Sunday, October 26, 2008

E. Earle Ellis on F.C. Baur

E. Earle Ellis (who is apparently making good progress on his ICC commentary on 1 Corinthians) has an appendix on F.C. Baur in his major work on the origins of the New Testament. He commends Baur as a committed churchman and thinks of him primarily as a systematizer rather than as an independent critical historian. In the end, Ellis says of Baur:

"In Tuebingen today there is properly a 'Ferdinand Christian Baur Street' to commemorate a great figure of the city's past. As is appropriate, it is a branch off 'Philosophers Way.' Equally appropriate, I believe, it is a Sackgasse, a blind alley. Baur produced a construct of early Christianity that was too artificial and exegetically too poorly grounded to serve as a viable historical representation. If Baur failed, however, he nevertheless identified many of the problems that must still be addressed and resolved." (The Making of the New Testament Documents [Leiden: Brill, 1999], 445).

4 comments:

Brandon said...

Thank goodness for the 10 dollar Brill sale back in Philly, huh?

Matthew said...

Ellis is a BASTARD. He has claimed in his prior work that Baur was a pagan, an atheist, and a fraud who only practiced Christianity because his job depended on it. He also has claimed that Baur was not an exegete of scripture (despite the fact that many other New Testament scholars have consistently identified him as the founder of modern Pauline studies), and then had the nerve to follow that comment with a bald assertion that all the epistles with Paul's name on them are authentic and that all NT texts were written before 70 CE! These items are in his Foreword to Horton Harris's HATCHET JOB which was torn to shreds in the reviews when it was published. (If you're curious, I've just completed a 120+ page thesis on Baur)

ssmaxwell said...

I guess we should read 120 pages of opinion from someone who is unable to express himself without the use of foul and derogatory language (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 3:8) and who attacks a man who has been identified as one the preeminent New Testament Scholars of our age. Not!

John Mark Harris said...

I knew Ellis, had 4 seminars with him. Ellis is more of an exegete than Baur. Baur was much more philosophical, where as NT scholars (such as Ellis) deal in Biblical Theology. It is true, Baur is the father of modern Pauline studies, but such is the state of modern scholarship, more Systematic Theology & less Biblical Theology. Ellis is a model for scholarship and as a man, he ended every semester by having the whole class rise and he pronounced a blessing and prayed for us. He teared-up every time.