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).