Biblical Criticism in Some of Its Theological and Philosophical Relations. II
The Biblical World
II. We have now reached the point where it becomes evident that this sketch of the speculative Christology held by the philosophers from Kant to Hegel has an important bearing upon the subject of modern criticism and theology. David F. Strauss forced the question of the historical reality of Christ into the foreground although his own answer was in the negative. He was a pupil of Hegel in Berlin until Hegel died in 1831. Then Strauss heard Schleiermacher. So two highly speculative and powerful
... ative and powerful minds influenced Strauss who adopted the philosophy of the one and was directed to the gospels by the other. Hegel's distinction between the notion as philosophy and the idea as religion, which were said to be formally but not materially different, troubled him. Strauss was a student of Scripture and he could not help asking: Do the gospels belong merely to the covering, the envelope, of the idea which is capable of being torn off by reason from the inner pure thought? Or, do the gospels and their meaning form an essential part of the material alike in both znotion and idea, in philosophy and in religion ? Is the person of Christ a mere element in the form and so not essential ? Or, has he value for the matter, the notion, speculative thought ? Assuming the Hegelian doctrine of the Absolute, Strauss then asked: can I not with the critical method work the life of Jesus as it is set forth in the gospels into harmony with the Hegelian philosophv ? This he accomplished but only by attributing all that was supernatural in the life of Christ to myth and legend, leaving only a pure and wise man. Strauss was attacked from all sides; by Hegelians who believed 444 This content downloaded from 138.073.