Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The NT as "witness to revelation": Some thoughts from P. Stuhlmacher

According to Peter Stuhlmacher (for German go here), this is what the New Testament writings claim for themselves (Biblische Theologie I, 4). For the verses go here.

Concerning 1 Cor 2.6-16 he says, "Biblical hermeneutics has to measure itself according to the Gospel and the conditions required for its understanding" (emphasis mine; original: "Biblische Hermeneutik muß sich am Evangelium und den Bedingungen messen lassen, die für sein Verständnis gelten"). This reminds me of an essay by Seitz on scriptural accordance, which I outlined here.

Whether Stuhlmacher is consistent here with his religionsgeschichtliche approach is another question. He got a bashing from Seitz in his essay, "Two Testaments and the Failure of One Tradition-History," in Figured Out. Seitz also critiques von Rad's theological use of traditionsgeschichte, which Stuhlmacher draws upon for justification of his approach (i.e. the New Testament just continues the process; there is a Traditionskontinuität), in his essay, "The Historical-Critical Endeavor as Theology: The Legacy of Gerhard von Rad," in Word Without End.

I love Seitz :)


John C. Poirier said...

I don't have time for a well thought-out comment on Stuhlmacher, but since you mention that he brings in 1 Cor 2:6-16 to support his view on Scripture, I should point out that this passage is about prophetic utterances in the NT church, and has nothing whatsoever to do with hermeneutics or Scripture. (Not that that's ever stopped anyone from using it that way before.)

Phil Sumpter said...

Perhaps, but Stuhlmacher's point about "the conditions for understanding the gospel" still apply. As Paul later evidences, the Old Testament narrative provided him with these conditions. Hence my link to the Seitz thread. Paul even cites scripture once again here, and it is more than a rhetorical flourish, it is the matrix out which he interprets Jesus and his significance.