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A chosen people and a ‘jewish problem’

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Chapter Summary

Investigating the biblical terms for church and early ecclesiology in Die Kirche des Urchristentums, Karl Ludwig Schmidt distances himself from the sharp dichotomy between Palestinian and Gentile Christianity, found in a long tradition from Semler and Baur, through Heitmüller and Bousset. Schmidt also stresses the continuity between Jesus and Judaism, and has no problems with the Jewishness of Jesus. Throughout these discussions, as a general rule Schmidt does not aim at denigrating Palestinian Judaism, as has been the case in New Testament research tradition, but he puts the two on a par with each other and acknowledges that Palestinian Judaism had a leading role. The dialogue, prepared through a correspondence between Schmidt and Buber, was written down in shorthand and published in Theologische Blätter. The kinds of argument seem typical of Schmidts relation to the Jews, however: salvation-historical, racial and theological. This chapter concentrates on Schmidts part of the dialogue.

Keywords: Christianity; Jewish problem; Karl Ludwig Schmidt; New Testament



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