Ferdinand Christian Baur


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German Protestant theologian, founder of the Tübingen School. He taught in Tübingen University from 1826 until his death. From 1835 he was inspired by G. W. F. Hegel's theory of historical development; this guided his interpretation of Gnosticism (1835) and various works on doctrine. He had also recognized the fact of conflict in the early Church and later made this the key to his understanding of early Christianity. In 1835 he denied the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles, dating them in the 2nd cent. on account of the historical situation they presuppose. His monograph on St Paul (1845) went on to deny the authenticity of all the Pauline Epistles except Gal., 1 and 2 Cor., and Rom., and assigned Acts to the later 2nd cent. In his work on the Gospels (1847) he gave the earliest dating to Mt., as representing the Judaizing party, and the latest to Jn., as depicting the final reconciliation. This last Gospel, he argued, reflected the Gnostic and Montanist controversies of the 2nd cent. and was devoid of historical value. Such views aroused a storm of controversy.

Subjects: Christianity.

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