The Christology of the New Testament

Front Cover
SCM Press, 1963 - Religion - 346 pages

The first edition of this splendid book appeared in 1959. Dr Culimann has not changed his mind on points of substance, but has enlarged his book in this second edition by adding references to recent literature and by appending a notable epilogue, in which CulImann defends his position against the volleys thundering on the right hand, and on the left from Roman Catholic traditionalists and from radicals of the Bultmann school. In its new dress the book will long continue as a standard guide on a topic of electrifying importance for the student of New Testament thought.'
Henry Chadwick in the Church of England Newspaper

.. a work of comprehensive, careful and controversial scholarship ... will add notably to the equipment of every serious student of the New Testament.'
Times Literary Supplement

'The author of this important book is one of the leading New Testament scholars of the day... He has produced a book, based on a lifetime of study, which is highly stimulating, and will command respect even where it provokes disagreement.'
Church Times

'Professor CulImann covers an immense field, but this book is the product of reflection over many years. It reveals deep and searching thought and the disciplined use of a powerful mind; and the result is a book of mark.'
Glasgow Herald

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About the author (1963)

Oscar Cullmann, a prominent Lutheran theologian and New Testament scholar, was born in Strasbourg, France, and held membership in the Lutheran church of Alsace. He earned three academic degrees at the University of Strasbourg, including a doctorate in theology in 1930. He pursued further studies at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. Cullmann taught at the Universities of Strasbourg (1927-38) and Basel, Switzerland (1938-72), and also offered courses at the Sorbonne (1951-72). Quite active in Protestant-Roman Catholic dialogue, he was cofounder of the Ecumenical Institute at Jerusalem. For more than a generation, Cullmann took the lead in advocating a salvation-historical interpretation of the New Testament. Cullmann insisted that biblical texts be studied inductively. Thus, he argued that those postbiblical suppositions favored by nineteenth-century historicism and twentieth-century existentialism must be consciously set aside if the New Testament authors are to be heard on their own terms. In Cullmann's view, Heilsgeschichte (i.e., the story of God's self-revelation and saving action) is the unifying thematic center of the entire Bible. The midpoint and consummation of salvation history is discernible in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This "Christ event" establishes meaning for all that comes before (the period of Israel) and all that follows (the period of the church). The coming "eschaton", says Cullmann, is the fulfillment of the decisive eschatological event in the death and resurrection of Christ. Cullmann's views are best known from his influential volume, Christ and Time (1950). Some scholars question Cullmann's identification of the Christ event as history's midpoint, because many early Christians understood Christ to be the end of history. Since the New Testament perceives the end in different ways, it appears that Cullmann has favored the way that is most congenial to his own theology.

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