Pauline Appeals To Historical Evidence -- By: W. Harold Mare

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 11:3 (Summer 1968)
Article: Pauline Appeals To Historical Evidence
Author: W. Harold Mare

Pauline Appeals To Historical Evidence

W. Harold Mare*

[*Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri]

Modern theologians have expressed varying views regarding faith and history, such as that of Oscar Cullmann of the Heilsgeschichte School who maintains that authentic Christian faith is not possible without belief in the historical fact that Jesus regarded himself as Messiah 1 and Bultmann 2 and the Bultmannians who deprive faith of any ground in the historical Jesus and center it in the kerygmatic Christ. 3

From an evangelical viewpoint we maintain that Cod has worked through objective, verifiable events in history and has given men objective, verifiable meaning and interpretation of those events 4 and that such events and their meaning have been given to us in authoritative, inerrant Scripture all of which is appropriated by a reasonable saving faith.

Thus in discussing Pauline Appeals to Historical Evidence, we begin with the following presuppositions: (1) it is logical that God, as a rational personal being, in creating man, also a rational being, would communicate with, and reveal Himself and His plans to, His created, rational being in a verbalized intelligent way and that His verbalized communication would be written and fully truthful; 5 (2) this written communication of history and doctrine, that is, the Bible, is verbally inspired and inerrant in the original manuscripts, among other things, because of the nature and testimony of the Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 3:16); (3) to these propositions our Christian faith is in agreement, a faith which is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8); and (4) a part of this history and doctrine of the Bible is that written by, or quoted or summarized from, the Apostle Paul.

In examining the preaching and teaching of Paul as exampled particularly in Acts 17 and also in 1 Corinthians 15, we will take into consideration the sitz im leben (i.e., “situation in life”) presented by the author in which this kerygma is found.

It is our proposition that Paul as an i...

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