with it, and now along with their definiteness of form have taken on a certain stiffness. There are now no hinted possibilities, full of promise, to dance gaily through the movement of his dialectic; all is sober reason--a thought too sober. Renan had one advantage over Strauss in that he wrote when the material was fresh to him-one might almost say strange to him-and was capable of calling up in him the response of vivid feeling.


For a popular book, too, it lacks that living interplay of reflection with narration without which the ordinary reader fails to get a grip of the history. The first Life of Jesus had been rich in this respect, since it had been steeped in the Hegelian theory regarding the realisation of the Idea. In the meantime Strauss had seen the Hegelian philosophy fall from its high estate, and himself had found no way of reconciling history and idea, so that his present Life of Jesus was a mere objective presentment of the history. It was, therefore, not adapted to make any impression upon the popular mind.

In reality it is merely an exposition, in more or less popular form, of the writer's estimate of what had been done in the study of the subject during the past thirty years, and shows what he had learnt and what he had failed to learn.

As regards the Synoptic question he had learnt nothing. In his opinion the criticism of the Gospels has "run to seed." He treats with a pitying contempt both the earlier and the more recent defenders of the Marcan hypothesis. Weisse is a dilettante; Wilke had failed to make any impression on him; Holtzmann's work was as yet unknown to him. But in the following year he discharged the vials of his wrath upon the man who had both strengthened the foundations and put on the coping-stone of the new hypothesis. "Our lions of St. Mark, older and younger," he says in the appendix to his criticism of Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus, "may roar as loud as they like, so long as there are six solid reasons against the priority of Mark to set against every one of their flimsy arguments in its favour-and they themselves supply us with a store of counter-arguments in the shape of admissions of later editing and so forth. The whole theory appears to me a temporary aberration, like the 'music of the future' or the anti-vaccination movement; and I seriously believe that it is the same order of mind which, in different circumstances, falls a victim to the one delusion or the other." But he must not be supposed, he says, to take the critical mole-hills thrown up by Holtzmann for veritable mountains.

Against such opponents he does not scruple to seek aid from Schleiermacher, whose unbiased but decided opinion had ascribed a tertiary character to Mark. Even Gfrorer's view that Mark adapted his Gospel he needs of the Church by leaving out everything which was open to objection in Matthew and Luke, is good enough to be brought to bear against the bat-eyed partisans of Mark. F. C. Baur is reproached for having given too much weight to the "tendency" theory in his criticism of the Gospels; and also for having taken suggestions of Strauss's and worked them out, supposing that he was offering something new when he was really only amplifying. In the end he had only given a criticism of the Gospels, not of the Gospel history.


But this irritation against his old teacher is immediately allayed when he comes to speak of the Fourth Gospel. Here the teacher has carried to a successful issue the campaign which the pupil had begun. Strauss feels compelled to "express his gratitude for the work done by the Tubingen school on the Johannine question." He himself had only been able to deal with the negative side of the question-to show that the Fourth Gospel was not an historical source, but a theological invention; they had dealt with it positively, and had assigned the document to its proper place in the evolution of Christian thought. There is only one point with which he quarrels. Baur had made the Fourth Gospel too completely spiritual, "whereas the fact is," says Strauss, "that it is the most material of all." It is true, Strauss explains, that the Evangelist starts out to interpret miracle and eschatology symbolically; but he halts half-way and falls back upon the miraculous, enhancing the professed fact in proportion as he makes it spiritually more significant. Beside the spiritual return of Jesus in the Paraclete he places His return in a material body, bearing the marks of the wounds; beside the inward present judgment, a future outward judgment; and the fact that he sees the one in the other, finds the one present and visible in the other, is just what constitutes the mystical character of his Gospel. This mysticism attracts the modern world. "The Johannine Christ, who in His descriptions of Himself seems to be always out-doing Himself, is the counterpart of the modern believer, who in order to remain a believer must continually out-do himself; the Johannine miracles which are always being interpreted spiritually, and at the same time raised to a higher pitch of the miraculous, which are counted and documented in every possible way, and yet must not be considered the true ground of faith, are at once miracles and no miracles. We must believe them, and yet can believe without them; in short they exactly meet the taste of the present day, which delights to involve itself in contradictions and is too lethargic and wanting in courage for any clear insight or decided opinion on religious matters.

Strictly speaking, however, the Strauss of the second Life of Jesus has no right to criticise the Fourth Gospel for sublimating the history, for he himself gives what is nothing else than a spiritualisation of the Jesus of the Synoptics. And he does it in such an arbitrary fashion that one is compelled to ask how far he does it with a good conscience. A typical case is the exposition of Jesus' answer to the Baptist's message-"Is it possible," Jesus means, "that you fail to find in Me the miracles which you expect from the Messiah? And yet I daily open the eyes of the spiritually blind and the ears of the spiritually deaf, make the lame walk erect and vigorous, and even give new life to those who are morally dead. Any one who understands how much greater these spiritual


miracles are, will not be offended at the absence of bodily miracles; only such an one can receive, and is worthy of, the salvation which I am bringing to mankind."

Here the fundamental weakness of his method is clearly shown. The vaunted apparatus for the evaporation of the mythical does not work quite satisfactorily. The ultimate product of this process was expected to be a Jesus who should be essential man; the actual product, however, is Jesus the historical man, a being whose looks and sayings are strange and unfamiliar. Strauss is too purely a critic, too little of the creative historian, to recognise this strange being. That Jesus really lived in a world of Jewish ideas and held Himself to be Messiah in the Jewish sense is for the writer of the Life of Jesus an impossibility. The deposit which resists the chemical process for the elimination of myth, he must therefore break up with the hammer.

How different from the Strauss of 1835! He had then recognised eschatology as the most important element in Jesus' world of thought, and in some incidental remarks had made striking applications of it. He had, for example, proposed to regard the Last Supper not as the institution of a feast for coming generation, but as a Paschal meal, at which Jesus declared that He would next partake of the Paschal bread and Paschal wine along with His disciples in the heavenly kingdom. In the second Life of Jesus this view is given up; Jesus did found a feast. "In order to give a living centre of unity to the society which it was His purpose to found, Jesus desired to institute this distribution of bread and wine as a feast to be constantly repeated." One might be reading Renan. This change of attitude is typical of much else.

Strauss is not in the least disquieted by finding himself at one with Schleiermacher in these attempts to spiritualise. On the contrary, he appeals to him. He shares, he says, Schleiermacher's conviction "that the unique self-consciousness of Jesus did not develop as a consequence of His conviction that He was the Messiah; on the contrary, it was a consequence of His self-consciousness that He arrived at the view that the Messianic prophecies could point to no one but Himself." The moment eschatology entered into the consciousness of Jesus it came in contact with a higher principle which over-mastered it and gradually dissolved it. "Had Jesus applied the Messianic idea to Himself before He had had a profound religious consciousness to which to relate it, doubtless it would have taken possession of Him so powerfully that He could never have escaped its influence." We must suppose the ideality, the concentration upon that which was inward, the determination to separate religion, on the one hand, from politics, and on the other, from ritual, the serene consciousness of being able toa ttain to peace with God and with Himself by purely spiritual means - all this we must


suppose to have reached a certain ripeness, a certain security in th mind of Jesus, before He permitted Himself to entertain the thought of His Messiahship, and this we may believe is the reason why He grasped it in so independent and individual a fashion. In this, therefore Strauss has become the pupil of Weisse.

Even in the Old Testament prophecies, he explains, we find two conceptions, a more ideal and a more practical. Jesus holds consistently to the first, He describes Himself as the Son of Man because this designation "contains the suggestion of humility and lowliness, of the human and natural." At Jerusalem, Jesus, in giving His interpretation of Psalm cx., "made merry over the Davidic descent of the Messiah." He desired "to be Messiah in the sense of a patient teacher exercising a quiet influence." As the opposition of the people grew more intense He took up some of the features of Isaiah liii. into His conception of the Messiah.

Of His resurrection, Jesus can only have spoken in a metaphorical sense. It is hardly credible that one who was pure man could have arrogated to himself the position of judge of the world. Strauss would like best to ascribe all the eschatology to the distorting medium of early Christianity, but he does not venture to carry this through with logical consistency. He takes it as certain, however, that Jesus, even though it sometimes seems as if He did not expect the Kingdom to be realised in the present, but in a future, world-era, and to be brought about by God in a supernatural fashion, nevertheless sets about the establishment of the Kingdom by purely spiritual influence.

With this end in view He leaves Galilee, when He judges the time to be ripe, in order to work on a larger scale. "In case of an unfavourable issue, He reckons on the influence which a martyr-death has never failed to exercise in giving momentum to a lofty idea." How far He had advanced, when He entered on the fateful journey to Jerusalem, in shaping His plan, and especially in organising the company of adherents who had gathered about Him, it is impossible to determine with anv exactness. He permitted the triumphal entry because He did not desire to decline the role of the Messiah in every aspect of it.

Owing to this arbitrary spiritualisation of the Synoptic Jesus, Strauss's picture is in essence much more unhistorical than Renan's. The latter had not needed to deny that Jesus had done miracles, and he had been able to suggest an explanation of how Jesus came in the end to fall back upon the eschatological system of ideas. But at what a price! By portraying Jesus as at variance with Himself, a hero broken in spirit. This price is too high for Strauss. Arbitrary as his treatment of history is, he never loses the intuitive feeling that in Jesus' self-consciousness there is a unique absence of struggle; that He does not bear the scars which


are found in those natures which win their way to freedom and purity through strife and conflict, that in Him there is no trace of the hardness, harshness, and gloom which cleave to such natures throughout life, but that He "is manifestly a beautiful nature from the first." Thus, for all Strauss's awkward, arbitrary handling of the history he is greater than the rival [1] who could manufacture history with such skill.

Nevertheless, from the point of view of theological science, this work marks a standstill. That was the net result of the thirty years of critical study of the life of Jesus for the man who had inaugurated it so impressively. This was the only fruit which followed those blossoms so full of promise of the first Life of Jesus.

It is significant that in the same year there appeared Schleiermacher's lectures on the Life of Jesus, which had not seen the light for forty years, because, as Strauss himself remarked in his criticism of the resurrected work, it had neither anodyne nor dressing for the wounds which his first Life of Jesus had made. [2] The wounds, however, had cicatrised in the meantime. It is true Strauss is a just judge, and makes ample acknowledgment of the greatness of Schleiermacher's achievement. [3] He blames Schleiermacher for setting up his "presuppositions in regard to Christ" as an historical canon, and considering it a proof that a statement is unhistorical if it does not square with those presuppositions. But does not the purely human, but to a certain extent unhistorical, man, who is to be the ultimate product of the process of eliminating myth, serve Strauss as his "theoretic Christ" who determines the presentment of his historical Jesus? Does he not share with Schleiermacher the erroneous, artificial, "double" construction of the consciousness of

[1] Strauss's second Life of Jesus appeared in French in 1864.

[2] "I can now say without incurring the reproach of self-glorification, and almost without needing to fear contradiction, that if my Life of Jesus had not appeared in the year after Schleiermacher's death, his would not have been withheld for so long. Up to that time it would have been hailed by the theological world as a deliverer; but for the wounds which my work inflicted on the theology of the day, it had neither anodyne nor dressing; nay, it displayed the author as in a measure responsible for the disaster, for the waters which he had admitted drop by drop were now in defiance of his prudent reservations, pouring in like a flood."-From the introduction to The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History, 1865.

[3] "Now that Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus at last lies before us in print, all parties can gather about it in heartfelt rejoicing. The appearance of a work by Schleiermacher is always an enrichment to literature. Any product of a mind like his cannot fail to shed light and life on the minds of others. And of works of this kind our theological literature has certainly in these days no superfluity. Where the living are for the most part as it were dead, it is meet that the dead should arise and bear witness. These lectures of Schleiermacher's, when compared with the work of his pupils, show clearly that the great theologian has let fall upon them only his mantle and not his spirit."-Ibid.


Jesus? And what about their views of Mark? What fundamental difference is there, when all is said, between Schleiermacher's de-rationalised Life of Jesus and Strauss's? Certainly this second Life of Jesus would not have frightened Schleiermacher's away into hiding for thirty years.

So Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus might now safely venture forth into the light. There was no reason why it should feel itself a stranger at this period, and it had no need to be ashamed of itself. Its rationalistic birth-marks were concealed by its brilliant dialectic. [1] And the only real advance in the meantime was the general recognition that the Life of Jesus was not to be interpreted on rationalistic, but on historical lines. All other, more definite, historical results had proved more or less illusory; there is no vitality in them. The works of Renan, Strauss Schenkel, Weizsacker, and Keim are in essence only different ways of carrying out a single ground-plan. To read them one after another is to be simply appalled at the stereotyped uniformity of the world of thought in which they move. You feel that you have read exactly the same thing in the others, almost in identical phrases. To obtain the works of Schenkel and Weizsacker you only need to weaken down in Strauss the sharp discrimination between John and the Synoptists so far as to allow of the Fourth Gospel being used to some extent as an historical source "in the higher sense," and to put the hypothesis of the priority of Mark in place of the Tubingen view adopted by Strauss. The latter is an external operation and does not essentially modify the view of the Life of Jesus, since by admitting the Johannine scheme the Marcan plan is again disturbed, and Strauss's arbitrary spiritualisation of the Synoptics comes to something not very different from the acceptance of that "in a higher sense historical Gospel" alongside of them. The whole discussion regarding the sources is only loosely connected with the process of arriving at the portrait of Jesus, since this portrait is fixed from the first, being determined by the mental atmosphere and religious horizon of the 'sixties. They all portray the Jesus of liberal theology; the only difference is that one is a little more conscientious in his colouring than another, and one perhaps has a little more taste than another, or is less concerned about the consequences.

The desire to escape in some way from the alternative between the

[1] The lines of Schleiermacher's work were followed by Bunsen. His Life of Jesus forms vol. ix. of his Bibelwerk. (Edited by Holtzmann, 1865.) He accepts the Fourth Gospel as an historical source and treats the question of miracle as not yet settled. Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen, born in 1791 at Korbach in Waldeck, was Prussian ambassador at Rome, Berne, and London, and settled later in Heidelberg. He was well read in theology and philology, and gradually came, in spite of his friendly relations with Friedrich Wilhelm IV., to entertain more liberal views on religion. The issue of his Bibelwerk fur die Gemeinde was begun in 1858. He died in 1860. (Best known in England as the Chevalier Bunsen.)


Synoptists and John was native to the Marcan hypothesis. Weisse had endeavored to effect this by distinguishing between the sources in the Fourth Gospel. [1] Schenkel and Weizsacker are more modest. They do not feel the need of any clear literary view of the Fourth Gospel, of any critical discrimination between original and secondary elements in it; they are content to use as historical whatever their instinct leads them accept. "Apart from the fourth Gospel," says Schenkel, "we should miss in the portrait of the Redeemer the unfathomable depths and the inaccessible heights." "Jesus," to quote his aphorism, "was not always thus in reality, but He was so in truth." Since when have historians had the right to distinguish between reality and truth? That was one of the bad habits which the author of this characterisation of Jesus brought with him from his earlier dogmatic training.

Weizsacker [2] expresses himself with more circumspection. "We possess," he says, "in the Fourth Gospel genuine apostolic reminiscences as much as in any part of the first three Gospels; but between the facts on which the reminiscences are based and their reproduction in literary form there lies the development of their possessor into a great mystic, and the influence of a philosophy which here for the first time united itself in this way with the Gospel; they need, therefore, to be critically examined; and the historical truth of this gospel, great as it is, must not be measured with a painful literality."

One wonders why both these writers appeal to Holtzmann, seeing that they practically abandon the Marcan plan which he had worked out at the end of his very thorough examination of this Gospel. They do not accept as sufficient the controversy regarding the ceremonial regulations in Mark vii. which, with the rejection at Nazareth, constitute, in Holtzmann's view, the turning-point of the Galilaean ministry, but find the cause of the change of attitude on the part of the people rather in the Johannine discourse about eating and drinking the flesh and blood of the Son of Man. The section Mark x.-xv., which has a

[1] Ch. H. Weisse, Die evangelische Geschichte, Leipzig, 1838. Die Evangelienfrage in ihrem gegenwartigen Stadium. (The Present Position of the Problem of the Gospels.) Leipzig, 1856. He regarded the discourses as historical the narrative portions as of secondary origin. Alexander Schweizer, again, wished to distinguish a Jerusalem source and a Galilaean source, the latter being unreliable. Das Evangelium Johannis nach seinem inneren Werte und seiner Bedeutung fur das Leben Jesu, 1841. (The Gospel of John considered in Relation to its Intrinsic Value the its Importance as a Source for the Life of Jesus.) See p. 127 f. Renan takes narrative portions as authentic and the discourses as secondary.

[2] Kar1 Heinrich Weizsacker was born in 1822 at Ohringen in Wurtemberg. He qualified as Privat-Docent in 1847 and, after acting in the meantime as Court-Chaplain and Oberkonsistorialrat at Stuttgart, became in 1861 the successor of Baur at Tubingen. He died in 1899.


certain unity, they interpret in the light of the Johannine tradition, finding in it traces of a previous ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem and interweaving with it the Johannine story of the Passion. According to Schenkel the last visit to Jerusalem must have been of considerable duration. When confronted with John, the admission may be wrung from the Synoptists that Jesus did not travel straight through Jericho to the capital, but worked first for a considerable time in Judaea. Strauss tartly observes that he cannot see what the author of the "characterisation" stood to gain by underwriting Holtzmann's Marcan hypothesis. [1]

Weizsacker is still bolder in making interpolations from the Johannine tradition. He places the cleansing of the Temple, in contradiction to Mark, in the early period of Jesus' ministry, on the ground that "it bears the character of a first appearance, a bold deed with which to open His career." He fails to observe, however, that if this act really took place at this point of time, the whole development of the life of Jesus which Holtzmann had so ingeniously traced in Mark, is at once thrown into confusion. In describing the last visit to Jerusalem, Weizsacker is not content to insert the Marcan stones into the Johannine cement; he goes farther and expressly states that the great farewell discourses of Jesus to His disciples agree with the Synoptic discourses to the disciples spoken during the last days, however completely they of all others bear the peculiar stamp of the Johannine diction.

Thus in the second period of the Marcan hypothesis the same spectacle meets us as in the earlier. The hypothesis has a literary existence, indeed it is carried by Holtzmann to such a degree of demonstration that it can no longer be called a mere hypothesis, but it does not succeed in winning an assured position in the critical study of the Life of Jesus. It is common-land not yet taken into cultivation.

That is due in no small measure to the fact that Holtzmann did not work out the hypothesis from the historical side, but rather on literary lines, recalling Wilke-as a kind of problem in Synoptic arithmetic-and in his preface expresses dissent from the Tubingen school, who desired to leave no alternative between John on the one side and the Synoptics on the other, whereas he approves the attempt to evade the dilemma in some way or other, and thinks he can find in the didactic narrative of the Fourth Gospel the traces of a development of Jesus similar to that portrayed in the Synoptics, and has therefore no fundamental objection to the use of John alongside of the Synoptics. In taking up this position, however, he does not desire to be understood a meaning that "it would be to the interests of science to throw Synoptic

[1] The works of a Dutch writer named Stricker, Jesus von Nazareth (1868), and of the Englishman Sir Richard Hanson, The Jesus of History (1869), were based on Mark without any reference to John.


and Johannine passages together indiscriminately and thus construct a life of Jesus out of them." "It would be much better first to reconstruct separately the Synoptic and Johannine pictures of Christ, composing each of its own distinctive material. It is only when this has been done that it is possible to make a fruitful comparison of the two." Exactly the same position had been taken up sixty-seven years before by Herder. In Holtzmann's case, however, the principle was stated with so many qualifications that the adherents of his view read into it the permission to combine, in a picture treated "in the grand style," Synoptic with Johannine passages.

In addition to this, the plan which Holtzmann finally evolved out of Mark was much too fine-drawn to bear the weight of the remainder of the Synoptic material. He distinguishes seven stages in the Galilaean ministry, [1] of which the really decisive one is the sixth, in which Jesus leaves Galilee and goes northward, so that Schenkel and Weizsacker are justified in distinguishing practically only two great Galilaean periods, the first of which-down to the controversy about ceremonial purity-they distinguish as the period of success, the second-down to the departure from Judaea-as the period of decline. What attracted these writers to the Marcan hypothesis was not so much the authentification which it gave to the detail of Mark, though they were willing enough to accept that, but the way in which this Gospel lent itself to the a priori view of the course of the life of Jesus which they unconsciously brought with them. They appealed to Holtzmann because he showed such wonderful skill in extracting from the Marcan narrative the view which commended itself to the spirit of the age as manifested in the 'sixties.

Holtzmann read into this Gospel that Jesus had endeavoured in Galilee to found the Kingdom of God in an ideal sense; that He concealed His consciousness of being the Messiah, which was constantly growing more assured, until His followers should have attained by inner enlightenment to a higher view of the Kingdom of God and of the Messiah; that almost at the end of His Galilaean ministry He declared Himself to them as the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi; that on the same occasion He at once began to picture to them a suffering Messiah, whose lineaments gradually became more and more distinct in His mind amid the growing opposition which He encountered, until finally. He communicated to his disciples His decision to put the Messianic cause to the test in the capital, and that they followed Him thither and saw how His fate fulfilled itself. It was this fundamental view which made the success of the hypothesis. Holtzmann, not less than his followers, believed that he had

[1] 1, Mark i.; 2, Mark ii.1-iii.6; 3, Mark iii.7-19; 4, Mark iii. 19-iv. 34; 5, Mark iv. 35-vi.6; 6, Mark vi. 7-vii. 37; 7, Mark viii. i-ix. 50.


discovered it in the Gospel itself, although Strauss, the passionate opponent of the Marcan hypothesis, took essentially the same view of the development of Jesus' thought. But the way in which Holtzmann exhibited this characteristic view of the 'sixties as arising naturally out of the detail of Mark, was so perfect, so artistically charming, that this view appeared henceforward to be inseparably bound up with the Marcan tradition. Scarcely ever has a description of the life of Jesus exercised so irresistible an influence as that short outline-it embraces scarcely twenty pages-with which Holtzmann closes his examination of the Synoptic Gospels. This chapter became the creed and catechism of all who handled the subject during the following decades. The treatment of the life of Jesus had to follow the lines here laid down until the Marcan hypothesis was delivered from its bondage to that a priori view of the development of Jesus. Until then any one might appeal to the Marcan hypothesis, meaning thereby only that general view of the inward and outward course of development in the life of Jesus, and might treat the remainder of the Synoptic material how he chose, combining with it, at his pleasure, material drawn from John. The victory, therefore, belonged, not to the Marcan hypothesis pure and simple, but to the Marcan hypothesis as psychologically interpreted by a liberal theology.

The points of distinction between the Weissian and the new interpretation are as follows:-Weisse is sceptical as regards the detail; the new Marcan hypothesis ventures to base conclusions even upon incidental remarks in the text. According to Weisse there were not distinct periods of success and failure in the ministry of Jesus; the new Marcan hypothesis confidently affirms this distinction, and goes so far as to place the sojourn of Jesus in the parts beyond Galilee under the heading "Flights and Retirements." [1] The earlier Marcan hypothesis ex- pressly denies that outward circumstances influenced the resolve of Jesus to die; according to the later, it was the opposition of the people, and the impossibility of carrying out His mission on other lines which forced Him to enter on the path of suffering. [2] The Jesus of Weisse's view

[1] Holtzmann, Kommentar zu den Synoptikern, 1889, p. 184. The form of the expression (Fluchtwege und Reisen) is derived from Keim.

[2] "Thus the course of Jesus' life hastened forward to its tragic close, a close which was foreseen and predicted by Jesus Himself with ever-growing clearness as the sole possible close, but also that which alone was worthy of Himself, and which was necessary as being foreseen and predetermined in the counsel of God. The hatred of the Pharisees and the indifference of the people left from the first no other prospect open. That hatred could not but be called forth in the fullest measure by the ruthless severity with which Jesus exposed all that it was and implied - a heart in which there was no room for love, a morality inwardly riddled with decay, an outward show of virtue, a hypocritical arrogance. Between two such unyielding opponents-a man who, to all appearance, aimed at using the Messianic expectations of the people for his own ends, and a hierarchy as tenacious of its claims and as sensitive to their infringement as any that has ever existed-it was certain that the breach must soon become irreparable. It was easy to foresee, too, that even in Galilee only a minority of the people would dare to face with Him the danger of such a breach. There was only one thing that could have averted the death sentence which had been early determined upon-a series of vigorous, unambiguous demonstrations on the part of the people. In order to provoke such demonstrations Jesus would have needed, if only for the moment, to take into His service the popular, powerful, inflammatory Messianic ideas, or rather, would have needed to place Himself at their service. His refusal to enter, by so much as a single step, upon this course, which from any ordinary point of view of human policy would have been legitimate, because the only practicable one, was the sole sufficient and all-explaining cause of His destruction."-Holtzmann, Die synoptischen Evangelien, 1863, pp. 485, 486.


has completed His development at the time of His appearance; the Jesus of the new interpretation of Mark continues to develop in the course of His public ministry.

There is complete agreement, however, in the rejection of eschatology. Fpr Holtzmann, Schenkel, and Weizsacker, as for Weisse, Jesus desires "to found an inward kingdom of repentance." [1] It was Israel's duty, according to Schenkel, to believe in the presence of the Kingdom which Jesus proclaimed. John the Baptist was unable to believe in it, and it was for this reason that Jesus censured him-for it is in this sense that Schenkel understands the saying about the greatest among those born of women who is nevertheless the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. "So near the light and yet shutting his eyes to its beams-is there not some blame here, an undeniable lack of spiritual and moral receptivity?"

Jesus makes Messianic claims only in a spiritual sense. He does not grasp at super-human glory; it is His purpose to bear the sin of the whole people, and He undergoes baptism "as a humble member of the national community."

His whole teaching consists, when once He Himself has attained to clear consciousness of His vocation, in a constant struggle to root out from the hearts of His disciples their theocratic hopes and to effect a transformation of their traditional Messianic ideas. When, on Simon's hailing Him as the Messiah, He declares that flesh and blood has not revealed it to him, He means, according to Schenkel, "that Simon has at this moment overcome the false Messianic ideas, and has recognised in Him the ethical and spiritual deliverer of Israel."

[1] "Ein innerliches Reich der Sinnesanderung." "Sinnesanderung" corresponds more exactly than "repentance" to the Greek metanoia (change of mind, change of attitude), but the phrase is no less elliptical in German than in English. The meaning is doubtless "kingdom based upon repentance, consisting of those who have fulfilled this condition."


"That Jesus predicted a personal, bodily, Second Coming in the brightness of His heavenly splendour and surrounded by the heavenly hosts, to establish an earthly kingdom, is not only not proved, it is absolutely impossible." His purpose is to establish a community of which His disciples are to be the foundation, and by means of this community to bring about the coming of the Kingdom of God. He can, therefore only have spoken of His return as an impersonal return in the Spirit. The later exponents of the Marcan view were no doubt generally inclined to regard the return as personal and corporeal. For Schenkel however, it is historically certain that the real meaning of the eschatological discourses is more faithfully preserved in the Fourth Gospel than in the Synoptics.

In his anxiety to eliminate any enthusiastic elements from the representation of Jesus, he ends by drawing a bourgeois Messiah whom he might have extracted from the old-fashioned rationalistic work of the worthy Reinhard. He feels bound to save the credit of Jesus by showing that the entry into Jerusalem was not intended as a provocation to the government. "It is only by making this supposition," he explains, "that we avoid casting a slur upon the character of Jesus. It was certainly a constant trait in His character that He never unnecessarily exposed Himself to danger, and never, except for the most pressing reasons, did He give any support to the suspicions which were arising against Him; He avoided provoking His opponents to drastic measures by any overt act directed against them." Even the cleansing of the Temple was not an act of violence but merely an attempt at reform.

Schenkel is able to give these explanations because he knows the most secret thoughts of Jesus and is therefore no longer bound to the text. He knows, for example, that immediately after His baptism He attained to the knowledge "that the way of the Law was no longer the way of salvation for His people." Jesus cannot therefore have uttered the saying about the permanence of the Law in Mark v. 18. In the controversies about the Sabbath "He proclaims freedom of worship."

As time went on, He began to take the heathen world into the scope of His purpose. "The hard saying addressed to the Canaanite woman represents rather the proud and exclusive spirit of Pharisaism than the spirit of Jesus." It was a test of faith, the success of which had a decisive influence upon Jesus' attitude towards the heathen. Henceforth it is obvious that He is favourably disposed towards them. He travels through Samaria and establishes a community there. In Jerusalem He openly calls the heathen to Him. At certain feasts which they had arranged for that purpose, some of the leaders of the people set a trap for Him, and betrayed Him into liberal sayings in regard to the Gentiles which sealed His fate.


This was the course of development of the Master, who, according to Schenkel "saw with a clear eye into the future history of the world," and knew that the fall of Jerusalem must take place in order to close the theocratic era and give the Gentiles free access to the universal community of Christians which He was to found. "This period He described as the period of His coming, as in a sense His Second Advent upon earth.

The same general procedure is followed by Weizsacker in his "Gospel History," though his work is of a much higher quality than Schenkel's. His account of the sources is one of the clearest that has ever been written. In the description of the life of Jesus, however, the unhesitating combination of material from the Fourth Gospel with that of the Synoptics rather confuses the picture. And whereas Renan only offers the results of the completed process, Weizsacker works out his, it might almost be said, under the eyes of the reader, which makes the arbitrary character of the proceeding only the more obvious. But in his attitude towards the sources Weizsacker is wholly free from the irresponsible caprice in which Schenkel indulges. From time to time, too, he gives a hint of unsolved problems in the background. For example, in treating of the declaration of Jesus to His judges that He would come as the Son of Man upon the clouds of heaven, he remarks how surprising it is that Jesus could so often have used the designation Son of Man on earlier occasions without being accused of claiming the Messiahship. It is true that this is a mere scraping of the keel upon a sandbank, by which the steersman does not allow himself to be turned from his course, for Weizsacker concludes that the name Son of Man, in spite of its use in Daniel, "had not become a generally current or really popular designation of the Messiah." But even this faint suspicion of the difficulty is a welcome sign. Much emphasis, in fact, in practice rather too much emphasis, is laid on the principle that in the great discourses of Jesus the structure is not historical; they are only collections of sayings formed to meet the needs of the Christian community in later times. In this Weizsacker is sometimes not less arbitrary than Schenkel, who represents the Lord's Prayer as given by Jesus to the disciples only in the last days at Jerusalem. It was an axiom of the school that Jesus could not have delivered discourses such as the Evangelists record.

If Schenkel's picture of Jesus' character attracted much more attention than Weizsacker's work, that is mainly due to the art of lively popular presentation by which it is distinguished. The writer knows well how to keep the reader's interest awake by the use of exciting headlines. Catchwords abound, and arrest the ear, for they are the words about which the religious controversies of the time revolved. There is never far to look for the moral of the history, and the Jesus


here portrayed can be imagined plunging into the midst of the debates in any ministerial conference. The moralising, it must be admitted, sometimes becomes the occasion of the feeblest ineptitudes. Jesus sent out His disciples two and two; this is for Schenkel a marvellous exhibition of wisdom. The Lord designed, thereby, to show that in His opinion "nothing is more inimical to the interests of the Kingdom of God than individualism, self-will, self-pleasing." Schenkel entirely fails to recognise the superb irony of the saying that in this life all that a man gives up for the sake of the Kingdom of God is repaid a hundredfold in persecutions, in order that in the Coming Age he may receive eternal life as his reward. He interpreted it as meaning that the sufferer shall be compensated by love; his fellow-Christians will endeavour to make it up to him, and will offer him their own possessions so freely that, in consequence of this brotherly love, he will soon have, for the house which he has lost, a hundred houses, for the lost sisters, brothers, and so forth, a hundred sisters, a hundred brothers, a hundred fathers, a hundred mothers, a hundred farms. Schenkel forgets to add that, if this is to be the interpretation of the saying, the persecuted man must also receive through this compensating love, a hundred wives. [1]

This want of insight into the largeness, the startling originality, the self-contradictoriness, and the terrible irony in the thought of Jesus, is not a peculiarity of Schenkel's; it is characteristic of all the liberal Lives of Jesus from Strauss's down to Oskar Holtzmann's. [2] How could it be otherwise? They had to transpose a way of envisaging the world which belonged to a hero and a dreamer to the plane of thought of a rational bourgeois religion. But in Schenkel's representation, with its popular appeal, this banality is particularly obtrusive.

In the end, however, what made the success of the book was not its popular characteristics, whether good or bad, but the enmity which it drew down upon the author. The Basle Privat-Docent who, in his work of 1839, had congratulated the Zurichers on having rejected Strauss, now, as Professor and Director of the Seminary at Heidelberg, came very near being adjudged worthy of the Martyr's crown himself. He had been at Heidelberg since 1851, after holding for a short time De Wette's chair at Basle. At his first coming a mildly reactionary theology might have claimed him as its own. He gave it a right to do so by the way in which he worked against the philosopher, Kuno Fischer, in tne Higher Consistory. But in the struggles over the constitution of the Church he changed his position. As a defender of the rights of the laity he ranged himself on the more liberal side. After his great victory in the General Synod of 1861, in which the new constitution of the Church was established, he called a German Protestant assembly at Franktort,

[1] Omitted in some of the best texts.-F. C. B.

[2] Oskar Holtzmann, Das Leben Jesu, 1901.


in order to set on foot a general movement for Church reform. This assembly met in 1863, and led to the formation of the Protestant Association.

When the Charakterbild Jesu appeared, friend and foe were alike surprised at the thoroughness with which Schenkel advocated the more liberal views. "Schenkel's book," complained Luthardt, in a lecture at Leipzig, [1] "has aroused a painful interest. We had learnt to know him in many aspects; we were not prepared for such an apostasy from his own past. How long is it since he brought about the dismissal of Kuno Fischer from Heidelberg because he saw in the pantheism of this philosopher a danger to Church and State? It is still fresh in our memory that it was he who in the year 1852 drew up the report of the Theological Faculty of Heidelberg upon the ecclesiastical controversy raised by Pastor Dulon at Bremen, in which he denied Dulon's Christianity on the ground that he had assailed the doctrines of original sin, of justification by faith, of a living and personal God, of the eternal Divine Sonship of Christ, of the Kingdom of God, and of the credibility of the holy Scriptures." And now this same Schenkel was misusing the Life of Jesus as a weapon in "party polemics"!

The agitation against him was engineered from Berlin, where his successful attack upon the illiberal constitution of the Church had not been forgiven. One hundred and seventeen Baden clerics signed a protest declaring the author unfitted to hold office as a theological teacher in the Baden Church. Throughout the whole of Germany the pastors agitated against him. It was especially demanded that he should be immediately removed from his post as Director of the Seminary. A counter-protest was issued by the Durlach Conference in the July of 1864, in which Bluntschli and Holtzmann vigorously defended him. The Ecclesiastical Council supported him, and the storm gradually died away, especially when Schenkel in two "Defences" skilfully softened down the impression made by his work, and endeavoured to quiet the public mind by pointing out that he had only attempted to set forth one side of the truth. [2]

[1] Die modernen Darstellungen des Lebens Jesu. (Modern Presentments of the Life of Jesus.) A discussion of the works of Strauss, Renan, and Schenkel, and of the Essays of Coquerel the Younger, Scherer, Colani, and Keim. A lecture by Chr. Ernest Luthardt, Leipzig. lst and 2nd editions, 1864. Luthardt was born in 1823 at Maroldsweisach in Lower Franconia became Docent at Erlangen in 1851, was called to Marburg as Professor Extraordinary in 1854, and to Leipzig as Ordinary Professor in 1856. He died in 1902.

[2] Zur Orientierung uber meine Schrift "Das Charakterbild Jesu." (Explanations intended to place my work "A picture of the Character of Jesus" in the proper light.) 1864. Die protestantische Freiheit in ihrem gegenwartigen Kampfe mit der kirchlichen Reaktion. (Protestant Freedom in its present Struggle with Ecclesiastical Reaction.) 1865.


The position of the prospective martyr was not rendered any more easy by Strauss. In an appendix to his criticism of Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus he settled accounts with his old antagonist. [1] He recognises no scientific value whatever in the work. None of the ideas developed in it are new. One might fairly say, he thinks, "that the conclusions which have given offence had been carried down the Neckar from Tubingen to Heidelberg, and had there been salvaged by Herr Schenkel-in a somewhat sodden and deteriorated condition, it must be admitted-and incorporated into the edifice which he was constructing." Further Strauss censures the book for its want of frankness, its half-and-half character, which manifests itself especially in the way in which the author clings to orthodox phraseology. "Over and over again he gives criticism with one hand all that it can possibly ask, and then takes back with the other whatever the interests of faith seem to demand; with the constant result that what is taken back is far too much for criticism and not nearly enough for faith." "In the future," he concludes, "it will be said of the seven hundred Durlachers that they fought like paladins to prevent the enemy from capturing a standard which was really nothing but a patched dish-clout."

Schenkel died in 1885 after severe sufferings. As a critic he lacked independence, and was, therefore, always inclined to compromises; in controversy he was vehement. Though he did nothing remarkable in theology, German Protestantism owes him a vast debt for acting as its tribune in the 'sixties.

That was the last time that any popular excitement was aroused in connexion with the critical study of the life of Jesus; and it was a mere storm in a tea-cup. Moreover, it was the man and not his work that aroused the excitement. Henceforth public opinion was almost entirely indifferent to anything which appeared in this department. The great fundamental question whether historical criticism was to be applied to the life of Jesus had been decided in connexion with Strauss's first work on the subject. If here and there indignation aroused by a Life of Jesus brought inconveniences to the author and profit to the publisher, that was connected in every case with purely external and incidental circumstances. Public opinion was not disquieted for a moment by Volkmar and Wrede, although they are much more extreme than Schenkel.

Most of the Lives of Jesus which followed had, it is true, nothing very exciting about them. They were mere variants of the type estab-

[1] Der Schenkel'sche Handel in Baden. (The Schenkel Controversy in Baden.) (A corrected reprint from number 441 of the National-Zeitung of September 21, 1864.) An appendix to Der Christus des Galubens und der Jesus der Geschichte. 1865.


lished during the 'sixties, variants of which the minute differences were only discernible by theologians, and which were otherwise exactly alike in arrangement and result. As a contribution to criticism, Keim's [1] "History of Jesus of Nazara" was the most important Life of Jesus which appeared in a long period.

It is not of much consequence that he believes in the priority of Matthew, since his presentment of the history follows the general lines of the Marcan plan, which is preserved also in Matthew. He gives it as his opinion that the life of Jesus is to be reconstructed from the Synoptics, whether Matthew has the first place or Mark. He sketches the development of Jesus in bold lines. As early as his inaugural address at Zurich, delivered on the 17th of December 1860, which, short as it was, made a powerful impression upon Holtzmann as well as upon others, he had set up the thesis that the Synoptics "artlessly, almost against their will, show us unconsciously in incidental, unobtrusive traits the progressive development of Jesus as youth and man." [2] His later works are the development of this sketch.

His grandiose style gave the keynote for the artistic treatment of the portrait of Jesus in the 'sixties. His phrases and expressions became classical. Every one follows him in speaking of the "Galilaean springtide" in the ministry of Jesus.

On the Johannine question he takes up a clearly defined position, denying the possibility of using the Fourth Gospel side by side with the Synoptics as an historical source. He goes very far in finding special significance in the details of the Synoptists, especially when he is anxious to discover traces of want of success in the second period of Jesus' ministry, since the plan of his Life of Jesus depends on the sharp antithesis between the periods of success and failure. The whole of the second half of the Galilaean period consists for him in "flights

[1] Theodor Keim, Die Geschichte Jesu van Nazara, in ihrer Verhaltuna, mit dem Gesamtleben seines Volkes frei untersucht und ausfuhrlich erzahlt. (The History of Jesus of Nazara in Relation to the General Life of His People, freely examined and fully narrated.) 3 vols. Zurich, 1867-1872. Vol. i. The Day of Preparation; vol. ii. The Year of Teaching in Galilee; vol. iii. The Death-Passover (Todesostern) in Jerusalem. A short account in a more popular form appeared in 1872, Geschichte Jesu nach den Ergebnissen heutiger Wissenschaft fur weitere Kreise ubersichtlich erzahlt. (The History of Jesus according to the Results of Present-day Criticism, briefly narrated for the General Reader.) 2nd ed., 1875.

Karl Theodor Keim was born in 1825 at Stuttgart, was Repetent at Tiibingen from 1851 to 1855, and after he had been five years in the ministry, became Professor at Zurich in 1860. In 1873 he accepted a call to Giessen, where he died in 1878.

[2] Die menschliche Entwicklung Jesu Christi. See Holtzmann, Die synoptischen Evangelien, 1863 pp. 7-9. This dissertation was followed by Der geschichtliche Christus. 3rd ed., 1866.


and retirements." "Beset by constantly renewed alarms and hindrances Jesus left the scene of His earlier work, left his dwelling-place at Capernaum, and accompanied only by a few faithful followers, in the end only by the Twelve, sought in all directions for places of refuse for longer or shorter periods, in order to avoid and elude His enemies." Keim frankly admits, indeed, that there is not a syllable in the Gospels to suggest that these journeys are the journeys of a fugitive. But instead of allowing that to shake his conviction, he abuses the narrators and suggests that they desired to conceal the truth. "These flights," he says "were no doubt inconvenient to the Evangelists. Matthew is here the frankest, but in order to restore the impression of Jesus' greatness he transfers to this period the greatest miracles. The later Evangelists are almost completely silent about these retirements, and leave us to suppose that Jesus made His journeys to Caesarea Philippi and the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon in the middle of winter from mere pleasure in travel, or for the extension of the Gospel, and that He made His last journey to Jerusalem without any external necessity, entirely in consequence of His free decision, even though the expectation of death which they ascribe to Him goes far to counteract the impression of complete freedom." Why do they thus correct the history? "The motive was the same difficulty which draws from us also the question, 'Is it possible that Jesus should flee?'" Keim answers "Yes." Here the liberal psychology comes clearly to light. "Jesus fled," he explains, "because He desired to preserve Himself for God and man, to secure the continuance of His ministry to Israel, to defeat as long as possible the dark designs of His enemies, to carry His cause to Jerusalem, and there, while acting, as it was His duty to do, with prudence and foresight in his relations with men, to recognise clearly, by the Divine silence or the Divine action, what the Divine purpose really was, which could not be recognised in a moment. He acts like a man who knows the duty both of examination and action, who knows His own worth and what is due to Him and His obligations towards God and man." [1]

In regard to the question of eschatology, however, Keim does justice to the texts. [2] He admits that eschatology, "a Kingdom of God clothed with material splendours," forms an integral part of the preaching of Jesus from the first; "that He never rejected it, and therefore never by a so-called advance transformed the sensuous Messianic idea into a

[1] Geschichte Jesu. 2nd ed., 1875, pp. 228 and 229. ,

[2] The ultimate reason why Keim deliberately gives such prominence to the eschatology is that he holds to Matthew, and is therefore more under the direct impression of the masses of discourse in this Gospel, charged, as they are, with eschatological ideas, than those writers who find their primary authority in Mark, where these discourses are lacking.

purely spiritual one." "Jesus does not uproot from the minds of the the sons of Zebedee their belief in the thrones on His right hand and His left; He does not hesitate to make His entry into Jerusalem in the character of the Messiah; He acknowledges His Messiahship before the Council without making any careful reservations; upon the cross His title is The King of the Jews; He consoles Himself and His followers with the thought of His return as an earthly ruler, and leaves with His disciples, without making any attempt to check it, the belief, which long survived, in a future establishment or restoration of the Kingdom in an Israel delivered from bondage." Keim remarks with much justice "that Strauss had been wrong in rejecting his own earlier and more correct formula," which combined the eschatological and spiritual elements as operating side by side in the plan of Jesus.

Keim however, himself in the end allows the spiritual elements practically to cancel the eschatological. He admits, it is true, that the expression Son of Man which Jesus uses designated the Messiah in the sense of Daniel's prophecy, but he thinks that these pictorial representations in Daniel did not repel Jesus because He interpreted them spiritually, and "intended to describe Himself as belonging to mankind even in His Messianic office." To solve the difficulty Keim assumes a development. Jesus' consciousness of His vocation had been strengthened both by success and by disappointment. As time went on He preached the Kingdom not as a future Kingdom, as at first, but as one which was present in Him and with Him, and He declares His Messiahship more and more openly before the world. He thinks of the Kingdom as undergoing development, but not with an unlimited, infinite horizon as the moderns suppose; the horizon is bounded by the eschatology. "For however easy it may be to read modern ideas into the parables of the draught of fishes, the mustard seed and the leaven, which, taken by themselves, seem to suggest the duration contemplated by the modern view, it is nevertheless indubitable that Jesus, like Paul, by no means looks forward to so protracted an earthly development; on the contrary, nothing appears more clearly from the sources than that He thought of its term as rapidly approaching, and of His victory as nigh at hand; and looked to the last decisive events, even to the day of judgment, as about to occur during the lifetime of the existing generation, including Himself and His apostles." "It was the overmastering pressure of circumstances which held Him prisoner within the limitations of this obsolete belief." When His confidence in the development Kingdom came into collision with barriers which He could not pass, when His belief in the presence of the Kingdom of God grew dim, the purely eschatological ideas won the upper hand, "and if we may suppose that it was precisely this thought of the imminent decisive action


of God, taking possession of His mind with renewed force at this point which steeled His human courage, and roused Him to a passion of self-sacrifice with the hope of saving from the judgment whatever might still be saved, we may welcome His adoption of these narrower ideas as in accordance with the goodwill of God, which could only by this means maintain the failing strength of its human instrument and secure the spoils of the Divine warfare-the souls of men subdued and conquered by Him."

The thought which had hovered before the mind of Renan, but which in his hands had become only the motive of a romance-une ficelle de roman as the French express it-was realised by Keim. Nothing deeper or more beautiful has since been written about the development of Jesus.

Less critical in character is Hase's "History of Jesus," [1] which superseded in 1876 the various editions of the Handbook on the Life of Jesus which had first appeared in 1829.

The question of the use of John's Gospel side by side with the Synoptics he leaves in suspense, and speaks his last word on the subject in the form of a parable. "If I may be allowed to use an avowedly parabolic form of speech, the relation of Jesus to the two streams of Gospel tradition may be illustrated as follows. Once there appeared upon earth a heavenly Being. According to His first three biographers He goes about more or less incognito, in the long garment of a Rabbi, a forceful popular figure, somewhat Judaic in speech, only occasionally, almost unmarked by His biographers, pointing with a smile beyond this brief interlude to His home. In the description left by His favourite disciple, He has thrown off the talar of the Rabbi, and stands before us in His native character, but in bitter and angry strife with those who took offence at His magnificent simplicity, and then later-it must be confessed, more attractively-in deep emotion at parting with those whom, during His pilgrimage on earth, He had made His friends, though they did not rightly understand His strange, unearthly speech."

This is Hase's way, always to avoid a final decision. The fifty years of critical study of the subject which he had witnessed and taken part in had made him circumspect, sometimes almost sceptical. But his notes of interrogation do not represent a covert supernaturahsni like those in the Life of Jesus of 1829. Hase had been penetrated by the

[1] Geschichte Jesu. Nach akademischen Vorlesungen von Dr. Karl Hase. 1876. Special mention ought also to be made of the fine sketch of the Life of Jesus in A. Hausrath's Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte (History of New Testament Times), 1st ed., Munich, 1868 ff.; 3rd ed., 1 vol., 1879, pp. 325-515; Die zeitgeschichtlichen. Beziehungen des Lebens Jesu (The Relations of the Life of Jesus to the History of His time.)

Adolf Hausrath was bom at Karlsruhe. He was appointed Professor of Theology at Heidelberg in 1867, and died in 1909.


influence of Strauss and had adopted from him the belief that the true life of Jesus lies beyond the reach of criticism. "It is not my business," he says to his students in an introductory lecture, "to recoil in horror from this or that thought, or to express it with embarrassment as being dangerous; I would not forbid even the enthusiasm of doubt and detruction which makes Strauss so strong and Renan so seductive."

It is left uncertain whether Jesus' consciousness of His Messiahship reaches back to the days of His childhood, or whether it arose in the ethical development of His ripening manhood. The concealment of His Messianic claims is ascribed, as by Schenkel and others, to paedagogic motives; it was necessary that Jesus should first educate the people and the disciples up to a higher ethical view of His office. In the stress which he lays upon the eschatology Hase has points of affinity with Keim, for whom he had prepared the way in his Life of Jesus of 1829, in which he had been the first to assert a development in Jesus in the course of which He at first fully shared the Jewish eschatological views, but later advanced to a more spiritual conception. In his Life of Jesus of 1876 he is prepared to make the eschatology the dominant feature in the last period also, and does not hesitate to represent Jesus as dying in the enthusiastic expectation of returning upon the clouds of heaven. He feels himself driven to this by the eschatological ideas in the last discourses. "Jesus' clear and definite sayings," he declares, "with the whole context of the circumstances in which they were spoken and understood, have been forcing me to this conclusion for years past."

"That lofty Messianic dream must therefore continue to hold its place, since Jesus, influenced as much by the idea of the Messianic glories taken over from the beliefs of His people as by His own religious exaltation, could not think of the victory of His Kingdom except as closely connected with His own personal action. But that was only a misunderstanding due to the unconscious poesy of a high-ranging religious imagination, the ethical meaning of which could only be realised by a long historical development. Christ certainly came again as the greatest power on earth, and His power, along with His word, is constantly judging the world. He faced the sufferings which lay immediately before Him with His eyes fixed upon this great future."

The chief excellence of Beyschlag's Life of Jesus consists in its arrangement. [1] He first, in the volume of preliminary investigations, dis-

[1] Das Leben Jesu, von willibald Beyschlag: Pt. i. Preliminary Investigations, 1885, 450 pp.; Pt. ii. Narrative, 1886, 495 pp. Joh. Heinr. Christoph Willibald Beyschlag was born in 1823 at Frankfort-on-Main, and went to Halle as Professor in 1860. His splendid eloquence made him one of the chief spokesmen of German Protestantism. As a teacher he exercised a remarkable and salutary influence, although his scientific works are too much under the dominance of an apologetic of the heart. He died in 1900.


cusses the problems, so that the narrative is disencumbered of all explanations, and by virtue of the author's admirable style becomes a pure work of art, which rivets the interest of the reader and almost causes the want of a consistent historical conception to be overlooked. The fact is, however, that in regard to the two decisive questions Beyschlag is deliberately inconsistent. Although he recognises that the Gospel of John has not the character of an essentially historical source "being, rather, a brilliant subjective portrait," "a didactic, quite as much as an historical work," he produces his Life of Jesus by "combining and mortising together Synoptic and Johannine elements." The same uncertainty prevails in regard to the recognition of the definitely eschatological character of Jesus' system of ideas. Beyschlag gives a very large place to eschatology, so that in order to combine the spiritual with the eschatological view his Jesus has to pass through three stages of development. In the first He preaches the Kingdom as something future, a supernatural event which was to be looked forward to, much as the Baptist preached it. Then the response which was called forth on all hands by His preaching led Him to believe that the Kingdom was in some sense already present, "that the Father, while He delays the outward manifestation of the Kingdom, is causing it to come even now in quiet and unnoticed ways by a humble gradual growth, and the great thought of His parables, which dominates the whole middle period of His public life, the resemblance of the Kingdom to mustard seed or leaven, comes to birth in His mind." As His failure becomes more and more certain, "the centre of gravity of His thought is shifted to the World beyond the grave, and the picture of a glorious return to conquer and to judge the world rises before Him."

The peculiar interweaving of Synoptic and Johannine ideas leads to the result that, between the two, Beyschlag in the end forms no clear conception of the eschatology, and makes Jesus think in a half-Johannine, half-Synoptic fashion. "It is a consequence of Jesus' profound conception of the Kingdom of God as something essentially growing that He regards its final perfection not as a state of rest, but rather as a living movement, as a process of becoming, and since He regards this process as a cosmic and supernatural process in which history finds its consummation, and yet as arising entirely out of the ethical and historical process, He combines elements from each into the same prophetic conception." An eschatology of this kind is not matter for history.

In the acceptance of the "miracles" Beyschlag goes to the utmost limits allowed by criticism; in considering the possibility of one or another of the recorded raisings from the dead he even finds himself within the borders of rationalist territory.


Whether Bernhard Weiss's [1] is to be numbered with the liberal Lives of Jesus is a question to which we may answer "Yes; but along with the faults of these it has some others in addition." Weiss shares with the authors of the liberal "Lives" the assumption that Mark designed to set forth a definite "view of the course of development of the public ministry of Jesus," and on the strength of that believes himself justified in giving a very far-reaching significance to the details offered by this Evangelist. The arbitrariness with which he carries out this theory is quite as unbounded as Schenkel's, and in his fondness for the "argument from silence" he even surpasses him. Although Mark never allows a single word to escape him about the motives of the northern journeys, Weiss is so clever at reading between the lines that the motives are "quite sufficiently" clear to him. The object of these journeys was, according to his explanation, "that the people might have an oppor-

[1] Bernhard Weiss, Das Leben Jesu. 2 vols. Berlin, 1882. See also Das Markusevangelium, 1872; Das Matthausevangelium, 1876; and the Lehrbach der neutestamentlichen Theologie, 5th ed., 1888. Bernhard Weiss was born in 1827 at Konigsberg, where he qualified as Privat-Docent in 1852. In 1863 he went as Ordinary Professor to Kiel, and was called to Berlin in the same capacity in 1877.

Among the distinctly liberal Lives of Jesus of an earlier date, that of W. Kruger- Velthusen (Elberfeld, 1872, 271 pp.) might be mentioned if it were not so entirely uncritical. Although the author does not hold the Fourth Gospel to be apostolic he has no hesitation in making use of it as an historical source.

There is more sentiment than science, too, in the work of M. G. Weitbrecht, Das Leben Jesu. nach den vier Evangelien, 1881.

A weakness in the treatment of the Johannine question and a want of clearness on some other points disfigures the three-volume Life of Jesus of the Paris professor, E. Stapfer, which is otherwise marked by much acumen and real depth of feeling. Vol. i, Jesus-Christ avant son ministere (Fischbacher, Paris, 1896); vol. ii. Jesus-Christ pendant son ministere (1897) ; vol. iii. La Mart et la resurrection de Jesus-Christ (1898).

F. Godet writes of "The Life of Jesus before His Public Appearance" (German translation by M. Reineck, Leben Jesu vor seinem dffentlichen Auftreten. Hanover, 1897).

G. Langin founds his Der Christus der Ceschichte und sein Christentum (The Christ of History and His Christianity) on a purely Synoptic basis. 2 vols., 1897-1898.

The English Life of Jesus Christ, by James Stalker, D.D. (now Professor of . rc" History in the United Free Church College, Aberdeen), passed through numberless editions (German, 1898; Tubingen, 4th ed., 1901).

Very pithy and interesting is Dr. Percy Gardner's Exploratio Evangelica. A Brief Examination of the Basis and Origin of Christian Belief. 1899; 2nd ed, 1907.

A work which is free from all compromise is H. Ziegler's Der geschichtliche Christus (The Historical Christ). 1891. For this reason the five lectures, delivered in Liegnitz, out of which it is composed, attracted such unfavourable attention that the Ecclesiastical Council took proceedings against the author. (See the Christliche Welt, 1891, pp. 563-568, 874-877.)


tunity, undistracted by the immediate impression of His words and actions, to make up their minds in regard to the questions which they had put to Him so pressingly and inescapably in the last days of His public ministry; they must themselves draw their own conclusions alike from the declarations and from the conduct of Jesus. Only by Jesus' removing Himself for a time from their midst could they come to a clear decision as to their attitude to Jesus." This modern psychologising however, is closely combined with a dialectic which seeks to show that there is no irreconcilable opposition between the belief in the Son of God and Son of Man which the Church of Christ has always confessed and a critical investigation of the question how far the details of His life have been accurately preserved by tradition, and how they are to be historically interpreted. That means that Weiss is going to cover up the difficulties and stumbling-blocks with the mantle of Christian charity which he has woven out of the most plausible of the traditional sophistries. As a dialectical performance on these lines his Life of Jesus rivals in importance any except Schleierroacher's. On points of detail there are many interesting historical observations. When all is said, one can only regret that so much knowledge and so much ability have been expended in the service of so hopeless a cause.

What was the net result of these liberal Lives of Jesus? In the first place the clearing up of the relation between John and the Synoptics. That seems surprising, since the chief representatives of this school, Holtzmann, Schenkel, Weizsacker, and Hase, took up a mediating position on this question, not to speak of Beyschlag and Weiss, for whom the possibility of reconciliation between the two lines of tradition is an accepted datum for ecclesiastical and apologetic reasons. But the very attempt to hold the position made clear its inherent untenability. The defence of the combination of the two traditions exhausted itself in the efforts of these its critical champions, just as the acceptance of the supernatural in history exhausted itself in the-to judge from the approval of the many-victorious struggle against Strauss. In the course of time Weizsacker, like Holtzmann, [1] advanced to the rejection of any

[1] Holtzmann, Neutestamentliche Einleitung, 2nd ed., 1886. Weizsacker declares himself in the Theologische Literaturzeitung for 1882, No. 23, and Das apostolische Zeitalter, 2nd ed., 1890. ,

Hase and Schenkel accepted this position in principle, but were careful to keep open a line of retreat.

Towards the end of the 'seventies the rejection of the Fourth Gospel as an historical source was almost universally recognised in the critical camp. It is taken for granted in the Life of Jesus by Karl Wittichen (Jena, 1876, 397 pp.), which might be reckoned one of the most clearly conceived works of this kind based on the Marcan hypothesis if its arrangement were not so bad. It is partly in the form of a commentary, inasmuch as the presentment of the life takes the form of a discussion of sixty-seven sections. The detail is very interesting. It makes an impression of naivete when we find a series of sections grouped under the title, "The establishment of Christianity in Galilee." No stress is laid on the significance of Jesus' journey to the north. Wittichen, also, misled by Luke, asserts, just as Weisse had done, that Jesus had worked in Judaea for some time prior to the triumphal entry.


possibility of reconciliation, and gave up the Fourth Gospel as an historical source. The second demand of Strauss's first Life of Jesus was now-at last-conceded by scientific criticism.

That does not mean, of course, that no further attempts at reconciliation appeared thenceforward. Was ever a street so closed by a cordon that one or two isolated individuals did not get through? And to dodge through needs, after all, no special intelligence, or special courage. Must we never speak of a victory so long as a single enemy remains alive? Individual attempts to combine John with the Synoptics which appeared after this decisive point are in some cases deserving of special attention, as for example, Wendt's [1] acute study of the "Teaching of Jesus," which has all the importance of a full treatment of the "Life." But the very way in which Wendt grapples with his task shows that the main issue is already decided. All he can do is to fight a skilful and determined rearguard action. It is not the Fourth Gospel as it stands, but only a "ground-document" on which it is based, which he, in common with Weiss, Alexander Schweizer, and Renan, would have to be recognised "alongside of the Gospel of Mark and the Logia of Matthew as an historically trustworthy tradition regarding the teaching of Jesus," and which may be used along with those two writings in forming a picture of the Life of Jesus. For Wendt there is no longer any question of an interweaving and working up together of the individual sections of John and the Synoptists. He takes up much the same standpoint as Holtzmann occupied in 1863, but he provides a much more comprehensive and well-tested basis for it.

In the end there is no such very great difference between Wendt and the writers who had advanced to the conviction of the irreconcilability ot the two traditions. Wendt refuses to give up the Fourth Gospel altogether; they, on their part, won only a half victory because they did not as a matter of fact escape from the Johannine interpretation of the

[1] H. H. Wendt, Die Lehre Jesu, vol. i. Die evangelischen Quellenberichte uber die Lehre Jesu. (The Record of the Teaching of Jesus in the Gospel Sources.) 354 pp. Gottingen, 1886; vol. ii, 1890; Eng. trans., 1892. Second German edition in one vol., 626 pp., 1901. See also the same writer's Das Johannesevangelium. Untersechung seiner Entstehung und seines geschichtlichen Wertes, 1900. (The Gospel of John: An Investigation of its Origin and Historical Value.) Hans Heinrich Wendt was born in 1853 at Hamburg, qualified as Privat-Docent in 1877 at Gottingen, was subsequently Extraordinary Professor at Kiel and Heidelberg, and now works at Jena.


Synoptics. By means of their psychological interpretation of the first three Gospels they make for themselves an ideal Fourth Gospel, in the interests of which they reject the existing Fourth Gospel. They will hear nothing of the spiritualised Johannine Christ, and refuse to acknowledge even to themselves that they have only deposed Him in order to put in His place a spiritualised Synoptic Jesus Christ, that is, a man who claimed to be the Messiah, but in a spiritual sense. All the development which they discover in Jesus is in the last analysis only an evidence of the tension between the Synoptics, in their natural literal sense and the "Fourth Gospel" which is extracted from them by an artificial interpretation.

The fact is, the separation between the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel is only the first step to a larger result which necessarily follows from it-the complete recognition of the fundamentally eschatological character of the teaching and influence of the Marcan and Matthaean Jesus. Inasmuch as they suppressed this consequence, Holtzmann, Schenkel, Hase, and Weizsacker, even after their critical conversion, still lay under the spell of the Fourth Gospel, of a modern, ideal Fourth Gospel. It is only when the eschatological question is decided that the problem of the relation of John to the Synoptics is finally laid to rest. The liberal Lives of Jesus grasped their incompatibility only from a literary point of view, not in its full historical significance.

There is another result in the acceptance of which the critical school had stopped half-way. If the Marcan plan be accepted, it follows that, setting aside the references to the Son of Man in Mark ii. 10 and 28, Jesus had never, previous to the incident at Caesarea Philippi, given Himself out to be the Messiah or been recognised as such. The perception of this fact marks one of the greatest advances in the study of the subject. This result, once accepted, ought necessarily to have suggested two questions: in the first place, why Jesus down to that moment had made a secret of His Messiahship even to His disciples; in the second place, whether at any time, and, if so, when and how, the people were made acquainted with His Messianic claims. As a fact, however, by the application of that ill-starred psychologising both questions were smothered; that is to say, a sham answer was given to them. It was regarded as self-evident that Jesus had concealed His Messiahship from His disciples for so long in order in the meantime to bring them, without their being aware of it, to a higher spiritual conception of the Messiah; it was regarded as equally self-evident that in the last weeks the Messianic claims of Jesus could no longer be hidden from the people, but that He did not openly avow them, but merely allowed them to be divined, in order to lead up the multitude to the recognition of the higher spiritual character of the office which He claimed for Himself.


These ingenious psychologists never seemed to perceive that there is not a word of all this in Mark; but that they had read it all into some of the most contradictory and inexplicable facts in the Gospels, and had thus created a Messiah who both wished to be Messiah and did not wish it and who in the end, so far as the people were concerned, both was and was not the Messiah. Thus these writers had only recognised the importance of the scene at Caesarea Philippi, they had not ventured to attack the general problem of Jesus' attitude in regard to the Messiahship, and had not reflected further on the mutually contradictory facts that Jesus purposed to be the Messiah and yet did not come forward publicly in that character.

Thus they had side-tracked the study of the subject, and based all their hopes of progress on an intensive exegesis of the detail of Mark. They thought they had nothing to do but to occupy a conquered territory, and never suspected that along the whole line they had only won a half victory, never having thought out to the end either the eschatological question or the fundamental historical question of the attitude of Jesus to the Messiahship.

They were not disquieted by the obstinate persistence of the discussion on the eschatological question. They thought it was merely a skirmish with a few unorganised guerillas; in reality it was the advance-guard of the army with which Reimarus was threatening their flank, and which under the leadership of Johannes Weiss was to bring them to so dangerous a pass. And while they were endeavouring to avoid this turning movement they fell into the ambush which Bruno Bauer had laid in their rear: Wrede held up the Marcan hypothesis and demanded the pass-word for the theory of the Messianic consciousness and claims of Jesus to which it was acting as convoy.

The eschatological and the literary school, finding themselves thus opposed to a common enemy, naturally formed an alliance. The object of their combined attack was not the Marcan outline of the life of Jesus, which, in fact, they both accept, but the modern "psychological" method of reading between the lines of the Marcan narrative. Under the cross fire of these allies that idea of development which had been the strongest entrenchment of the liberal critical Lives of Jesus, and which they had been desperately endeavouring to strengthen down to the very last, was finally blown to atoms.

But the striking thing about these liberal critical Lives of Jesus was that they unconsciously prepared the way for a deeper historical view which could not have been reached apart from them. A deeper understanding of a subject is only brought to pass when a theory is carried to its utmost limit and finally proves its own inadequacy.

There is this in common between rationalism and the liberal critical


method, that each had followed out a theory to its ultimate consequences. The liberal critical school had carried to its limit the explanation of the connexion of the actions of Jesus, and of the events of His life, by a "natural" psychology; and the conclusions to which they had been driven had prepared the way for the recognition that the natural psychology is not here the historical psychology, but that the latter must be deduced from certain historical data. Thus through the meritorious and magnificently sincere work of the liberal critical school the a priori "natural" psychology gave way to the eschatological. That is the net result, from the historical point of view, of the study of the life of Jesus in the post-Straussian period.

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