An Introduction to the New Testament

By Adolf Jülicher




[Cf. besides the works mentioned in § 2, the Commentaries on the New Testament as a whole, which usually pay particular attention to questions of Introduction. Special mention must be made, however, of those edited by H. A. W. Meyer and by H. Holtzmann. The ʽKritisch-exegetisches Commentar über das Neue Testamentʼ of the former appeared in 1882 in 16 vols., in which 1. and 2. Thess. and Hebrews were undertaken by G. K. G. Lünemann, 1. and 2. Tim., Titus and the Catholic Epistles by J. E. Hüther, Revelation by F. Düsterdieck and the rest by the Editor. The more recent editions have been entrusted to others; B. Weiss has undertaken the greater part of the work, but several sections have already been re-edited twice over. We shall mention the newest editions at the head of each of our §§, under the title of H. A. W. Meyer. But as the original unity of design, tone and scale has disappeared, so the value of the different vols. is by this time very unequal; all, however, have a tendency, while professing to examine the evidence impartially, to concede as little as possible to ʽnegativeʼ criticism and to make the New Testament writers appear as the representatives of the authorʼs own moderate Protestant orthodoxy. A typical example of this is afforded by Siefferʼs commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians. The abundant criticism at first applied to older commentators—undertaken on no very clear principles and from differing points of view—has been to an increasing extent abandoned in the newer editions. The ʽHand-Commentar zum Neuen Testamentʼ of H. J. Holtzmann,1 with contributions by R. A. Lipsius, P. W. Schmiedel and H. von Soden, is a work which confines itself almost entirely to a practical interpretation of the New Testament texts and to a brief angwering of questions of literary and religious history by the help of the most trustworthy authorities. The five volumes of Zöckler and Strackʼs ʽCommentar zu den heiligen Schriften der Alten und Neuen Testamenteʼ which deal with the New Testament, reached a second edition in 1897; here, too, the editors were assisted by other writers—Nösgen, Luthardt, Schnedermann, Wohlenberg, Burger and E. Riggenbach, the value of whose work varies considerably. But even if we ignore Nössgenʼs plaintive contribution, it is impossible to recommend this Commentary as a whole, because the writersʼ conservative interest too often stands in the way of a clear understanding of the texts. An English parallel to Meyer is afforded by the ʽInternational Critical Commentary, in which the uniformity of tone and value has as yet been well maintained in spite of the large number of contributors; but unfortunately the greater part of the work has not yet appeared. C. Weizsäckerʼs ʽDas Neue Testament übersetztʼ (of which the 9th edition appeared in 1899, Freiburg-i.-Br.) is such a masterpiece of translation that-it almost supplies the place of a commentary to the attentive reader.]


1) First appeared in 1889 in Freiburg-i.-Br., but parts of it have now reached a third edition.