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New Testament & Mythology [Paperback]

By Rudolf Bultmann (Author) & Schubert M. Ogden (Editor)
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Item description for New Testament & Mythology by Rudolf Bultmann & Schubert M. Ogden...

"The volume begins with a new . . . translation of Bultmann's original programmatic essay of 1941, 'New Testament and Mythology'. . . It is followed by 'Theology as Science'. . . {Two} essays on hermeneutics, 'The Problem of Hermeneutics' and 'Is Exegesis without Presuppositions Possible?' are here combined with 'Science and Existence' and a 1961 essay, 'On the Problem of Demythologizing.'" (Christian Century) Bibliography. Index.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Pages   180
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 5, 1984
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800624424  
ISBN13  9780800624422  

Availability  76 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 03:57.
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More About Rudolf Bultmann & Schubert M. Ogden

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rudolf Bultmann was born in 1884 and died in 1976.

Rudolf Bultmann has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Fortress Texts in Modern Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about New Testament & Mythology?

Bultmann and the Ability to Translate  Mar 10, 2003
The hermeneutic of Rudolf Bultmann, to which the Marburg theologian gave definitive expression in this collection of essays, is extraordinarily important not only for study of the New Testament but also for theory of interpretation in general.
Bultmann's central thesis is that, in order for utterance to attain meaning, it has to be shareable. That a message would lend itself to being shared, then, is crucial, according to Bultmann.
This shareability, Bultmann explains, works itself out practically in the sense of translatability. That is, one utterance, one set of terms, takes on meaning to the extent that we can translate it into another idiom, another set of terms. For example, the apocalyptic language of early Christianity, far from being a dead letter or an irrelevant issue, continues to be alive because we can translate it into another idiom, the idiom of our coming to the end of our mortal existence and the contraints this fact places upon us in the urgency to "redeem the time."
I highly recommend this collection of essays to historians, psychologists, linguists, philosophers, theologians, and anyone concerned with the problem of interpretation.
Fundamental, but not for fundamentalists  Sep 26, 2001
This is a classic work of 20th century theology. It is a must read for anyone who wants to take the New Testament seriously and still remain in the modern world view.
If we demythologize, why not demythologize God, too?  Mar 13, 2000
Bultmann is stimulating, thought-provoking, and challenging. His comments on hermeneutics are especially helpful, but his program of demythologization suffers from serious inconsistencies and arbitrary limits. Bultmann argues that people cannot use technology, even as simple as light bulbs, and still believe in the spirit world of the New Testament (p. 4) -- and yet millions do. Bultmann has misjudged the modern mind -- he has assumed that all people think the way he does. Bultmann attempts to reinterpret the New Testament message to make it intelligible to the modern mind, and this is a noble goal. However, only a fraction of the world thinks the way he does, and he is wrong to assume that there is such a thing as "the" modern mind. Instead of presenting the gospel in terms that moderns can understand, he wants instead to tell moderns how they must think. It is questionable whether Bultmann's reinterpretation of the NT has convinced anyone. He often claims that his critics have misunderstood them, which means that he has failed to communicate his ideas to them, probably because he is not thinking the way that they do. Bultmann's method seems to exclude God from any involvement in our lives. Although he at times writes of God doing something in us, he also scoffs at the idea that our minds can be influenced by supernatural powers -- to think like this is schizophrenic (p. 5). He demythologized the Holy Spirit (p. 20). We do not refer our feelings and thinking to the intervention of divine powers (p. 97). "It is inconceivable that God encounters me," he writes on p. 105. In other words, Bultmann cannot think of a God who actually does anything. Bultmann claims that we cannot "pick and choose" the amount of mythology we accept (p. 8), but he admits that the NT does this -- it demythologizes "here and there" (p. 11). Actually, Bultmann himself does it. On p. 38, Bultmann notes that Paul writes of both present and future life. Bultmann accepts the present, but not the future, but does not explain why. The kerygma, he says, is the message of God's decisive act in Christ (p. 12) -- but isn't it mythical to think that God has acted, especially in a decisive way in a particular person? Is the person of Jesus mythology? Bultmann admits that it is not historically provable that God acted in Christ (p. 119). So how can a modern person accept this unproveable idea? The kerygma proclaims an act of God in history (p. 59) -- but "myth is the report of an occurence or an event in which supernatural superhuman forces or persons are at work" (95). By Bultmann's own definition, the kerygma proclaims a myth. If we are to demythologize everything (not picking and choosing), we must also get rid of the kerygma. Once you start down this road, is there any logical place to stop? Do we at some point go against logic? Could we go against logic by even refusing to go down this road at all? It is internally self-contradictory, logically inconsistent. Bultmann's methodology excludes acts of God and yet he proclaims a kerygma that has nothing but a vaguely defined act of God. "It seems absurd to concede the appropriateness of demythologizing for certain peripheral statements in the NT, only to contest it for the central statements" (99). Why would a modern existentialist even care what Bultmann thinks? Why should a modern person believe that authentic existence must include Christ, rather than excluding this idea? Bultmann has no evidence, and even denies that there can be any. Just believe, or not believe -- the same claim that Islam or Joseph Smith could make. Is Bultmann's idea of God any better than theirs? Is there any basis for making such a choice? Not in Bultmann's methodology. A modern existentialist could feel authentic by choosing not to believe, and is there nothing further that could be said? Is a "no" answer just as legitimate as a "yes" answer? (152). What does a person do in authentic existence? Bultmann's talk about the voluntary acceptance of suffering (p. 35) sounds more like fatalism. It is a God who cannot do anything, not even communicate with me. Bultmann writes that the claims of the NT must be accepted "only in obedient faith.... It is precisely the fact that they cannot be proved that secures the Christian proclamation against the charge that it is mythology" (42). In other words, we know it isn't mythology because we can't prove it. Wouldn't the same logic apply to unicorns? No wonder Bultmann is so often misunderstood! He writes something similar on p. 114: "The fact that faith cannot be proved is precisely its strength." "God can be believed in only against appearances" (122). We may then ask Bultmann's own question: "How is such faith to be distinguished from a blind acceptance by means of a sacrificium intellectus?" (90). Indeed, by Bultmann's methodology, there is no reason to believe in a God. If we start with the assumption that miracles cannot happen, that God does not intervene in the natural world, we end up with a God who cannot do anything, and a God who for all practical purposes does not have authentic existence.

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