Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"The best book"

Some penetrating words from one of the giants in NT studies, Adolf von Harnack:

"No other book of the New Testament had to suffer so much as Acts, although despite its evident weaknesses, it is in more than one respect the weightiest (wichtigste) and best (beste) book in the New Testament. All the mistakes that have been made in NT criticism have come to a focus in the criticism of Acts. The book had to suffer above all because Paul and Paulinism have been understood in a one-sided way and simultaneously greatly overrated. It had to suffer because a false picture has been formed of the nature and relation of Jewish and Gentile Christianity. It had to suffer because (extraordinary survival of an unjustifiable reverence for the apostolic!) the most extreme demands have been made upon a companion of Paul--a sure understanding of Paul, congeniality, freedom from every independent tendency, absolutely trustworthiness, and an infallible memory."
--Lukas der Arzt, 87

2 comments:

cryptotheology said...

Wow, that's an awesome comment! Poor old Acts...

Mike S. said...

Matthew: Indeed! The shadow of F.C. Baur looms large...