Editorial -- By: Samuel J. Schultz
BETS 10:1 (Winter 1967) p. 1
Facts and insights concerning the canon of the Bible are offered to our readers with the hope that they will stimulate continued scholarship in this area. Our resources for research are limited, especially when we extend into the pre-christian era.
What happened during the rise and growth of Christianity when the New Testament canon was acknowledged can be ascertained with much more assurance than the developments during the centuries when the Old Testament canon was written and recognized as authoritative. The literature contemporary with and immediately following New Testament times provides a fruitful area for continued research and investigation as numerous questions are posed in our day concerning the canonicity of the New Testament.
For the Old Testament canon neither historical nor archaeological sources have offered much help prior to, the Judean or Dead Sea Scrolls era of the first two centuries B. C. Consequently we are faced with the simple yet profound consideration of the two sources available for our investigation, namely, the Old Testament itself, and the teachings of Jesus as they come to us in the New Testament.
During the last century a large segment of scholarship has concluded on the basis of their appraisal of the contemporary culture and the humanity of Jesus that He was primarily a man of his times. Consequently Jesus was in error when He acknowledged the reality of demonology in his teaching and ministry. Likewise Jesus was in error in his eschatology since the apostles and the New Testament church believed in the imminent return of Christ but did not experience His coming in power and great glory. Furthermore Jesus and the apostles were wrong in their cosmological views which according to some interpretations offered in the twentieth century were limited to the first century perspective and therefore regarded as mistaken. Currently it is asserted that Jesus was wrong in His theology in claiming God as His Father and thus asserting divine sonship. Consequently the historical reality of the resurrection is in question.
Ultimately this approach to the teachings of Jesus brings into focus the question of Man’s eternal hope in Jesus Christ. Invited to another campus for a seminar on the Bible I was pointedly confronted with this crucial question by a very able philosophy major. Having been introduced into this area of study by reading Rudolf Bultmann’s Kerygma and Myth she asked: “If I cannot believe that Jesus actually said ‘I am the way, the
BETS 10:1 (Winter 1967) p. 2
truth, and the life’ what can I believe?” Consequently it becomes vitally important to each individual finally whether or not the teachi...
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