Original Research

Matthew and apocalypticism as the “mother of Christian theology”: Ernst Käsemann revisited

Andries van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 58, No 1 | a539 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v58i1.539 | © 2002 Andries van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2002 | Published: 20 October 2002

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Andries van Aarde, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The aim of this article is to reflect on Ernst Käsemann’s dictum that apocalypticism was the mother of all Christian theology. Käsemann used the Jesus tradition behind the Gospel of Matthew for the substantiation of his argument and understood the process of marginalization in Matthew’s community in light of the development between the charismatic Paul and the institutionalized Frühkatholizismus. This article argues for a possibility other than the conflict between charismatic law-free Jesus’ followers and apocalyptically oriented Jesus’ followers. The setting of Matthew refers to post-70 CE scribal activity and a conflict between the scribe Matthew, coming from a Jerusalem apocalyptically oriented Jesus group, and scribes who were in the process of establishing the first phase of a Pharisaic rabbinate on the border between Galilee and Syria.


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