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Introducing Jens Schröter (to English readers)

October 28, 2013

Professor Jens Schröter will need no introduction, perhaps, to scholars in the field of New Testament.  Now Professor in the Humboldt-University in Berlin, he has established himself as a significant voice in the field, especially for his contributions to “historical Jesus” questions, and a string of essays on various facets of the process by which the NT came to form a “closed” canon.

Now, I’m pleased to have a copy of a book comprising 16 essays by Schröter, newly translated into English (by Wayne Coppins):  From Jesus to the New Testament:  Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon (Baylor University Press & Mohr Siebeck, 2013).  This book is also the launch-volume in a new series, “Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity,” which is intended “to facilitate increased dialogue between German and Anglophone scholarship by making recent German research available in English translation” (from the “Editors’ Introduction,” vii).

As a collection of essays written originally as separate discussions, there is, unavoidably, a bit of repetition of ideas here and there.  But several themes are clear:  questions about how to combine “historical criticism” and a concern for theological exegesis, the connections between the ministry of Jesus and subsequent religious developments that led to “Christianity”, the process and factors that led to the NT canon, and what the canon represents and how it can serve in contemporary thinking about Christian faith.

Especially for those readers seriously interesting in these questions, and who wish to benefit from the thinking of a significant “voice” in current NT studies, have a look at this volume.  And thanks to Coppins and others involved in making Schöter’s thoughts more readily accessible to English-speaking readers.

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