Original Research

The "cause of Jesus" (Sache Jesu) as the Canon behind the Canon

Andries G. van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 57, No 1/2 | a1850 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v57i1/2.1850 | © 2001 Andries G. van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2001 | Published: 14 December 2001

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Andries G. van Aarde, Department of New Testament Studies University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

God, and not the Bible as such, is the church's primary authority. Jesus of Nazareth is the manifestation of God in history. In a post-Aufkllirung environment one cannot escape the demand to think historically. To discern what could be seen as the "ground" offaith, one needs to distinguish the "proclaiming Jesus" from the "proclaimed Jesus", though these two aspects are dialectically intertwined. This dialeclic can be described as the "Jesus kerygma" or the "cause of Jesus". The aim of this article is to argue that if Christians focus only on the church's kerygma they base their ultimate trust upon assertions of faith, rather than upon the cause of faith. The dictum that the cause of Jesus is the canon behind the canon is explained in terms of the distinction between ''fides qua creditur" and "fides quae creditur", and postmodern historical Jesus research.

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