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VORWORT ZUR ENGLISCHEN AUSGABE.
Ein theologisches Buch erhælt erst dadurch einen Platz in der Weltlitteratur, dass es Deutsch und Englisch gelesen werden kann. Diese beiden Sprachen zusammen haben auf dem Gebiete der Wissenschaft vom Christenthum das Lateinische abgelöst. Es ist mir daher eine grosse Freude, dass mein Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte in das Englische übersetzt worden ist, und ich sage dem Uebersetzer sowie den Verlegern meinen besten Dank.
Der schwierigste Theil der Dogmengeschichte ist ihr Anfang, nicht nur weil in dem Anfang die Keime fur alle späteren Entwickelungen liegen, und daher ein Beobachtungsfehler beim Beginn die Richtigkeit der ganzen folgenden Darstellung bedroht, sondern auch desshalb, weil die Auswahl des wichtigsten Stoffs aus der Geschichte des Urchristenthums und der biblischen Theologie ein schweres Problem ist. Der Eine wird finden, dass ich zu viel in das Buch aufgenommen habe, und der Andere zu wenig—vielleicht haben Beide recht; ich kann dagegen nur anführen, dass sich mir die getroffene Auswahl nach wiederholtem Nachdenken und Experimentiren auf’s Neue erprobt hat.
Wer ein theologisches Buch aufschlagt, fragt gewöhnlich zuerst nach dem “Standpunkt” des Verfassers. Bei geschichtlichen Darstellungen sollte man so nicht fragen. Hier handelt es sich darum, ob der Verfasser einen Sinn hat für den Gegenstand den er darstellt, ob er Originales und Abgeleitetes zu viunterscheiden versteht, ob er seinen Stoff volkommen kennt, ob er sich der Grenzen des geschichtlichen Wissens bewusst ist, und ob er wahrhaftig ist. Diese Forderungen erhalten den kategorischen Imperativ für den Historiker; aber nur indem man rastlos an sich selber arbeitet, sind sie zu erfüllen,—so ist jede geschichtliche Darstellung eine ethische Aufgabe. Der Historiker treu sein: ob er das gewesen ist, darnach soll mann fragen.
Berlin, am 1. Mai, 1894.
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION.
No theological book can obtain a place in the literature of the world unless it can be read both in German and in English. These two languages combined have taken the place of Latin in the sphere of Christian Science. I am therefore greatly pleased to learn that my “History of Dogma” has been translated into English, and I offer my warmest thanks both to the translator and to the publishers.
The most difficult part of the history of dogma is the beginning, not only because it contains the germs of all later developments, and therefore an error in observation here endangers the correctness of the whole following account, but also because the selection of the most important material from the history of primitive Christianity and biblical theology is a hard problem. Some will think that I have admitted too much into the book, others too little. Perhaps both are right. I can only reply that after repeated consideration and experiment I continue to be satisfied with my selection.
In taking up a theological book we are in the habit of enquiring first of all as to the “stand-point” of the Author. In a historical work there is no room for such enquiry. The question here is, whether the Author is in sympathy with the subject about which he writes, whether he can distinguish original elements from those that are derived, whether he has a thorough acquaintance with his material, whether he is conscious viiiof the limits of historical knowledge, and whether he is truthful. These requirements constitute the categorical imperative for the historian: but they can only be fulfilled by an unwearied self-discipline. Hence every historical study is an ethical task. The historian ought to be faithful in every sense of the word ; whether he has been so or not is the question on which his readers have to decide.
Berlin, 1st May, 1894.
FROM THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The task of describing the genesis of ecclesiastical dogma which I have attempted to perform in the following pages, has hitherto been proposed by very few scholars, and, properly speaking, undertaken by one only. I must therefore crave the indulgence of those acquainted with the subject for an attempt which no future historian of dogma can avoid.
At first I meant to confine myself to narrower limits, but I was unable to carry out that intention, because the new arrangement of the material required a more detailed justification. Yet no one will find in the book, which presupposes the knowledge of Church history so far as it is given in the ordinary manuals, any repertory of the theological thought of Christian antiquity. The diversity of Christian ideas, or of ideas closely related to Christianity, was very great in the first centuries. For that very reason a selection was necessary; but it was required, above all, by the aim of the work. The history of dogma has to give an account only of those doctrines of Christian writers which were authoritative in wide circles, or which furthered the advance of the development; otherwise it would become a collection of monographs, and thereby lose its proper value. I have endeavoured to subordinate everything to the aim of exhibiting the development which led to the ecclesiastical dogmas, and therefore have neither, for example, communicated the details of the gnostic systems, nor brought xforward in detail the theological ideas of Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, etc. Even a history of Paulinism will be sought for in the book in vain. It is a task by itself, to trace the after-effects of the theology of Paul in the post-Apostolic age. The History of Dogma can only furnish fragments here; for it is not consistent with its task to give an accurate account of the history of a theology the effects of which were at first very limited. It is certainly no easy matter to determine what was authoritative in wide circles at the time when dogma was first being developed, and I may confess that I have found the working out of the third chapter of the first book very difficult. But I hope that the severe limitation in the material will be of service to the subject. If the result of this limitation should be to lead students to read connectedly the manual which has grown out of my lectures, my highest wish will be gratified.
There can be no great objection to the appearance of a text-book on the history of dogma at the present time. We now know in what direction we have to work; but we still want a history of Christian theological ideas in their relation to contemporary philosophy. Above all, we have net got an exact knowledge of the Hellenistic philosophical terminologies in their development up to the fourth century. I have keenly felt this want, which can only be remedied by well-directed common labour. I have made a plentiful use of the controversial treatise of Celsus against Christianity, of which little use has hitherto been made for the history of dogma. On the other hand, except in a few cases, I have deemed it inadmissible to adduce parallel passages, easy to be got, from Philo, Seneca, Plutarch, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Porphyry, etc.; for only a comparison strictly carried out would have been of value here. I have been able neither to borrow such from others, nor to furnish it myself. Yet I have ventured to submit my work, because, in my opinion, it is possible to prove the dependence of dogma on the Greek spirit, without being compelled to enter into a discussion of all the details.
The Publishers of the Encyclopedia Brittannica have allowed me to print here, in a form but slightly altered, the articles xion Neoplatonism and Manichæism which I wrote for their work, and for this I beg to thank them.
It is now eighty-three years since my grandfather, Gustav Ewers, edited in German the excellent manual on the earliest history of dogma by Münter, and thereby got his name associated with the history of the founding of the new study. May the work of the grandson be found not unworthy of the clear and disciplined mind which presided over the beginnings of the young science.
Giessen, 1st August, 1885.xii
AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
In the two years that have passed since the appearance of the first edition I have steadily kept in view the improvement of this work, and have endeavoured to learn from the reviews of it that have appeared. I owe most to the study of Weizsäcker’s work on the Apostolic Age, and his notice of the first edition of this volume in the Göttinger gelehrte Anzeigen, 1886, No. 21. The latter, in several decisive passages concerning the general conception, drew my attention to the fact that I had emphasised certain points too strongly, but had not given due prominence to others of equal importance, while not entirely overlooking them. I have convinced myself that these hints were, almost throughout, well founded, and have taken pains to meet them in the new edition. I have also learned from Heinrici’s commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, and from Bigg’s “Lectures on the Christian Platonists of Alexandria.” Apart from these works there has appeared very little that could be of significance for my historical account; but I have once more independently considered the main problems, and in some cases, after repeated reading of the sources, checked my statements, removed mistakes and explained what had been to briefly stated. Thus, in particular, Chapter II. §§©1-3 of the “Presuppositions,” also the Third Chapter of the First Book (especially Section 6), also in the Second Book, Chapter I. and Chapter II. (under B), the Third xiiiChapter (Supplement 3 and excursus on “Catholic and Romish”), the Fifth Chapter (under 1 and 3) and the Sixth Chapter (under 2) have been subjected to changes and greater additions. Finally, a new excursus has been added on the various modes of conceiving pre-existence, and in other respects many things have been improved in detail. The size of the book has thereby been increased by about fifty pages. As I have been misrepresented by some as one who knew not how to appreciate the uniqueness of the Gospel history and the evangelic faith, while others have conversely reproached me with making the history of dogma proceed from an “apostasy” from the Gospel to Hellenism, I have taken pains to state my opinions on both these points as clearly as possible. In doing so I have only wrought out the hints which were given in the first edition, and which, as I supposed, were sufficient for readers. But it is surely a reasonable desire when I request the critics in reading the paragraphs which treat of the “Presuppositions,” not to forget how difficult the questions there dealt with are, both in themselves and from the nature of the sources, and how exposed to criticism the historian is who attempts to unfold his position towards them in a few pages. As is self-evident, the centre of gravity of the book lies in that which forms its subject proper, in the account of the origin of dogma within the Græco-Roman empire. But one should not on that account, as many have done, pass over the beginning which lies before the beginning, or arbitrarily adopt a starting-point of his own; for everything here depends on where and how one begins. I have not therefore been able to follow the well-meant counsel to simply strike out the “Presuppositions.”
I would gladly have responded to another advice to work up the notes into the text; but I would then have been compelled to double the size of some chapters. The form of this book, in many respects awkward, may continue as it is so long as it represents the difficulties by which the subject is still pressed. When they have been removed—and the smallest number of them lie in the subject matter—I will gladly break up this form of the book and try to give it xivanother shape. For the friendly reception given to it I have to offer my heartiest thanks. But against those who, believing themselves in possession of a richer view of the history here related, have called my conception meagre, I appeal to the beautiful words of Tertullian: Malumus in scripturis minus, si forte, sapere quam contra.”
Marburg, 24th December, 1887.xv
AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
In the six years that have passed since the appearance of the second edition I have continued to work at the book, and have made use of the new sources and investigations that have appeared during this period, as well as corrected and extended my account in many passages. Yet I have not found it necessary to make many changes in the second half of the work. The increase of about sixty pages is almost entirely in the first half.
Berlin, 31st December, 1893.xvi
Τὸ δόγματος ὄνομα τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ἔχεται βουλῆς τε καὶ γνώμης. Ὅτι δὲ τοῦθ᾽ οὕτως ἔχει, μαρτυρεῖ μὲν, ἱκανῶς ἡ δογματικὴ τῶν ἰατρῶν τέχνη μαρτυρεῖ δὲ καὶ τὰ τῶν φιλοσόφων καλούμενα δόγματα. Ὅτι δὲ καὶ τὰ συγκλήτῳ δόξαντα ἔτι καὶ νῦν δόγματα συγκλήτου λέγεται, οὑδένα ἀγνοεῖν οἶμαι.
Marcellus of Ancyra
Die Christliche Religion hat nichts in der Philosophie zu thun, Sie ist ein mächtiges Wesen für sich, woran die gesunkene und leidende Menschheit von Zeit zu Zeit sich immer wieder emporgearbeitet hat; und indem man ihr diese Wirkung zugesteht, ist sie über aller Philosophie erhaben und bedarf von ihr keine Stütze.
Gespräche mit Goethe von
Eckermann, Th. p. 39
|CHAPTER I.—Prolegomena to the Study of the History||1–40|
|§©1. The Idea and Task of the History of Dogma||1–23|
|Limits and Divisions||3|
|Dogma and Theology||9|
|Factors in the formation of Dogma||12|
|Explanation as to the conception and task of the History of Dogma||13|
|§©2. History of the History of Dogma||23–40|
|The Early, the Mediæval, and the Roman Catholic Church||23|
|The Reformers and the 17th Century||25|
|Mosheim, Walch Ernesti||27|
|Lessing, Semler, Lange, Münscher, Baumgarten-Crusius, Meir||29|
|Baur, Neander, Kliefoth, Thomasius, Nitzsch, Ritschl, Renan, Loofs||37|
|CHAPTER II.—The Presuppositions of the History of Dogma||41–136|
|The Gosppel and the Old Testament||41|
|The Detachment of the Christians from the Jewish Church||43|
|The Church and the Græco-Roman World||45|
|The Greek spirit an element of the Ecclesiastical Doctrine of Faith||47|
The Elements connecting Primitive Christianity and the growing Catholic Church
The Presuppositions of the origin of the Apostolic Catholic Doctrine of Faith
§©2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to His own Testimony concerning Himself
§©3. The Common Preaching concerning Jesus Christ in the first generation of believers
|The faith of the first Disciples||78|
|The beginnings of Christology||80|
|Conceptions of the Work of Jesus||83|
|Belief in the Resurrection||84|
|Righteousness and the Law||86|
|The Self-consciousness of being the Church of God||88|
|Supplement 1. Universalism||89|
Supplement 2. Questions as to the validity of the Law; the four main tendencies at the close of the Apostolic Age
|Supplement 3. The Pauline Theology||92|
|Supplement 4. The Johannine Writings||95|
|Supplement 5. The Authorities in the Church||98|
§©4. The current Exposition of the Old Testament and the Jewish hopes of the future, in their significance for the Earliest types of Christian preaching
|The Rabbinical and Exegetical Methods||99|
|The Jewish Apocalyptic literature||100|
Mythologies and poetical ideas, notions of pre-existence and their application to Messiah
|The limits of the explicable||105|
§©5. The Religious Conceptions and the Religious Philosophy of the Hellenistic Jews in their significance for the later formulation of the Gospel
|xixSpiritualising and Moralising of the Jewish Religion||107|
|The Hermeneutic principles of Philo||114|
§©6. The religious dispositions of the Greeks and Romans in the first two centuries, and the current Græco-Roman philosophy of religion
The new religious needs and the old worship (Excursus on θεός
|The System of associations, and the Empire||121|
|Philosophy and its acquisitions||122|
|Platonic and Stoic Elements in the philiosophy of religion||126|
|Greek culture and Roman ideas in the Church||127|
|The Empire and philosophic schools (the Cynics)||128|
(1) The twofold conception of the blessing of Salvation in its significance for the following period
(2) Obscurity in the origin of the most important Christian ideas and Ecclesiastical forms
(3) Significance of the Pauline theology for the legitimising and reformation of the doctrine of the Church in the following period
DIVISION I.—The Genesis of Ecclesiastical Dogma, or the Genesis of the Catholic Apostolic Dogmatic Theology, and the first Scientific Ecclesiastical System of Doctrine
|CHAPTER I.—Historical Survey||141–144|
CHAPTER II.—The Element common to all Christians and the breach with Judaism
CHAPTER III.—The Common Faith and the Beginnings of Knowledge in Gentile Christianity as it was being developed into Catholicism
|xx(1) The Communities and the Church||150|
(2) The Foundation of the Faith; the Old Testament, and the traditions about Jesus (sayings of Jesus, the Kerygma about Jesus), the significance of the “Apostolic”
|(3) The main articles of Christianity and the conceptions of salvation. The new law. Eschatology.||163|
|(4) The Old Testament as source of the knowledge of faith||175|
|(5) The knowledge of God and of the world, estimate of the world (Demons)||180|
|(6) Faith in Jesus Christ||183|
|Jesus the Lord||183|
|Jesus the Christ||184|
|Jesus the Son of God, the Theologia Christi||186|
|The Adoptian and the Pneumatic Christology||190|
|Ideas of Christ’s work||199|
|(7) The Worship, the sacred actions, and the organization of the Churches||204|
|The Worship and Sacrifice||204|
|Baptism and the Lord’s Supper||207|
|The premises of Catholicism||218|
|Doctrinal diversities of the Apostolic Fathers||218|
CHAPTER IV.—The attempts of the Gnostics to create an Apostolic Dogmatic, and a Christian theology; or the acute secularising of Christianity
|(1) The conditions for the rise of Gnosticism||223|
|(2) The nature of Gnosticism||227|
(3) History of Gnosticism and the forms in which it appeared
|(4) The most important Gnostic doctrines||253|
CHAPTER V.—The attempt of Marcion to set aside the Old Testament foundation of Christianity, to purify the tradition and reform Christendom on the basis of the Pauline Gospel
|xxiCharacterisation of Marcion’s attempt||267|
|(1)||His estimate of the Old Testament and the god of the Jews||271|
|(2)||The God of the Gospel||272|
|(3)||The relation of the two Gods according to Marcion||274|
|The Gnostic woof in Marcion’s Christianity||275|
|(5)||Eschatology and Ethics||277|
|(6)||Criticism of the Christian tradition, the Marcionite Church||278|
CHAPTER VI.—The Christianity of Jewish Christians, Definition of the notion Jewish Christianity
|Characterisation of Marcion’s attempt||267|
|(1)||General conditions for the development of Jewish Christianity||287|
Jewish Christianity and the Catholic Church, insignificance of Jewish Christianity, “Judaising” in Catholicism
Alleged documents of Jewish Christianity (Apocalpse of John, Acts of the Apostles, Epistle to the Hebrews, Hegesippus)
|History of Jewish Christianity||296|
|The witness of Justin||296|
|The witness of Celsus||298|
|The witness of Irenæus and Origen||299|
|The witness of Eusebius and Jerome||300|
|The Gnostic Jewish Christianity||302|
|The Elkesaites and Ebionites of Epiphanius||304|
Estimate of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies, their want of significance for the question as to the genesis of Catholicism and its doctrine
|I.||On the different notions of Pre-existence||318|
|II.||On Liturgies and the genesis of Dogma||332|
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