By William Benjamin Smith, Paul Wilhelm Schmiedel
Der vorchristliche Jesus: nebst weiteren Vorstudien zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Urchristentums
This scarce antiquarian e-book is a facsimile reprint of the unique. as a result of its age, it will possibly include imperfections corresponding to marks, notations, marginalia and unsuitable pages.
The first variation of this paintings used to be released in German in 1905, and
since then the authors thesis has obtained frequent consciousness far and wide
the Christian global. That an American mathematician writing from
Tulane college, the place Smith is a professor, should still protect a thesis in
opposition to a complete military of upper critics and obtain such wide-
spread, and, most often, critical recognition from a rating or extra of them,
speaks good for American scholarship during this field.
The kernel of the 5 essays within the ebook can possibly be awarded as
follows: the unique doctrine referring to Jesus, a divinity who emanci
pates, protects, and heals, was once the idea and educating of a prechristian
cult which, among the years a hundred B.C. and a.d. a hundred, kind of enveloped
in secrecy and “mysteries,” was once common one of the Jews and espe
cially one of the Greeks. This doctrine was once the unique resource of Chris
tianity, which arose, for this reason, from many facilities, and never, as a later
tradition keeps, from the only heart of Jerusalem. Jesus used to be
called “ the Nazarene,” now not from town of Nazareth (which didn't ex
ist at that time), yet from the Hebrew which means of the foundation of the observe,
"the keeper” or "guard.” His anastasis intended initially the installa
tion as "Messiah,” “ World-Ruler,” “Judge of the residing and the dead,”
and so forth; and this used to be later, via the addition of the supplementary
phrase "from the dead,” became the resurrection. The "two nice
ideas,” the only, enforcing, preached by means of John the Baptist and others, of
" person who shall come," and the opposite, milder and extra genial. “of
Jesus,” have been initially various, yet have been eventually united on the planet-
conquering proposal of Jesus Christ. the assumption of the seed-sower needed to
do initially with God’s sowing the seeds of the trademarks which produced
the global, an image of the starting place of the area possessed through prechristian
Naasenes (erroneously thought of by way of a few to be in simple terms a sect of the
Christian gnostics). nobody knew of Paul's letter to the Romans until eventually
the yr a hundred and sixty A.D.
Smith writes, “ The Jesus-cult is an old truth, and certainly the
most very important old truth there's for us. within the gospels the Jesus*
concept is dominant, and within the different writings of the hot testomony the
Christ-idea is subordinate to it. . . . Orthodoxy or conservatism says
that Jesus was once god-man, echter Gott und zugleich echier Mensch” For
science, even though, this concept continues to be an unthinkable Unding. To ex
plain Jesus there are for technological know-how yet attainable hypotheses. both
Jesus is a deified guy, or he's a humanized god. just like the undulatory
theory of sunshine, the 1st speculation is now a truly hugely built con
cept. On it, specifically in Germany, 3 generations of students, between
them males of genius, have worked with unfaltering zeal. With what re
sult? One needs to confess, with a unfavourable outcome. in brief, the try to
explain the looks of the Jesus-cult, the recent gospel, and the chris-
tian propaganda through any possible notion of u basically human Jesus, has,
in the sunshine of historic feedback, in no recognize and in no measure, suc
ceeded. the total failure of this noble, century-long attempt turns into
daily a growing number of noticeable. ... If it have been attainable to give an explanation for the
facta based on this speculation, German technological know-how may lengthy
since have performed it. ... I problem the better critics to say a
single the most important truth of unique Christianity that is satisfactorily ex
plained by means of their conception. . . . the matter can by no means be solved during this
way. . . , as a result we needs to imagine that Jesus is a humanised god, and
carefully try out even if at the foundation of this assumption a view loose from
contradictions, during which all is so as, may be constructed. this is often the
only clinical process. In it on my own do we desire for a last resolution of
this most crucial and finest of all ancient difficulties"
And Smith is going directly to continue that Christianity will lose not anything and
gain in each method by way of this sort of solution.
In the preface of the 1st variation, Sohmoidel declares himself as an
opponent of Smith’s vicxvs, yet vouches for the author7* scholarly abil
ities and thorough equipment, asserting it will likely be tricky to refute Smith's
conclusions. quickly after its e-book, even if, in a piece entitled “ 1st
das four liberal© ’ Jcsusbild Wicderlegt t ** Weinel spends a lot ink in say
ing, with little or no grace, that Smith doesn't understand what he's conversing
about. In Drcws'a “ Christui-mythe H Schmeidel is criticized for writing
the preface to this sort of ebook; and Johannes Weiss, in forty four Jesus von Naaareth
Mythu* oder Geschichte,” writes that Schmeidel 14 may need performed higher
than, by way of writing o preface, offer this booklet with a foil.” Schmcidcl, in a
article, nleads that he merely wanted to name the eye t •
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Additional info for Der Vorchristliche Jesus
Die Schwierigkeit liegt darin, daß uns nirgends gesagt wird, worin ihr Christentum bestand. Wir haben diesen Bericht hingenommen, wie er sich dem Auge bietet, und dabei auf die Hilfe innerer Kritik verzichtet. Diese ist nicht notwendig, obgleich sie sicher lich, wenn es überhaupt noch möglich wäre, den ein leuchtenden und unvermeidlichen Schluß bekräftigen würde, ') Nicht ganz ohne Gründe hat man bisweilen gemeint, daß Apollos den Hebräerbrief geschrieben oder doch zusammengesetzt habe; denn der Standpunkt des Briefes scheint von dem Standpunkt des Apollos nicht sehr entfernt zu sein.
Vor seiner „Bekehrung" (Luc. 22 32) ist Petrus der Verleugner, der Verurteüte, der Reuige, der Auf-denWassern-gehen-Wollende ; dagegen ist der Simon Petrus in Joh. 1825 = 'EctUjc [vgl. 18i6; Mt. 26 58. 69; Mc. 14 54; Luc. 22 55. 56]. Man beachte, daß Johannes auf Petrus wiederholt mit Absicht und Bewußtsein das unterscheidende simonische Beiwort 'EcTiitc anwendet, und dies auch trotz des fünffachen Widerspruchs der Synoptiker tut, daß Petrus kein 'EctiIJc, sondern ein KaÖi'mevoc wäre. Die mannigfachen Betrach tungen, die diese Vermutung nahe legen, können hier nicht weiter verfolgt werden.
DER VORCHRISTLICHE JESUS 31 f) Andererseits ist solche Unsicherheit und solches Nichtwissen für alle Zeiten unvereinbar mit der Annahme eines gewissen, bestimmten lokalen und persönlichen Aus gangspunktes dieser Lehre. Wenn die nicht zählbare Brut religiöser und philosophischer Gedanken von einem einzigen »klar zutage liegenden" Nest biographischer Tatsachen sich plötzlich aufschwang und über die Welt flog, so ist uner klärbar, daß keine Kunde davon übrig geblieben ist, daß die ältesten und unverdrossensten Forscher keine dieser Tatsachen mehr auffinden konnten, sondern zu frommen Phantasien ihre Zuflucht nehmen mußten.
Der Vorchristliche Jesus by William Benjamin Smith, Paul Wilhelm Schmiedel