Historical And Critical Inquiry Respecting The Ascension Of Christ -- By: Gottfried Kinkel

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:1 (Feb 1844)
Article: Historical And Critical Inquiry Respecting The Ascension Of Christ
Author: Gottfried Kinkel


Historical And Critical Inquiry Respecting The Ascension Of Christ

Gottfried Kinkel

of the University of Bonn.
Translated from the German by B. B. Edwards,
Professor in the Theol. Seminary, Andover.

[The following essay relates to a subject of deep interest, and which is not unattended with serious difficulty. The different accounts of the Evangelists are said by neologists to involve irreconcilable contradictions. The reader will be pleased with the spirit of the writer of the ensuing observations, and with the light which he casts upon many passages of the Word of God, though he should not feel at liberty to accord with all which is advanced. The author is a privatim docem in the evangelical faculty at Bonn. The article may be found in the “Theologische Studien u. Kritiken,” edited by Drs. Ullmann and Umbreit of Heidelberg, Vol. XIV. 1841. It is introduced by the following note from Dr. Mtzsch, the well-known theologian of Bonn. “The ensuing investigation, on account of the striking nature of its results, will certainly experience opposition from the two parties that occupy the hostile positions of our times; still it is conducted in a theological spirit and contains many observations on the meaning of the biblical narratives which must win the respect of the dissentient, and tend

to advance the general object. For this reason, and since the esteemed author is able in every respect to answer for himself, I have not hesitated to recommend the publication of the essay.”—Tr.]

According to the narratives in the gospels and apostolical testimony in the epistles, there stands at the end of the life of Jesus a fact, which all the witnesses report substantially alike, though with different phraseology and under different images. Christ himself, in the discourses related by John, represents it in the most spiritual manner, ‘as going home to the Father,’ yet, also, as an actual ascending to Him.1 According to Luke, Christ “was carried up,” “taken up,” taken away from the disciples, and carried before their eyes into heaven.2 Similar language the church has adopted in her Confessions, adding the words of Mark, or of his continuator, “that Christ sits on the right hand of God.”3 This last expression, may have as its basis, in addition to the emblematical language of the Old Testament, the vision of Stephen, who, when dying, saw the Son of Man “standing on the right hand of God,”4 In all these expres...

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