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Early Years of Christianity: The Apostolic Era.
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K. [See page 235.]

DIVERSITY OF OPINIONS AS TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

We have presented the system of the Tübingen school under its most moderate form, as it is set forth in the last book of Baur, "Das Christenthum der drei ersten Jahrhunderte." Tübingen, 1853, pp. 43-151.

The book of Schwegler, often quoted by us, "Das Nachapostolische Zeitalter," (Tübingen, 1840,) is much more arbitrary in the use of internal evidence. His fundamental idea is, that the Christian doctrine of the third century was formed by successive transformations of Ebionitism. Another disciple of Baur—Ritschl—in his book entitled, "Entstehung der altcatholischen Kirche," (Bonn, 1850,) starts from a hypothesis quite opposed to that of Schwegler. In his view, the dogmatic system of the third century was not formed by Ebionitism, but by Paulinism, the normal development of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. He supposes Judæo-Christianity, on the other hand, to have been smitten with absolute dogmatic sterility, and those of its adherents, who did not fall in with Paulinism, to have formed the Ebionite sect—a party in the rear of advancement, and not the nucleus of the Church. A second edition of this learned work has just appeared, in which there is a very perceptible modification of the author's views, more especially, however, with reference to the teaching of Christ, No one can place M. Reuss's learned book, "The History of Christian Theology in the Second Century," (2d vol., Strasburg, 1852,) under the banner of the Tübingen school. The author, whose conscientious works we have already often mentioned, appears to us to have made too many concessions to the system, which supposes a complete ecclesiastical and dogmatical polity in the first century. He has exaggerated the difference between Judæo-Christianity and Paulinism. The great complaint which we make of M. Reuss's book is, that he misconceives the unique, exceptional, and creative character of the apostolic theology. We have endeavored to show how we can, with the Church of every age, admit this without falling into mechanical theopneustics. The work of Schmid, "Biblische Theologie des N. T.," (Stuttgart, I853,) has been a useful aid to us, as also Neander's "Apostolic Age," 2 vols. The portion of Schaff's book, which refers to apostolic doctrine, (pp. 606-638,) is only an extract from Neander.

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