Rudolf Bultmann

From Academic Kids

Rudolf Karl Bultmann (August 20, 1884 - July 30, 1976) was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg. His History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) is still highly regarded as an essential tool for gospel research, even by scholars who reject his analyses of the conventional rhetorical tropes or narrative units of which the Gospels are assembled, and the historically-oriented principles called "form criticism," of which Bultmann has been the most influential exponent:

"The aim of form-criticism is to determine the original form of a piece of narrative, a dominical saying or a parable. In the process we learn to distinguish secondary additions and forms, and these in turn lead to important results for the history of the tradition."

In 1941, he applied form criticism to the Gospel of John, in which he distinguished the presence of a lost Signs Gospel on which John, alone of the evangelists, depended. His monograph was highly controversial. The same year his lecture New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Message called on interpreters to replace traditional theology with the existential philosophy of Bultmann's colleague, Martin Heidegger, an endeavor to make accessible to a literate modern audience the reality of Jesus' teachings. Bultmann remained convinced the narratives of the life of Jesus were offering theology in story form. Lessons were taught in the familiar language of myth. They were not to be excluded, but given explanation so they could be understood for today. Bultmann thought faith should become a present day reality. To Bultmann, the people of the world appeared to be always in disappointment and turmoil. Faith must be a determined vital act of will, not a culling and extolling of "ancient proofs".

Some scholars criticized Bultmann and other critics for excessive skepticism regarding the historical reliability of the gospel narratives. The full impact of Bultmann was not felt until the English publication of Kerygma and Mythos (in 1948).

Bultmann's main works

  • Neues Testament und Mythologie (1941)


New Jerome Biblical Commentary Edited by Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmeyer, and Roland E. Murphy, Prentice Hall 1990, update of 1968 edition, See P 1137-1139, Modern New Testament Criticism- John S. Kselman and Ronald D. Witherup

  • R. Bultmann, Existence and Faith. Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann, edited and translated by S. M. Ogden, London, 1961
  • R. Bultmann, Jesus and the Word, translated by L. P. Smith and E. H. Lantero, London, 1952.
  • R. Bultmann, New Testament and Mythology and Other Writings, edited and translated by S. M. Ogden, London, 1984
  • D. Fergusson, Bultmann, London, 1992
  • Edgar V. McKnight, What is Form Criticism (Guides to Biblical Scholarship, New Testament Series) Fortress Press, 1969

External links

ja:ルドルフ・カール・ブルトマン sk:Rudolf Bultmann


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