Document: Herman Ridderbos, Modern Thinkers: Bultmann, Trans. Calvin H. Freeman (USA: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1960).

Excerpt: Rudolf Bultmann, retired Professor of New Testament, of the University of Marburg, is today the center of interest throughout the theological world. The cause of his widespread fame is not simply due to what Bultmann has written in the course of the years concerning various major problems which deal with the origin of the New Testament, but rather it is especially due to the manner in which he tries to interpret the message of the New Testament for our generation. Bultmann definitely disclosed his position in a summarizing address entitled, New Testament and Myth, which he delivered in 1941 at Alpirsbach to the Gesellschaft fiir Evangelische Theologie. This address created a tremendous storm throughout the German theological world, a storm which has still not subsided but which appears rather to be spreading. An increasing number of scholars outside of Germany are becoming occupied with the problems posed by Bultmann, and the number of publications devoted to the latter, both great and small, continues to grow. And to keep abreast of the status of the discussion, in Germany now and again we find collections of the most important and characteristic publications concerning the theology of Bultmann. Naturally it is possible, as frequently occurs, that this new point of view will presently lose its popularity and be forgotten. On the other hand, we must seriously consider the possibility that this new conception is characteristic and will remain representative for the theological development of the middle of the twentieth century, just as rationalism, romanticism, and idealistic theological movements were characteristic of former times.

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Modern Thinkers: Bultman – Ridderbos.pdf