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The Historical Jesus and the Letters of Paul: Revisiting Bernard C. Lategan’s Thesis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores thethe relationship between two influential Jews: Jesus and Paul. No historical relationship, said Rudolf Bultmann. Ernst Käsemann told the World Council of Churches (WCC) that the New Testament (NT) did not affirm the unity of the church, but rather reflected the 20th century church's lack of unity - what Käsemann called "multiplicity". Bernard C. Lategan was strengthened in his conviction by what he learnt from the way Jewish tradition was passed on. According to Nikolaus Walter, the debate on the continuity or discontinuity between Jesus and Paul continued into the late 1960s and 1970s, but without great vigour. The reason was that the hermeneutical debate of the 1960s made it clear that the theologically decisive question of continuity in substance between Jesus' preaching of the kingdom of God and Paul's Gospel of justification was not dependent on particular assumptions about the history of tradition.

Keywords: Bernard C. Lategan; Ernst Käsemann; Jesus; New Testament (NT); Nikolaus Walter; Paul's Gospel; Rudolf Bultmann; World Council of Churches (WCC)



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