Bultmann, Rudolf (1884-1976)
He was the twentieth centurys most influential interpreter of the gospel
narratives of the New Testament. Based at Marburg in Germany for much of his
academic career, Bultmann is associated with the
term demythologisation. That is, Bultmann
recognised that the Bible was written in the context of a supernatural world
which no longer makes any sense to us today.
New Testament contains important teaching, about the human situation, which is
know as the Kerygma, the message. Yet this is
written mythological language which needs to be properly interpreted. He
expressed the importance of the existential encounter with God, rather than mere
historical knowledge. What matters for Bultmann, is
the response to the message in faith, he rejected the dependence of human beings
on historical knowledge, emphasising the faith response.
by: Richard P Whaite
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