GESHURITES, ge-shfl'raits. See Canaan, § 11.

GESS, ges, WOLFGANG FRIEDRICH: German Lutheran, belonging to the modern kenotic school (see Christology, X., 4, § 2; Kenosis); b. at Kirchheim unter Teck (16 m: s.e. of Stuttgart), Württemberg, June 27, 1819; d. at Wernigerode (43 m. s.w. of Magdeburg) June 1, 1891. He studied at the monastic school at Blaubeuren and at Tübingen (1837-11), and became vicar of his father, who was general superintendent at Heilbronn. Following the Württemberg custom of his time, as candidate in theology in 1843 he visited various universities-Heidelberg, Bonn, Berlin, Wittenberg, and Halle. His first pastorate was at Maulbronn, whence he returned in 1846 to Tübingen as repetent, and then became pastor at Grossanspach. In 1850 he went to the Mission House in Basel as instructor in theology. From 1864 to 1871 he was ordinary professor of systematic theology and exegesis at Göttingen, from 1871 to 1880 professor at Breslau and member of the Silesian consistory, then general superintendent of the province of Posen till 1885, after which time he lived in retirement at Wernigerode.

The teaching of Gess was fundamentally Biblical. " The Biblical doctrine of faith, which we have here to deal with," he declared in one of his lectures at Basel, " is derived not from the symbolical documents of any particular Church, but immediately from the revealing sources themselves. .

It presupposes that the transmitting author really comprehends the fundamental thoughts [of the

Spirit] out of which all Scripture has grown and did not import extraneous or foreign views." With Auberlen, Riggenbach, Stdhelin, and others he delivered popular lectures in Basel in 1860-61 in vindication of the Christian faith (Eng. transl., The Foundations of our Faith, Edinburgh, 1863), and here he first brought out his chief literary work, Die Lehre von der Person Christi (1856), with three supplementary articles "On the Atonement" in the Jahrbücher für deutsche T heologie, 1857-59. He aims to set forth the conceivableness of the union "of the complete humanity and the real divinity in Christ," especially in the light of Phil. ii. 5 sqq.; and to prove "how completely a demonstration, once apprehended with ethical profundity, of the righteousness of God in the fact of Christ's death, corresponds to the needs of the human conscience, and accords with the holy love of God." In connection with his lectures in Göttingen he began to rewrite the work entirely de novo and as the result published first Christi Selbstzeugniss (Basel, 1870); a second part, Das apostolische Zeugmas von Christi Person and Werh; followed in two volumes (1878-1879), the first treating of Paul's views and influence, the second of the apostolic testimony after Paul's labors; a third and concluding part, Dogmatische Verarbeitung des Zeugnisses Christi und der apostolischen Zeugnisse, also entitled Das Dogma van Christi Person and Werk entwickelt arts Christi Selbatzeugniss and den Zeugnissen der Aposted appeared in 1887. His last work, Die Inspiration der Helden der Bibel und der Schriften der Bibel was issued in 1891 by his son, Ernst Gees, pastor in Berlin, after his death.

The solution of the problem, °° how he who was born as very man can be the same person with him who had glory with the Father before the foundation of the world, Who was as God with God" (vol. iii., p. 254), constituted the literary life-work of Gess. " Christ's actual acknowledgment of the righteousness of God by silent and humble endurance of the sentence of condemnation, is the mainspring of his messianic work " (iii. 144). The expression that with the Son of God all variableness is excluded, is " only a theological construction, not a canon of Christ, Paul, John " (iii. 352). The " great transformation " took place in him, " in that he passed over from the life of the absolute, or self-constituent, into the life of the transposed, or objectively constituted " (p. 353). Just as with the children of men God creates the soul at the instant of conception, and the divinely created spirit unites with the bodily nature engendered by man and woman, so " with Jesus the Logos-Nature unites with the corporal nature as conceived in Mary by the Holy Ghost." Thus arises " the resemblance of Jesus to his mother " (p. 360). So, too, his vital development is conditioned by the gradual maturing of his bodily organism (p. 367). Again, his sanctification remained " the act of real freedom; that is, the freedom of choosing between contrasted or opposing possibilities " (p. 369). " He was still in the process of learning, even in Gethsemane (Heb. v. 7 sqq.). He was doing the same on the cross. Only with his death was his voluntary sanctification, together with the Atone-


ment, completed" (p. 370). After glorification he lives in the body, " mediates all his world work, even his triune relationship, through his body .... Nay more, even his soul's life itself maintains the impress that was stamped upon it by his earthly career; his holiness, his love, his mercy, though divine, is at the same time accounted human " (p. 411).

Of the minor works of Gess, the Bibelstunden on the last discourses of Jesus (Basel, 1871) reached a fifth edition in 1894, and those on the Epistle to the Romans (2 vols., 1885-88) a second edition in 1892. He also published several volumes of lec tures.

Wilhelm Schmidt.


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