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Heretics: The Other Side of Early…

Heretics: The Other Side of Early Christianity

by Gerd Lüdemann

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Lüdemann's critical examination of "holy scripture and its authority" is a meticulous historical investigation of early Christianity that seeks "to direct attention once again to Jesus." General readers may find the extensive documentation intimidating; but the argument is accessible, and the documentation is tucked away in notes that can be left to scholars. Beginning with Lessing's insight that the New Testament was a work of the Catholic church and his claim that- because "the appeal to the writings of the New Testament as intrinsically binding on the faith is a dogma of the Catholic church"-we may draw our own conclusions about Jesus, L¸demann sets about to welcome the heretics of primitive Christianity back into the Christian community as valuable human witnesses to the human Jesus. A heretic is one who makes a choice, and L¸demann notes that this was done on all sides in the processes of canonization by which the New Testament was formed, just as it must be done by contemporary Christians who would draw conclusions for the present from historical reconstructions. No doubt, some readers will be put off by Lüdemann's assertion that the Bible is the word of human beings, not the Word of God. But even those who are put off may find Lüdemann's willingness to say "I" refreshing and his historical reconstruction provocative.
  stevenschroeder | Jul 30, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0664220851, Hardcover)

Gerd Ludemann argues that it is impossible to overlook the historical distance between every possible theology today and the primitive Christian period. The gulf between the history of Jesus and the varied picture of him in the New Testament makes it impossible to argue for the Bible's inspiration.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:18 -0400)

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