The Hermann Detering Legacy/3—Curriculum Vitae 2005–2010

2005-06. “Die Gegner des Paulus—Judaistenthese 2. Jahrhundert” (“The Opponents of Paul—Judaists 2nd Century Thesis). This is a significant book-length treatment (270 pp → German PDF). Detering writes: “The thesis that I here expound is new. I attempt to show that the author of the Pauline epistles addresses Judaizers of the second century rather than those of the first century. The inauthenticity of the Pauline epistles necessarily follows” (p.1). In turn, Detering’s arguments lead to the overall conclusion that the New Testament derives not from the first century, but from the second.

2006. Article on the biologist Ernst Haeckel and the freethinking pastor and Jesus mythicist Albert Kalthoff, in A. Lenz (ed.), DARWIN, HAECKEL, UND DIE FOLGEN. Kalthoff (1850–1906) revived many of Bruno Bauer’s theses and helped bring them out of obscurity (see next entry).

2006. Article on Bruno Bauer in K. Kodalle (ed.), BRUNO BAUER. Bauer (1809–82) was a pioneer Jesus mythicist who laid the groundwork for much later mythicist thought—and who forfeited his professorship as a result. Bauer identified the Gospel of Mark as the first gospel that seeded the other canonical gospels. He dated its completion to the reign of Hadrian (117–138). Bauer regarded GMk as a complete fiction and “Mark not only as the first narrator, but even as the creator of the gospel history, thus making the latter a fiction and Christianity the invention of a single original evangelist” (Otto Pfleiderer). Bauer considered all the Pauline epistles to be forgeries, and that the gospels contain no authentic historical material. Bauer was the first author to systematically argue that Jesus did not exist.

2007. Article (54 pp): “Turmel redivivus–Die Ignatianen als marcionitische Pseudepigrapha.” (“Turmel redivivus—The Ignatian Epistles as Marcionite Pseudepigrapha” (→ German PDF, 54 pp). Already in his 1927 work, “Les Lettres d’Ignace d’Antioche,” Joseph Turmel (under the pseudonym Henri Delafosse) concluded that the Ignacian letters must be dated much later than is customary. “Their earliest redaction is Marcionite and can be no earlier than 135 CE, while their revisions date to 190-211 CE. It follows that the works cited by Pseudo-Ignatius could have been edited late and, finally, that the bodily existence of Jesus was unknown in the second century of our era—at least among some Christians” (see post on Joseph Turmel on this website).
     Detering concludes: “The enduring worth of Turmel’s work rests in his demonstrating that the complex and many-sided problems presented by the Ignatian letters can only be resolved through literary criticism and by postulating a Marcionite authorship.”

2007/09. Article (18 pp): “The Historical Approach to Jesus versus the Quest for the Historical Jesus” (→ PDF English translation by F.-J. Fabri). In this article Detering reveals his emerging mythicist views by insisting upon “a methodical doubt which also comprises the radical skepticism about the very existence of the historical character of Jesus of Nazareth” (p. 7). Detering argues against a theological/spiritual approach to Jesus, and instead advocates a radical historical approach. He writes (p. 7): “[We] are not interested in whether what Jesus said or what was said about him might hold a solution for the urgent problems we are preoccupied with today, but merely in the question what the Jesus figure–as a historical phenomenon–is like, even at the risk of getting results that are not edifying and have become irrelevant to modern people.”
     Detering reaffirms the critical second century dating of the New Testament canon: “If the apostolic authorship of the Synoptic Gospels has proved to be a biased thesis of the Church, there is no need to keep on insisting on an origin for them in the first or second half of the 1st century” (p. 11. See also entry above 2005–06, and the 2000 Detering entry, “The Synoptic Apocalypse (Mark 13/par): A Document from the Time of Bar Kochba” (50 pp, English PDF → here).

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