Martin Hengel on the Necessity of Historical Knowledge

martin hengelUnfortunately, theologians today increasingly lack historical knowledge and an interest in history, and above all are too ignorant of the legacy of the past, whether of the Old Testament and Judaism, or of Graeco-Roman antiquity. Since the so-called “scholars” are gradually failing us here, it is doubly important for us as Christians to try to acquire a deeper historical understanding of what took place more than 1900 years ago; without such historical understanding our theological thinking, too, will all too easily become barren.

Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity[1].

From what I can gather about the late Dr. Hegel, he did not pull any punches when it came to the New Testament and its historical background. I could not agree more with these words, and I could not be more convicted either.

1. Cited in Barid’s History of New Testament Research: Vol. 3

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