Feast of Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth (October 31)   3 comments

Above:  Volumes by Von Rad and Noth, from My Library, December 10, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GERHARD VON RAD (OCTOBER 21, 1901-OCTOBER 31, 1971)

German Lutheran Biblical Scholar

colleague of

MARTIN NOTH (AUGUST 3, 1902-MAY 30, 1968)

German Lutheran Biblical Scholar

Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth were German Lutheran Biblical scholars who placed much emphasis on oral traditions and their roles in forming certain Biblical texts.  Both of them also wrote for The Old Testament Library series, of the Westminster Press.

Von Rad, resisting the anti-Semitism rife in his culture, reclaimed the Old Testament for the Church, especially the German portion thereof.  He, born in Nuremberg on October 21, 1901, married Luise (von Rad), born on January 13, 1901.  (Luise, aged 86 years, died on November 25, 1995.)  Our saint studied at the Universities of Erlangen and Tübingen.  He, ordained a Lutheran minister in 1925, became a tutor at the University of Erlangen in 1929.  He taught at the University of Leipzig (1930-1934) before becoming a professor at the Universities of Jena (1934-1945) and Göttingen (1945-1949).  From 1949 to 1951 our saint was Professor of Old Testament at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg.  During the 1960s he was also a visiting professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Von Rad objected to the anti-Semitic tendency, especially in German Christian circles, to minimize the Old Testament in relation to the New Testament.  His Old Testament Theology (two volumes, 1965 and 1967), Genesis (1949 and 1972), and Deuteronomy (1966) pushed back against that tendency.

Noth was a leading scholar whose theories have never ceased to provoke criticism, especially from fundamentalists and many Evangelicals.  He, born to Gerhard and Cölestine Noth in Dresden on August 3, 1902, studied at the Universities of Erlangen, Rostok, and Leipzig.  He was a professor at the University of Königsberg (1930-1939, 1942-1943) and a soldier in the German army during World War II.  Then he was a professor at the University of Bonn (1945-1965) and the Director of the Deutsches Evangelische Institut, Jerusalem (1965-1968).  Our saint, husband of Helga and father of Albrecht, wrote the volumes Leviticus (1965) and Numbers (1968) for The Old Testament Library Series.  He also posited a common source for the Yahwist (J) and Elohist (E) sources, as well as the existence of separate Deuteronomistic (Joshua-Kings) and Chronicler histories.

Noth, aged 65 years, died suddenly in the Negev Desert of Israel on May 30, 1968.

Von Rad, aged 70 years, died in Heidelberg, West Germany, on October 31, 1971.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF MARC BOEGNER, ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIULIA VALLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ISAAC HECKER, ROUNDER OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Gerhard von Rad, Martin Noth, and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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3 responses to “Feast of Gerhard von Rad and Martin Noth (October 31)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Claus Westermann (October 13) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Where can I find a good biography on either of these men? Also, does the German Lutheran Church officially recognize these scholars as saints? Coming from a low church American, I am genuinely asking out of ignorance.

    • Thank you for your comment.
      1. I do not know if there are any good biographies of either of them.
      2. The Lutheran calendars (ELCA, LCMS) I have consulted to not list either of these as saints, no. That is an omission.

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