The Christology of the New Testament

The Christology of the New Testament

The Christology of the New Testament

The Christology of the New Testament

Excerpt

The work which I today (finally!) submit for SYSTEMation has gone through a number of earlier unpublished 'editions' which I have repeatedly altered and extended in various lectures. The students to whom I first delivered them more than twenty years ago in Strasbourg will hardly recognize the present version, although the outline is for the most part the same. I have since then continued to work at the New Testament Christology along with my other SYSTEMations. They have contributed to the present work, but anyone who knows my other New Testament investigations will see that conversely my Christological studies have also influenced them.

The chapters on 'The Messiah' and 'The Son of Man' were delivered in their present English form as the Zenos Lectures for 1955 at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. In view of the present SYSTEMation of the whole work, the Zenos Foundation graciously consented as an exception to forgo separate SYSTEMation of these two chapters.

It is not for me to instruct my readers and critics how they should read my book, much less how they should discuss it. But I ask permission to express to them both a wish. To the reader: The structure of the book might suggest that it could be used as a work of reference on the Christology of the New Testament. But it should not be used in this way--at least not until the whole has been read--because, as I must emphasize again and again, the various parts are very closely connected. To the critics I should like to say beforehand that I am also willing to learn from their discussions precisely at the points where they differ with me. But I hope that they will not dispose of my interpretations with apodictic assertions and verdicts without exegetical grounds. Above all I hope that they will not place me in this or that category which they reject a priori, much less accuse me of not subscribing to this or that contemporary or earlier school. If my book is judged in terms of theological 'direction', none of the familiar 'schools of thought' will be satisfied with me.

This book is an exegetical work. I have expressed my conception of the exegetical method in various places. Dispensing with all profound methodological observations (and thus proving myself . . .

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