A Solution to the Problem of the Historical Origins of the Bible and Jesus

A Solution to the Problem of the Historical Origins of the Bible and Jesus August 21, 2014

I found this very interesting passage in Martin Kähler’s The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historic Biblical Christ. Kähler offers his solution to the knotty problem of the historical origins of both the Bible and Jesus. Kähler places supreme value on the history of the effects of Jesus and the Bible as evidence for its reliability and credibility.

The great reality of the Bible has always prevented me from simply putting it in the same category as other literary productions. That is to say, I came to the same conclusion with respect to Holy Scripture as with respect to the person of Jesus. By the reality of the Bible I mean what the Bible has been in history and what it has come to mean for my life . . . What the Bible has meant in history and in my life are two facts that confirm each other . Had I not caught sight of the first and had I not been so powerfully overwhelmed by it, I would not have been spared the temptation to explain away my own experience psychologically and to divest it of its special meaning. Contrariwise, without my own personal relation to the Scriptures [or to Jesus], a relation that steadily increased in power and in depth, I would have seen no point in studying that complex history recored in the Bible, and discovering there these decisive aspects which could become clear and transparent even to a person who must remain a layman in matters of detailed historical research. These facts I was not able to disregard or deny for the sake of a consistency of logic which accepts as authentic only what conforms to the general norm and which thinks it “a sin to tower above the multitude” (112).

 


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  • Patrick

    For myself, it was exceptionally important when I studied the OT text alongside the texts/traditions of the neighboring peoples. The “departure” many see in Jesus starts with Yahweh in Genesis 1.

    Transcendence compared to continuity is such a contrast, then to see Jesus as a fulfillment and filling full of the OT making good logic to me(admittedly to a prejudiced believer), this all helps bolster my faith.