The Theological Frameworks of the Pastoral Epistles and the Johannine Writings
The third period falls into the latter part of the second century. Baur’s first book in NT studies was on the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus); he concluded that these Epistles could not have been written by Paul because of their polemic against Gnostic heretics. The greater part of Baur’s discussion here focuses on the Gospel of John, which he interprets as a culmination of the NT writings with its claim that Jesus is the incarnate Logos (Word) of God. The stories about Jesus’ teachings and healings are not historical reports but rather devices for the elaboration of the Johannine christology. The Gospel expresses an ideality relating to faith, love, eternal life, and spiritual presence, but it does so at the price of a polemic against the Jews and an idealizing of Jesus. In both positive and negative aspects, it has powerfully impacted on Christian theology.
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