Adolf Schlatter's "Glaube im Neuen Testament (Faith in the New Testament)" Now on Pre-Pub

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Clifford Kvidahl | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 16 2012 12:29 PM

We just placed Adolf Schlatter's Glaube im Neuen Testament (Faith in the New Testament) on pre-pub. If you are not familar with this great German scholar, check out the article on Schlatter in "Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters" or "Bible Interpreters of the 20th Century."

Adolf Schlatter has sadly been widely ignored in evangelicalism for far to long! With this work, we are bringing Schlatter to more readers in hopes that they will read and profit from one of the finest New Testament scholars of the last century.

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Hapax Legomena | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 12:42 PM

I'm not familiar with this work but I pre-ordered it because I'd like to encourage Logos in its efforts to make such foreign language resources (including Latin!) available.

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Clifford Kvidahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 12:51 PM

Hapax Legomena:

I'm not familiar with this work but I pre-ordered it because I'd like to encourage Logos in its efforts to make such foreign language resources (including Latin!) available.

ἅπαξ λεγόμενα,

Thanks for the support! The work is a 500+ page study on πίστις and the concept of faith in the New Testament. Not only this, it examines how πίστις and its cognates were used and understood by Palestinian Jews and Greeks before Christ. It is a fascinating study that deserves a wide read. Also, Kittel himself praised the work of his teacher, dedicating vol 1 of his TDNT to Schlatter:

Der Glaube im Neuen Testament is a model for the investigation of biblical theological terms. And it perhaps expresses to this eighty year old scholar the thanks which the Church and theology and especially New Testament scholarship owe to his life’s work.

 

 

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 1:09 PM

Clifford Kvidahl:

We just placed Adolf Schlatter's Glaube im Neuen Testament (Faith in the New Testament) on pre-pub. If you are not familar with this great German scholar, check out the article on Schlatter in "Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters" or "Bible Interpreters of the 20th Century."

Adolf Schlatter has sadly been widely ignored in evangelicalism for far to long! With this work, we are bringing Schlatter to more readers in hopes that they will read and profit from one of the finest New Testament scholars of the last century.

Thanks a lot for this!

I just saw the Tweet about it, pre-orderered it and shared the news on the (well, right now rather small) "Logos Users Germany" group in Faithlife. This really is a big thing, can't wait till you publish it!

As I understand you will need to collect all the pre-pub interest etc and then to translate and produce the set, which is consequently given with a 2013 publication date. In the meantime you may want to entertain us with Schlatter's New Testament Theology - it has been translated by Andreas J Kostenberger (!) and published by Baker in 1997/99 I think (two volumes, out of print now: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Christ-Foundation-Testament/dp/0801020891/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334604742&sr=1-2 and http://www.amazon.com/The-Theology-Apostles-Development-Testament/dp/0801021898/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334604742&sr=1-4 ) 

In Germany, up till the end of the last century, many evangelical laypeople used to have the non-scholarly edition of Schlatter's NT commentary (I think the last re-prints were in the 1980s). 

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 1:28 PM

Clifford Kvidahl:

That would be hard. Here's Wikipedia for others who don't have those books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Schlatter (if you can read German, switch over to that article; it's much longer). I can't say I liked the line about him regretting the "favorable situation" of the Jews in contemporary Germany -- "contemporary" being 1935!

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 1:43 PM

fgh:

Clifford Kvidahl:

That would be hard. Here's Wikipedia for others who don't have those books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Schlatter (if you can read German, switch over to that article; it's much longer). I can't say I liked the line about him regretting the "favorable situation" of the Jews in contemporary Germany -- "contemporary" being 1935!

Sad  Never believe a wikipedia line you didn't edit yourself. 'Nuff said.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 2:37 PM

fgh:

Clifford Kvidahl:

That would be hard. Here's Wikipedia.

Well, in case more needs to be said: I just did a search for Schlatter in my Library and was surprised to find hits in about a hundred resources! Many NT commentaries refer back to his work at some point and he is often cited as one of the founding fathers on "NT Theology" as an academic discipline.

Here's a section from "Bible Interpreters" logosres:bblintr20cen;ref=Page.pp_68-69;off=1744 

One of the most important hallmarks of Schlatter’s biblical scholarship was his attention to Jewish backgrounds. Many of his academic peers were heavily indebted to philosophical idealism and tended to see ancient Judaism and pure Christianity in antithetical terms. Historical research sometimes became a matter of finding parallels to the New Testament in non-Jewish sources, and then theorizing how these non-Jewish ideas, however remote temporally or geographically, came to appear in the Semitic-sounding books of the New Testament. A whole interpretive school formed around this enterprise: the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule (history-of-religions school). Typical of its approach were its explanations of central aspects of John’s Gospel on the basis of ideas found in Greek and Hellenistic sources such as Plato and Philo.

Schlatter demurred: “If we surround [the New Testament] with pieces of background which contradict its clear statements, we are making historical research into a work of fiction. In my view, New Testament theology only fulfills its obligations by observation, not by free creation.”12 Schlatter argued for a Palestinian origin of John’s Gospel. In both technical monographs and his critical commentary on John, Schlatter advanced extensive linguistic and historical arguments to support his view. He went largely unheeded in his lifetime—but was vindicated after Dead Sea Scroll discoveries in the late 1940s bore out his contentions about the Palestinian flavor of the fourth Gospel.

Schlatter’s attention to the Semitic dimensions of the New Testament did not, however, cause him to ignore Hellenism’s ubiquitous presence in first-century Palestine. For example, the first volume of his New Testament theology details the similarities and differences between Jesus’ and Hellenistic thought.13 Volume 2 likewise carefully notes the distinctives of Greek culture in its interplay with the gospel.14 To say that Schlatter paid attention to Jewish thought is not to say that he gave short shrift to Greek ideas. It is simply to point out that he noted not only similarities between New Testament language and Hellenistic sources, but also differences. These differences had to be accounted for, and Schlatter found that the most likely sources were often Jewish and Old Testament background material.

In recent years E. P. Sanders has called attention to the distortions of ancient Judaism that plagued New Testament scholarship in the past. Today both Gospel and Pauline studies are marked by pronounced emphasis on, and positive assessment of, the New Testament’s Jewish features. While the pendulum has swung too far in this direction in some quarters, the current trend is an improvement over the covert, and sometimes overt, anti-Semitism of past scholarship. Schlatter deserves credit for anticipating this trend. His laborious and, at the time, lonely forays into the labyrinths of rabbinic thought and Jewish history mark him as a true pioneer. Modern New Testament historians like the late F. F. Bruce and Martin Hengel have continued to show the fruitfulness of this approach, enlarging the foundation that Schlatter laid.

There is a nice comprehensive article in the Evangelical Review of Theology called "The Promise of Adolf Schlatter" - I give just the section adressing the same point as above: logosres:ert004;ref=Page.p_26;off=750

Schlatter was one of the earliest German scholars to recognize the distinctive Jewish character of the New Testament, i.e. that the New Testament documents found their home in Palestinian Judaism and also, when Paul moved out into the Roman world, in the synagogue of the Hellenistic world. It is easy to discern a latent anti-Semitism in German theology from the Enlightenment onward, particularly behind some of the critical biblical work from the period immediately preceding Schlatter and continuing to the present. For example, we can see that F.C. Baur generally regards Judaic things in a very negative fashion. Also, Welhaussen, the influential Old Testament critic, has recently been scorned for his not only implicit but very explicit anti-Semitism, running straight through his writings as well as his personal life. In my understanding, there is not a trace of this in Schlatter. Quite the contrary, he stresses very positively the Jewish setting of the Gospels. He is perfectly at home not only in Josephus and inter-testamental literature but also in the Rabbinic writings, and he applies his research results to his New Testament study. Being at the beginning of his discipline he does not sift his materials as critically as more recent scholars do in terms of dating and the historical origin of Rabbinic ideas, but he is certainly moving in the right direction. He pioneered the approach, later taken up by Dahlman, Jaremias and a host of contemporary New Testament scholars, which fills out New Testament historical background and brings to bear on the text not only Old Testament material but also first-century and subsequent Jewish literature as it carried down traditions already present in Jesus’ time.

Schlatter even has a short entry in "Who is Who in Christian History" - a snippet: logosres:who;hw=Schlatter,_Adolf_Von

In such theological works as Die Theologie des Neuen Testaments (1909) and Das Christliche Dogma (1911), Schlatter insisted that the only valid foundation for systematic theology lay in sound biblical exegesis, and he stressed the central importance of the historical Jesus for a true understanding of the Christian faith. In New Testament studies he wrote Die Sprach und Heimat des vierten Evangelisten (1902), in which he showed, from his deep knowledge of the Semitic background of the New Testament, that many phrases in the Gospel of John that were commonly held to be Hellenistic could be paralleled from Rabbinic writings. Schlatter also produced such historical works as A History of Israel from Alexander to Hadrian (1901)

Interestingly, Gordon Fee even mentions him in the article in the book of the same name "To What End Exegesis?"

scholarship in the generation preceding mine seemed pretty well committed to the agenda of modernity—to control the data by means of a historical-critical methodology, within a non-supernatural framework, which very often included a strongly anti-supernatural bias. When my generation came on the scene, not only had such a bias rather totally taken over the playground, but it had also established some new rules for the game. These rules developed especially in Germany, where the church had long been subservient to the academy. The history of evangelical faith in such an environment is not a happy one, although there were notable exceptions in scholars like Adolf Schlatter and Joachim Jeremias.

 

 

 

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2012 2:51 PM

NB.Mick:
In the meantime you may want to entertain us with Schlatter's New Testament Theology - it has been translated by Andreas J Kostenberger (!) and published by Baker in 1997/99 I think (two volumes, out of print now: http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Christ-Foundation-Testament/dp/0801020891/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334604742&sr=1-2 and http://www.amazon.com/The-Theology-Apostles-Development-Testament/dp/0801021898/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334604742&sr=1-4 ) 

Totally agree! I was going to suggest this when I saw your request. Please Logos let us have Schlatter's New Testament Theology also YesYesYes.

I have placed a Pre-Pub for Faith in the New Testament.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 26 2012 12:31 PM

fgh:
I can't say I liked the line about him regretting the "favorable situation" of the Jews in contemporary Germany -- "contemporary" being 1935!

I didn't like it either. And it just doesn't fit anything I read by or about Schlatter. Now I know why: it's simply not true.

The article in this non-reputable source just claims that there is a debate, because some guy from UCLA maybe once wrote something to this end - or not (it is referenced to a printed General History book which seems to allow no preview on Google books or Amazon). Most probably the wiki editor didn't understand his/her source and maybe the same goes for this historian as well. 

I bought the 1935 booklet in question - it is 25 pages in German black-letter fraktur. Despite the title, Schlatter doesn't discuss the situation of Jews in contemporay Germany, but adresses the then-favorable ideas of a "German Christianity" with a non-Jewish Jesus who certainly wasn't the Son of God, come to serve, die in humility for all people etc. but was an Aryan hero, not born from a virgin but a product of rape.

Schlatter starts off with showing that contemporay "German Christianity" thus resurrects arguments of Jewish anti-Christian propaganda from the first centuries - hence the title. Surely this polemical take (the *** help Jewish anti-Christians to victory after all those centuries!) was part of the reasons that moved the *** to ban this book and have it confiscated by Gestapo secret police. Schlatter polemizes against the "celebration of the rising sun" (the swastika symbol) which was sought to replace "celebrating the coming of Jesus" in the Christmas season. One of the themes running through the book is the banning of faith into the private sphere, accompanied with public indoctrination. He then shows from the argumentative base of the *** that their idea of a "German Christianity" is a logical contradiction as well as no valid option for Christians. Very clearsightedly he predicts that Nazi ideology will lead to death and destruction, but also that the *** will logically come to the point of persecuting Christians that do not fit into their ideology.

In course of the booklet he often constructs hypothetical thoughts and reasonings that he puts into the mind of a Jewish persecuter of Christians or of a heroic "Nordic" Man - clearly fictitious people who are employed to show that certain argumentative patterns are futile (Paul and Sokrates used this technique sometimes). For example, Schlatter discusses the liberal theologian idea of "myth", that strips Jesus of his divinity, as an argument now open for a theoretic Jewish persecutor of christianity, but of course this same argument would destroy the OT miracles as well. Or he dismisses the "Aryan hero" idea - it doesn't fit into the nazi idea of such a person to identify fully as a Jew!

Thus, the booklet in essence is a warning for Christians that there is no compromise with Nazi ideology and they need to be aware of the incompatibility of Jesus' person/teaching and the nationalist agenda. Schlatter also seeks to explain to his (Christian) readers that privately believing and leaving the public arena to the *** is the wrong thing to do.

He doesn't call them to arms and active battle against the regime, he rather writes that the church will not seek to destroy and use force, but will suffer and bless - nevertheless she will be calling people to her Lord and thus be potentially regarded a subversive enemy of the nation. This clearly is anti-Nazi propaganda - and despite the title (which may perhaps just have been invented to give an excuse for those found posessing it) the *** understood that very well and didn't like it, even in 1935 which was early on in the history of the Third Reich. A shame that some contemporary "historians" don't seem to get this.  

 

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Jeremy Hulsey | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 19 2013 3:20 PM

Is Logos any closer to publishing this?????????????????

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 21 2013 5:18 PM

Hi Jeremy,

welcome to the forums!

Jeremy Lee Hulsey:

Is Logos any closer to publishing this?????????????????

I very much hope so. There was a recent article on this translation in the "academic" Logos blog, see http://academic.logos.com/2013/11/26/translating-adolf-schlatters-faith-in-the-new-testament/ (one of those designed to feed the new blog's history prior to its official announcement). At least it sounds like this was an ongoing project and maybe the blog post author is part of a team undertaking it. 

But they may still be far away from completing it, we won't know until they set a ship date (and thus far, we haven't seen "in development", so it may remain a pipe dream unless more people commit to this resource)

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L.A. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 22 2013 8:01 AM

Clifford Kvidahl:
We just placed Adolf Schlatter's Glaube im Neuen Testament (Faith in the New Testament) on pre-pub.
 

Clifford Kvidahl:
Adolf Schlatter has sadly been widely ignored

Would buy the German-only Version for 2/3 of the price. Seems that the English is financing the German - isn't it? Anyway: thanks for the effort!

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David Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 22 2013 9:54 AM

On the basis of the status of an attempt a year earlier (March 2011) to market original language versus an English translation, I would have to agree that the English is likely financing the German. 

With the Dutch Gereformeerde Dogmatiek Logos tried the alternative model of seperate offerings.
See:  https://www.logos.com/product/30711/gereformeerde-dogmatiek  still at around 20% with the corresponding English version at 100% and in production: https://www.logos.com/product/9362/reformed-dogmatics

It will be interesting to see how well the French translations of the Ariel Ministries collections are received given the English versions have already been available for several years.
https://www.logos.com/product/38318/collection-detudes-bibliques-messianiques-de-ministeres-ariel
https://www.logos.com/product/38319/selection-doeuvres-darnold-g-fruchtenbaum

 

 

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