This study explores the content correlation of two important and well-known early gospel harmonies for the first time – a visual harmony and a textual harmony – that originated within the Roman Empire in the Latin west and the Syriac east some 400 years apart during Late Antiquity. Based on in-depth comparative analyses summarized in tables and diagrams, it identifies four distinctly diatessaronic patterns in the painting that do not accord with any one of the canonical gospels, nor any other possible combination of them, but follow instead the unique construction of the Diatessaron as documented by its Arabic Christian witness. In light of contemporaneous Latin and Syriac evidence about the liturgical rites of pedilavium and eucharist during the Holy Week, this study also contextualizes the choice of the focal vignettes in the painting.
This article is concerned with the theological implications of God’s laughter as pictured in Psalm 2:4 in view of sketching a basic comic theology proper. Since laughter is conceived by some as an overwhelming human emotion, divine laughter can be problematic. To make its case for a comic theology proper, the biblical scholarship with regard to Psalm 2 is first explored in order to establish the psalm’s content, then the current debate on im/passibility is explored to determine what is at stake in attributing emotions to God. Subsequently, the reading strategies of both analytic and narrative theology are followed to assess the theological implications of divine laughter in Psalm 2. It is concluded that divine laughter can be proper to God as an affectionate act to bring justice and reconciliation on earth.
This article is an English translation of an essay originally published in the journal Zeitschrift für dialektische Theologie in 1989. In it, Friedrich-Wilhelm Marquardt revisits Karl Barth’s proposal in § 23 of Church Dogmatics that ‘biblical attitude’ is the first among several norms for Christian dogmatics. The article compares Barth’s emphasis on the ‘biblical formfulness’ of theology with the program of the Dutch Reformed theologian K.H. Miskotte, which seeks to educate Christians in the ‘iconic language’ of Scripture. It argues that Miskotte is concerned with hermeneutics in such a way that “Rudolf Bultmann’s name belongs—maybe before Barth’s—in proximity to Miskotte’s.” In contrast to Bultmann, however, Miskotte aims at teaching a language and generating speech rather than catalyzing self-understanding.
The starting point of this article is a text of Irenaeus in defense of the resurrection of the body against the Gnostics. In the very different context of the zweiter Abendmahlsstreit in the 16th century this text was part of a dossier of Patristic texts that was used by both parties, Lutheran and Reformed. One of the issues was whether the body of Christ was eaten by the mouth or by faith. It will be shown how Calvin and Heshusius understood this text. In the end it will appear that for various reasons the issue seems to have lost its relevance. With the Leuenberg Agreement the dispute was laid to rest.