Baur, Ferdinand Christian

Baur, Ferdinand Christian a German theologian of marked influence on the German theology of the nineteenth century, was born June 21st, 1792; became, in 1817, Professor at the Theological Seminary of Blaubeuern, and in 1826 Professor of Evangelical Theology at the University of Tubingen. He died at Tubingen Dec. 2d, 1860. Baur is the author of numerous works on systematic and historic theology. At first he was regarded as a follower of Neander and Schleiermacher. But he afterward embraced Hegelianism, developed it into Pantheism, and for many years devoted the powers of his great intellect to the subversion of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. He went, step by step, farther from the positive Christian faith into Gnostic idealism, and in a series of writings endeavored to give an entirely new form. to the representation of primitive Christianity. On his death-bed, the Pantheist, who had looked upon the idea of a personal God with contempt, prayed, "Lord, grant me a peaceful end." Baur is the founder of the so-called Tubingen school of theology, which farther developed his views, and gained a sad notoriety by its attacks on the authenticity of the books of the New Testament. Among his works on the New Testament, the following are the most important: Die sogenannten Pastoral Briefe des Apostels Paulus (Stuttg. 1835), in which he denies the authenticity of all Pauline epistles except those to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans: — Paulus, der Apostel Jesu Christi (Stuttg. 1845): — Kritische Untersuchungen uber die kanon. Evangelien (Tub. 1847), in which, in particular, the authenticity of the Gospel of John is attacked: — Dos Marcus Evangelium nach seinem Ursprung und Character (Tub. 1851). In these and other works of a similar nature, Baur maintains that we must extend our notions of the time within which the canonical writings were composed to a period considerably post-apostolic, and which can only be determined - approximately by a careful investigation of the motives which apparently actuated their authors." Another class of his works treat of the history of Christian doctrines and the history of the ancient church. Here belong': Das Manichaische Religiornseystem (Tub. 1831; one of his best works): — Apollonius von Tyana und Christus (Tab. 1823): — Die christliche Gnosis oder die christliche Religionsphilosophie (Tub. 1835) (The Christian Gnosis, or the Christian Philosophy of Religion), a work which makes the Christian Gnosis of the 2d and 3d centuries the starting-point of a long series of religio-philosophical productions traceable uninterruptedly down through Middle-age mysticism and theosophy to Schelling, Hegel, and Schleiermacher: — Ueber den Ursprung des Episcopats in der christlichen Kirche (Tub. 1838): — Die christliche Lehre von der Versohnung (Tub. 1839): — Die christliche Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit und Menschwerdung Gottes (Tub. 1841-43, 3 vols.): — Die Epochen der kirchlichen Geschichtsschreibung ( Tub. 1852): — Das Christenthun und die christliche Kirche der drei ersten Jahrhunderte (Tub. 1853; 2d edit. 1860): — Die christliche Kirche vom Anfange des vierten bis zum Ende des sechsten Juhrhunderts (Tub. 1859): — Lehrbuch der christl. Dogmengeschichte (Tub. 2d ed. 1858). Against the famous Symbolism of Mohler, he wrote, Der Gegensatz des Katholicismus und Protestantismus (Tub. 2d ed. 1836), and Erwiederung gegea, Mohler's neueste Polemik (Tub. 1834). On the results of the works of the Tubingen school in general, he wrote an epistle to Dr. Hase of Jena, An Dr. K. Hase (Tub. 1855), and Die Tubinger Schule (Tub. 1859). Professor Baur left behind him several works on the church history of the Middle Ages and of modern times nearly completed, and they have been published by his son, F. F. Baur, and Prof. E. Zeller, viz. Die christliche Kirche des Mittelalters in den Hauptmomenten ihrer Entwickiung (ed. by F. F. Baur, Tub. 1861); Kirchengeschichte des 19 ten Jahrhunderts (edit. by E. Zeller, Tub. 1862); Kirchengeschichte der neuern Zeit von der Reformation bis zum Ende des 18 ten Jahrhunderts (ed. by F. F. Baur, Tub. 1863). Together with the two volumes published by Prof. Baur himself on the history of the Christian Church, from its beginning to the end of the 6th century, these three posthumous works constitute a complete course of historical works, extending over the entire history of the Christian Church. His latest volumes of church history gave great offense by his severe criticism on the different schools of German theology since Schleiermacher. Another work left by Professor Baur and published by his son is a course of Lectures on the Theology of the New Testament (Vorlesungen uber neutestamentliche Theologie, Leipzig, 1864), in which the author more than in any of his other works develops his views of the teaching of Jesus, and of the doctrinal difference which he assumes to have existed between the different apostles. The latest of these posthumous issues is Vorlesungen uber die Christliche Dogmengeschichte (part I of vol. 1, Leipz. 1865). The work will consist of three volumes, the first of which will embrace the doctrines of the ancient Church, the second those of the Church of the Middle Ages, and the third those of the Church of modern times. Part I extends over the period from the apostolical age to the Synod of Nice. In point of extent' and completeness this work of Baur will take rank among the foremost works in this department of German theology. — Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie, Supplem. vol. 1; Fisher, Essays on the Supernatural Origin of Christianity, 131-285; Illgen's Zeitschrift, 1866, 131; Chambers's Encyclopedia 1:759. SEE TUBINGEN SCHOOL.

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