Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

PREFACE

The following course of lectures was delivered at Manchester College, Oxford, during the Hilary (midwinter) term, 1920. Previous engagements had compelled the lecturer to reduce the period of his stay from the full year originally proposed to these relatively narrow limits. This drew from Principal Jacks the suggestion that the topic be made comprehensive, in order to afford a completer survey of the lecturer's understanding of New Testament Literature. With this design in view a subject was chosen which has of late received the attention of many scholars, but which seemed capable of a mode of treatment emphasizing the relation of growth rather than that of mere apposition or contrast. The transition from the gospel of Jesus to the gospel of Paul might thus be studied in a way to make it a means of relating the whole group of writings of the New Testament canon to the general movement of religious thought and life from which they sprang.

The course as originally given contained but eight lectures. At its conclusion the lecturer was asked to take part in the Oxford Summer School of Theology in the ensuing August, with the suggestion that the closing lecture of the original course (on the Johannine Literature) should be expanded into two for this purpose. The suggestion was adopted, and the Lectures as printed are therefore nine in number, the added material of Lectures VIII and IX being inclosed in [].

In submitting his work to the judgment of a wider public the lecturer aspires to no richer reward than to

win an approval in some degree approximating the generosity of treatment accorded at the ancient seat of English culture and religious thought.

New Haven, Ct., September, 1920.

JESUS AND PAUL

LECTURE I

INTRODUCTORY

THE PHASES OF NEW TESTAMENT LITERATURE, AS RE

FLECTING THE MOVEMENT OF RELIGIOUS LIFE

1. The Phases of the Literature The aim that we are pursuing in common in this brief course of study is an analysis of the early literature of Christianity in order to get at the springs of its life. We are to apply without reserve or restriction every process of historical and literary criticism which modern science places within our reach. We do this because as rational students of the history of civilization no less than as Christian believers we are persuaded of the preëminent value of Christianity as a force operative in the social organism. For as such it made itself felt in the reconstruction of the world which followed upon the downfall of Graeco-Roman heathenism, and the ele ments of its power are still available. At the beginning of our era national religion in the form of emperorworship gave way to the Old Testament ideal of the Kingdom of God in Christianized form. Personal religion, which had taken the form of various oriental mystery religions and cults of individual immortality, also gave way. It yielded to the doctrine of an eternal life in the keeping of Christ with God. National religion and personal religion were combined in new forms, and the combination led to the conversion of

« ÎnapoiContinuați »