Bultmann's Christology According To Karkkainen Essay

1683 words - 7 pages

The Bultmannian demythologization is a subject widely misunderstood by many prominent theologians and biblical scholars. The fault lies in the fact that Bultmann uses various philosophical concepts and the label attached as myth to the theory of demythologization itself is difficult to understand. Karkkainen’s understanding of the Bultmannian view shall dominate this paper to reveal how prominent scholars such as Karkkainen and Norman Geisler and various others misunderstood Bultmann’s true intentions. The essay shall focus on Karkkainen’s understanding of Bultmann’s theory. Language is limited as it fails to capture the true event, and as language itself is symbolic therefore the problem is how to separate myth from the text. Rudolph Bultmann 1884-1976 was a German scholar who revolutionized the questions regarding the Gospels with his form criticism. Myths are by nature historically unverifiable therefore the myths have been interpreted by the New Testament authors for theological purposes instead of presenting them as historical event according to Bultmann. Bultmann asserts that the incarnation, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are key events that took place during the time of the apostles and contemporaries; therefore it is a myth for the modern believers as we put our faith in the trustworthiness of the disciple’s faith on the events about the person and work of Christ. The myth is presented by Bultmann as an event we cannot recreate; therefore it is a myth as the languages used in the text itself is symbolic in nature.
The Bultmannian mythological Christology is hard to define as the Karkkainen in the book “Christology: A Global Introduction “did not fully define the term “myth” and used the terminology quite vaguely. Karkkainen presents Bultmann’s myth and tries to articulate and define myth as something that no language of history and science may fully explain and express. He therefore expounds that myth being able to help the contemporary audiences and scholars to understand the ancient and incomprehensible speech of the Old and New Testament. Bultmann presents that Christianity emerged from a prescientific perspective of a three-storied universe. Bultmann argues that New Testament should be deprived of the three-storied mythological format, as the science has made the supernatural perspective outdated. Bultmann tries to define myth as an ancient and inchoate perspective of biblical era compare with the contemporary scientific era. Myth is a prescientific way of mentally visualizing the reality. Karkkainen presents Bultmann to be highly skeptic regarding the historical credibility of the Gospel narratives. The main point Bultmann tries to argue time and time again is that faith is a personal commitment to Jesus, and that faith has no historical bearings and does not offer historical facts. Bultmann claims faith in Christ is not reliant on history.
Bultmann reinterpreted the theological messages and concepts of the...

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