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Martin Hengel’s Impact

August 25, 2010

On the “Essays, etc.” page, I’ve uploaded a PDF of the pre-published version of my essay on Martin Hengel’s impact on English-speaking NT scholarship.  Hengel died 02 July 2009, and my essay was originally presented at a small conference organized in Cambridge by the late Graham Stanton to celebrate Hengel’s 80th birthday.

Hengel was probably the most widely-known German NT scholar in the last decades of the 20th century, the ready translation of his works into English obtaining a wide influence internationally.  He was phenomenally learned, and vigorous in advancing his views, which have been enormously influential (justifiably to my mind) on a number of matters concerning ancient Judaism and Christianity.  I’m very grateful to have known him personally, and his works will deserve to be read for a long time.

For one of the numerous obituaries, see the following:

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  1. Irving Hexham permalink

    Bob’s article is: Robert Morgan “Susannah Heschel’s Aryan Grundmann” in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2010 32: 431-492.

  2. Thanks very much for this tribute to Martin Hengel and his work. I was privileged to attend his lectures as a student, and have benefitted greatly from his writings over the years. I am grateful I also was able to attend his funeral.

    A couple comments: first, I was pleased to hear from Dr. Henning Ziebritzki of Mohr/Siebeck, that the Verlag plans to follow through on the plans to publish the four-volume series, Geschichte des frühen Christentums, at least initially with help from Prof. Schwemer.

    Second, it is worth noting that Hengel’s translated works are not always identical in content with their German counterpart. In fact, his recent book, Die Vier Evangelien und das eine Evangelium von Jesus Christus (Mohr/Siebeck 2008), is not the basis for his “Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ” (SCM 2000), but in a real sense, it was the other way round. Hengel prepared the English title from lectures given in the United States in English. His German volume is a rewrite and expansion of the German notes used to prepare the lectures which eventually became the English volume. Checking the German of a given volume is still a good idea. It is also a good reminder of the potential perils of “uncovering the original autograph.”

  3. Mike Bird permalink

    You might be glad to know that the proceedings of the Tyndale Fellowship NT group from July will be published next year with Mohr/Siebeck. It is a memorial volume in honor of Martin Hengel. A good mix of British, American, and German authors.

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