Unity In Diversity - Essays in religion by members of the faculty of the Unification Theological Seminary - Edited by Henry O. Thompson - 1984

Unificationism and Biblical Studies - Thomas Boslooper

The question of Unificationism and Biblical Studies should be prefaced by a brief consideration of the question of the relationship of Unificationism to the Bible and to Divine Principle. This may be described in several ways.

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon personally has told members of the faculty of the Unification Theological Seminary that the Divine Principle is a revelation that came to him from God as a result of his own personal intense study of the Bible over a period of nine years. Since Divine Principle spans not only the period of biblical history but also the history of western culture up to modern times, Divine Principle may be looked upon as Rev. Moon's interpretation of the Bible and subsequent history in the light of God's revelation to him.

At the same time it is known from the many leaders of the Unification Church that Rev. Moon did not write the black book entitled Divine Principle. The black book, the 1974 edition of Divine Principle, is the seventh or eighth attempt on the part of various of Rev. Moon's followers to put his revelation into written form. It is also apparent that some of the sections of Divine Principle, such as the ones covering the history of the Papacy and the Reformation, were not revelations from God to Rev. Moon put into writing but were applications of Rev. Moon's basic ideas to these periods of history with which the follower of Rev. Moon who wrote these sections was acquainted. The material was not within the span of Rev. Moon's personal knowledge.

What has also become apparent is that Divine Principle in whatever version it may appear is viewed in various ways by even the closest followers of the Rev Moon. This writer has heard Colonel Bo Hi Pak, one of Rev. Moon's closest assistants, speak of Divine Principle as the "Third Testament." There is the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Third Testament. As the New fulfills the Old, so the Third fulfills both the Old and the New. This writer has also heard Dr. Young Oon Kim, the chief theologian for the Movement, the first missionary to the U.S.A. for Unificationism, the Professor of Theology at the Unification Theological Seminary, and the author of several books on Unification theology, speak of Divine Principle as being in a relationship to the Bible on a level similar to that of john Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion.

At the dedication of the Unification Theological Seminary in September of 1975, Mr. David S.C. Kim, President of the Seminary, cut a ribbon surrounding a large Bible, read from the opening words of the first chapter of Genesis and from the closing words of Revelation and proclaimed that the Bible and Jesus Christ were central to Unificationism and to the vision of the Seminary.

There is no denying the importance of the Hebrew-Christian scriptures to Unificationism. There is also no denying the importance the written Divine Principle holds for Unificationists in their religious experience. One of them, in answering queries concerning a hypothetical 'Guyana,' stated unequivocally, "In such a situation we would desert Rev. Moon and follow The Principle."

My observations concerning Unificationism and Biblical Studies are based upon my own reading of Divine Principle and a number of manuals that purport to expand upon it, discussions with prominent leaders of the Unification Movement, and my involvement with more than 400 students at the Unification Theological Seminary over a period of seven years. Each of these students has taken at least one course with me: Introduction to Biblical Studies or Introduction to the New Testament. More than half of them have taken two or three additional elective courses in either New Testament or Old Testament: The Writings, the Life and Teaching of Jesus, The Life and Letters of Paul, The Primitive Church (Acts and Hebrews), the Johannine Literature, and Romans. All of them have studied the Bible with me from the historical-critical point of view as well as from my own Christian-Protestant-Calvinistic perspective.

Striking to me has been how Unificationism stands in relationship to the history of hermeneutics; the contemporaneity of Unificationism, the Unificationists' view of Scripture; Unificationism's understanding of Jesus and his mission; and Unificationism's eschatological perspective.

Unificationism is a biblically oriented new religion. It may be looked at from the standpoint of how it assumes a posture within the discipline of Biblical Studies. Even though during the entire life of the Church since its inception in Korea in 1954 the Movement has not gotten into its membership a single biblical scholar, at the time of this writing two of the graduates of the Unification Seminary are enrolled as doctoral candidates at Harvard majoring in Biblical Studies. Another is engaged in similar studies at Yale.

All of these factors make what can be said about Unificationism and Biblical Studies complex as well as difficult. What can be said results not from what is apparent but rather from an underlying potential. What can be said results not from taking Divine Principle and Unificationism at their worst, as a document and theology and religious system noted for appalling naivete, historical errors, and statements that defy explanation, but from taking them at their best, as the summary of and statement of a new theology which makes a bold attempt to give meaning to the Bible, history, and the universe.

I believe that when and if the Unification Movement produces biblical scholars they will help develop Unification theology and relate it to modern religious concerns along the lines suggested in what follows.

I. Its Place in the History of Hermeneutics

Unificationism thought of in relationship to Biblical Studies must be viewed with reference to its place in the history of interpretation of the Bible. It must be understood against the backdrop of what may be called the historical conflict between supernaturalistic and naturalistic interpretations of the Bible. Unificationism has the potential for bringing about a synthesis between the two.

Up to the time of the Protestant Reformation all interpretation of the Bible was "supernaturalistic." The Bible in its origin and development as well as in its nature and essence was considered to be the work of God. Scripture therefore was to be interpreted literally, although ironically it was during this period that spiritualizing and allegorizing flourished.

Beginning with Sebastian Franck, a contemporary of Martin Luther, this view of Scripture was criticized. With the publication in 1539 of his Das mit sieben Siegeln verbutschierte Buch he challenged the literal interpretation of scripture because of what he described as discrepancies and contradictions.

The critique continued. Early in the seventeenth century, the "natural science period of the Renaissance," Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620), Rene Descartes' Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences (1637), and Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan (1651) decisively, although unintentionally, deepened the roots of resistance to biblical authority. The methods were intended to be applied only to philosophy, but the successors to Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes applied their scientific methodology to all religious questions as well.

Bacon was able to accept the view of the orthodox Anglican Church and maintain at the same time his scientific methodology, since he held the realm of revelation on which faith was based to be outside the concern of philosophy. Descartes' revolt against tradition was in philosophy. His principle, "Cognito ergo sum," the consequence of which was the establishment of reason as the focal point of authority, was intended by him to be applied chiefly to matters pertaining to philosophical inquiry.

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan showed that for him, as well as for Descartes, religion was outside the realm of philosophy and should be understood on the basis of theology and accepted on the authority of the state. Hobbes accepted miracles as a form of God's direct revelation. He did make an important distinction, however. He did distinguish between miracles in the biblical record and miracles in the lives of the saints and traditions of the Church, and he insisted that the private man is always at liberty to believe or not to believe those acts which are described as miracles. For Hobbes, nevertheless, "when it comes to confession of that faith, the Private Reason must submit to the Publique."

It was not long, however, before Scripture itself came under attack from philosophical circles. Whereas Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes placed revelation and miracle in a special precinct to which the principles of their philosophy were not directly applicable, David Hume (1711-1776) and others such as John Toland, Thomas Chubb, and Voltaire turned the full force of naturalistic philosophy upon religion. Instead of conceiving philosophy and religion to exist in separate spheres, according to Hume's notion, religion as such and not just the abuses of religion must be subject to the scrutiny of reason.

No longer would words like those of the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) be heard in philosophical circles: (speaking of the Scriptures) "Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter."

Hume set the world of nature over against the world of religion. A miracle had come for him to be "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent." Philosophically, he could not deny that no event could take place in violation of these laws, but he was convinced that experience demonstrates that man can depend much more upon the uniformity of natural events than upon the accuracy of human testimony. Hume's understanding of the nature of the universe was patterned after the monistic philosophies of Spinoza (1632-1677) and Leibniz (1646-1716). His theory on the nature of the universe and its relation to God excludes the concept of a particular providence and its counterpart miracles. In Hume, philosophy and religion no longer were to reign supreme in separate spheres. Now religion was to be held accountable to philosophy.

The most influential mark in applying naturalistic philosophy in an analysis of the biblical record was made by Herman Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768) and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781). Lessing was the philosopher who brought before the world the philosophical criticism of Scripture developed by Reimarus. For Reimarus miracles belong to the unessential elements of faith. Although for him the miracles of the New Testament were neither as outrageous nor as disgusting as the miracles of the Old Testament, in both Testaments the miraculous is a sign of lack of authenticity. For him miraculous meant unhistorical.

As the primacy of reason became even more firmly established by Kant (1724-1804) and Hegel (1770-1831) there was an accompanying shift of emphasis. For Kant and Hegel the crux of interpretation of a biblical passage became the moral significance and the religious meaning of the narrative rather than the determination of its historical or scientific value. They focused attention on the meaning of the narratives and refused to judge a biblical idea solely on the basis of its scientific credibility.

With Kant's emphasis on the "seat of religion in the moral consciousness" and Hegel's concept of the "double meaning" of a narrative the way was paved for Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) and Johann Jacob Hess (1741-1829) who encouraged readers to pay little attention to the outward details of biblical stories and to seek instead the truth of their "inner realities." For them the meaning of a miracle should be sought in its ethical teaching.

Like Kant and Hegel, Schleiermacher (1768-1834) had developed a strong distaste for both the naturalistic rationalism and the supernaturalism of his day. The error of both parties with which he was so dissatisfied was their common notion that Christian faith consists of a number of doctrines that stand in contradiction to rational thought and in need of defense by orthodox theologians. The Christian faith, Schleiermacher claimed, does not consist primarily in any number of doctrinal propositions that can be made either by philosophers or theologians, but in a condition of devout feeling, in a fact of inward experience based on personal self-consciousness.

In his Life of Jesus (lectures in 1832, published in 1864) Schleiermacher looked for meaning in stories that involved the miraculous by trying to analyze the author's poetic imagination. For him an estimation of Jesus' nature does not depend on the historical credibility of the narratives which describe him but on his nature and superior self-consciousness of God. Similarly Ritschl in The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation (1870-1874) emphasized Jesus' moral superiority.

The publication of David Strauss' Das Lebenjesu in 1835 inaugurated another major development in the question of the consideration of the historical nature of biblical tradition. Being convinced of the numerous difficulties and inconsistencies that either supernaturalistic allegorism or rationalistic euphemerism produced, Strauss turned to another method which heretofore had been applied only to the Old Testament.

Johann Eichhorn (1754-1827) in his studies during the last decade of the 18th century and during the first quarter of the 19th century approached the Old Testament with the presupposition that much of the material in it was mythic in nature.

Whereas George Lorenz Bauer (1755-1806) had proposed in 1802 that single myths could be discovered in the New Testament such as in the birth stories, even though "eine Total mythische Geschichte" is not to be sought in the New Testament, Strauss set about to apply the mythical principle to the entire New Testament. He brought his analytical powers to bear most forcibly on the record in the Gospels. For him the application of the mythical principle would provide the synthesis for the thesis and anti-thesis created by supernaturalistic literal interpretation and naturalistic rationalistic interpretation.

In the introduction to the third edition of his Life of Jesus (1838) his own theory of myth and how it should be applied to the life of Jesus is clearly stated: myth, when it is applied to the Gospel narratives, is "evangelical mythus," a narrative that relates directly or indirectly to Jesus. An "evangelical mythus" is not to be considered as the expression of a fact. It is to be thought of as an idea of Jesus' earliest followers. The "evangelical mythus" was classified by Strauss into two main categories: what Strauss called "pure mythus" which constitutes the substance of the narrative and "historical mythus" which is an accidental adjunct to the actual history. The former has two different sources out of which the mythus arises: one, the Messianic ideas and expectation that existed in several forms in the Jewish mind before the time of Jesus and independently of him; two, in the particular impression that was left by Jesus' character, action, and fate, as it served to modify the Messianic idea in the minds of Jesus' contemporaries.

Strauss also used the term "legendary" to describe those parts of the evangelical history which are characterized by indefiniteness, lack of connection, misconstruction, strange combinations, and confusion, which for him were the natural results of the long course of oral transmission, and by highly colored and pictorial representations.

These three categories -- historical mythus, evangelical mythus, and legend -- designated for Strauss the boundaries of the unhistorical element in the Gospels. He insisted, however, that these classifications do not involve the renunciation of the "historical" which these narratives themselves may contain. He did, however, insist that myth is not history, but fiction.

The element of myth in a narrative for Strauss could be determined when aspects of the narrative are irreconcilable with the known universal laws that govern the course of events and when an account reveals inconsistencies within itself and points of contradiction appear when considered in relationship with other parallel accounts.

Strauss conceded that the most difficult question in historical criticism is the determination of the boundary line between the historical and the unhistorical when two accounts of the same event contradict, and he believed that the boundary line between the historical and the unhistorical in such accounts will forever be unsusceptible to accurate delineation.

Bruno Bauer (1809-1882) picked up where Strauss left off. Writing in 1877 in Christus und die Casaren he attempted to elucidate and refine Strauss' concept of myth. He felt that Strauss' concept of myth was too vague to explain adequately the transformation of the personality of Jesus. The "experience" of the church, he suggested, is the real cause of the portrait in the Gospel history, the starting point of the Gospel narrative being the belief in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus. To Bauer the formation of the church and the development of the idea that Jesus is the Messiah are one and the same thing. For him Christianity was a new religion, the spirit of which was Roman and the outward frame of which was furnished by Judaism.

Since he received severe criticism of his views throughout his professional life, Bauer was driven by an almost insane desire to ruin the theological systems of his adversaries. This motivation behind his rational-mythical method propelled him to interpret every point in the early Christian tradition with increasing skepticism until he denied the historicity of Jesus and the genuineness of all the epistles of Paul.

The ideas of Strauss and B. Bauer combined with efforts of the proponents of the religionsgeschichtliche Schule, which had its beginning toward the close of the 18th century and which tried to relate Christian ideas and concepts to those in other religions, produced an even more radical understanding of biblical history.

Jesus Christ himself had become a myth. Drews, Kalthoff, Robertson, Mead, Jensen, M. Paul-Louis Couchoud, and Smith became familiar names on the roster of scholars advocating not only the mythical character of the traditions but also the mythical character of Jesus himself. This Christ-Myth theory was especially popular at the beginning of the 20th century.

One of the most startling developments out of this school of interpretation was the spin-off of "psychological lives" of Jesus. In this type of attempt to understand history the historicity of Jesus is not denied, but the whole portrait of him is considerably altered. The seed for "psychological lives" was planted by Strauss' suggestion that Jesus' conception of an immediate future kingdom ushered in with a blaze of supernatural glory, qualified him as a fanatic.

From there on the imaginations of such writers as P. de Regla, E. Bosc, C. Binet-Sangle, G. Bergeur, G. Lomer, W Hirsh, E. Rasmussen, and G. Stanley Hall ran wild in their attempts to understand Jesus from the standpoint of psychology and psychoanalysis. The question was: from what emotional or mental disorder did Jesus suffer?

One of the most healthy developments came by way of critiques made of the Christ-Myth School. In replying to Drews and his colleagues, Johannes Weiss, Frederich Loofs, Shirley Jackson Case, Arnold Mayer, Fred C. Conybeare, Johannes Leipoldt, Maurice Goguel, and Martin Dibelius spelled out the fallacies of the denials of the historicity of Jesus with such clarity and scientific acumen that it has been impossible since that time to make any kind of an intelligent denial of Jesus' actual existence.

The most positive reaction to the radical position of the Christ-Myth School and the weaknesses of Strauss' approach to the Bible came in the form of the beginnings of what has come to be called "tendency criticism" and "source criticism."

An example of the former was the work of Ferdinand C. Baur (1792-1860) who accepted from Strauss that the mythical approach to Scripture destroys the historical truth of much of the biblical record; however, he felt that the critic must go on from there and try to dis cover the whole connection of circumstances out of which not only individual ideas but also the writing itself arose. Adopting a Hegelian scheme of thesis and antithesis, for him much of the New Testament witnesses to various reactions to and attempts to create a synthesis between conflicting aspects of Judaism and Paulinism. Similar approaches were also taken by Adolf Hilgenfeld (1823-1907), who pointed out the Jewish "tendency" in the Gospels, and by Otto Pfleiderer (1839-1908), who showed how Christian ideas developed not only against Jewish backgrounds but also against such rivalries as the early Christian community carried on with the disciples of John the Baptist.

During the same period and as part of this same movement Gustav Volkmar (1809-1893) made the Gospel of Mark the sole source for his life of Jesus. Volkmar did not believe that the historical Jesus had put forth any Messianic claims, and he looked at ideas developed in the Gospels as attempts to reconcile opposing Petrine and Pauline factions in the early Christian community.

Volkmar functioned as a bridge between tendency critics and source critics. Volkmar had support for his use of Mark for within literary criticism what has come to be called "the Marcan hypothesis" was being developed by Karl Lachmann (1835), Christian H. Weisse (1838), and Christian G. Wilke (1838).

From this point on more familiar names and figures emerge: Albert Schweitzer, Martin Dibelius, Rudolf Bultmann, Oscar Cullmann, along with Eichrodt, Vriezen, von Rad, Conzelmann, Bornkamm, Dodd, and Jeremias. All of them along with a host of biblical scholars on all continents continued to struggle with the conflicts between religion and science, between the supernatural and the natural, between the spiritual and the rational, as well as between myth and history.

At the same time that the historical-critical approach to the interpretation of the Bible has been developing since the Protestant Reformation it is obvious that the exclusively supernaturalistic approach so characteristic of Christianity before the Reformation has continued in various forms in both Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity from the days of the Reformation until now.

The older supernaturalistic type of interpretation of Scripture has been maintained especially in Protestant evangelical circles where in recent years Missouri Synod Lutherans and Southern Baptists have been embattled in a struggle to maintain such terms as "inerrancy" and "literal" in their vocabularies pertaining to the Bible. Harold Lindsel, the former editor of Christianity Today, evangelical Christianity's number one magazine, tried to take Christianity back to pre-Reformation days with his arguments and appeals for the relevance and the necessity of a view of the Bible that includes "inerrancy."

Unificationism may function as a possible synthesis of what may be referred to as the thesis of supernaturalistic interpretation of the bible and the antithesis of naturalistic interpretation of the Word of God. I have noticed that Unificationists who use the biblical critical approach even in some of its most radical forms are not threatened spiritually, nor does the scientific approach to scripture for them depreciate for them its religious value in any way.

For a Unificationist, ideas and narratives in the Bible may be viewed as either mythic or historical or as both mythic and historical with no consequent depreciation in moral or spiritual value. Since for them history may be written in mythic forms, myth itself has an historical quality, and since for them myth is thought of primarily as a form in which to express universal truths, a myth may be of more value than an account given in strictly literal historical terms.

For a Unificationist who has studied the Bible from the standpoint of historical biblical criticism the symbolic and the literal merge into a single unit. Any given idea or narrative in the Bible may be viewed at any time as symbolic or literal, but in either case real. Any given idea or narrative in the Bible may be viewed at any time as having both a literal and a symbolic character, since every idea and every incident is a part of a universal process or unified field in which beginning and end, origin and goal, ideal and ultimate are the same.

A pertinent example of this is the fact that Rev. Sun Myung Moon interprets Genesis 1-3 literally; whereas Dr. Young Oon Kim interprets the same section of the Bible symbolically. A comparable range of diversity may be found throughout the membership of the Unification Church. Any of the data in Scripture for the Unificationist -- narrative, poetry, myth -- all may be illuminating, inspiring, and authenticating.

II. Its Contemporaneity

The nature of Unificationism is such that it also produces characteristics of contemporaneity for Biblical Studies. In addition to coming at the right moment in the history of Biblical Studies, when a bridge is needed to span the gap between supernaturalists and naturalists in all their multifarious forms, it provides a special quality for arising out of the needs of the modern world and responding to the aspirations of young adults of today. It possesses a broad-based and far reaching ecumenism related to a profound idealism. Rather than being censorious of diverse traditions it seeks that they become complementary to each other and to Unificationism.

As Unificationists engage in Biblical Studies, the possibility presents itself for resolving the conflict that arises between those who would "get back to the Bible" and recreate today the community of faith that existed in the first century, and the existentialist whose primary demand is to respond to twentieth century situations. The contemporaneity of Unificationism is different from the contemporaneity of either Pentecostals or Bultmannians. It casts aside neither the cultural developments of the modern world nor the richness of experience and tradition of the ancient world. It reaches out to the modern world without severing its ties with the ancient world. It analyzes and examines the traditions of the ancient world being fully aware of the magnificent scientific developments of the modern world.

When theologizing on biblical materials, Unificationists are fully aware of the contributions made to our understanding of scripture by Ignatius and Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, Arius and Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine, Abelard and Thomas Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, Wesley and Swedenborg, Wellhausen and Gunkel, Strauss and Schweitzer, CH. Dodd and Vincent Taylor, Barth and Brunner, Bultmann and Bornkamm, Tillich and Niebuhr, Conzelmann and von Rad. But Unificationists carry on their discipline with an awareness of these traditions without being locked in by any of them.

In addition, they have great respect for councils and decrees and dogmas and confessions but view them as events around which biblical ideas have been summarized at a given time in history, and as reservoirs and resources for future and further developments of faith, rather than as great balls of twine for binding the wrists of those who would put their hands to the study of the Bible in any other way.

Another even more significant aspect of Unificationism's contemporaneity is that it makes of Biblical Studies a truly religious enterprise. That is, it makes it "religious" in the most profound and meaningful sense of the word. Religion by definition and in essence is intended to give meaning and wholeness and unity to all of life. Unificationists try to make Biblical Studies a discipline that produces a sense of meaning for all of existence, and an awareness of the wholeness and unity between all members of the family of humankind.

The study of the Bible, for Unificationists, is always within the context of the true function of religion -- the unifying of the diverse and complex areas of life. This they seek to do in at least seven crucial areas.

a. The religious life -- combining revelation with experience, inspiration and effort, the individual and community, meditation and action, piety and politics, the psychic and the scientific.

b. Science and religion -- receiving with appreciation the results of scientific investigation in every area of life; using the results of scientific study to meet human needs and to give meaning to life; and considering scientific inquiry in itself to be a religious enterprise.

c. World Religions and Christianity -- viewing all the religions of the world not as competitors but as contributors to man's quest for meaning and truth; looking at Christianity in its relationship to the others not as exclusive but as inclusive. This is of importance in Biblical Studies in considering the relationship between Christians and Jews and in evangelism for considering the relationship between Christians and followers of all other religions of the world. The scriptures are searched not for walls but for bridges.

d. The Church and the churches -- seeking to discover a basis for unity not only between the church of Protestantism but also between the four major branches of the Christian Church itself: the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, The Protestant Churches, and the Anglican Church. Unificationists encourage the student of the Bible to search the scriptures looking more for the force than the form of the Church, since like New Testament Christians, members of the Unification Church know that Christianity is, first of all, not a form but a force.

e. Male and female -- relating the sexes to each other in such a way as to insure the wholeness of each; looking to the ideals established in the Bible for the proper relationship between the sexes, and seeking to make them patterns for life, rather than taking from the Bible sinful and fallen experiences between the sexes and making them guidelines for male-female relationships. Unificationists expound the liberation of both sexes and assist the student of the Bible in maintaining this freedom by examining biblical materials with a realistic approach.

f. The races -- showing how every human being is a child of God, not only dealing with every individual human being as a soteriological prospect, but also as equally qualified as any other to understand God's will and to do God's work. Equal respect for the thought forms and life patterns of Orientals and Occidentals makes possible a bridge between these traditionally opposite and opposing worlds, geographically and spiritually. Openness and acceptance of all national, racial, and ethnic groups helps to produce results in Biblical Studies that truly relate to all manner of men. Exegesis is made meaningful to Indians and Africans, Chinese and Indonesians, Japanese and Koreans, Germans and French, Scandinavians and English, Russians and Americans.

g. Politics and sociology -- considering the importance of each of these areas of life and their relevance for religion and relating them mutually to each other. Unificationists insist that religion be relevant to the political and social situations and issues of the day. As a result their focus is on the world's foremost enemy of religion, Communism, and seeks to establish and provide a rationale which will effectively combat it and defeat it. At the same time Unificationists insist that positive social patterns and programs must accompany political idealism. They also hold that political expediency should in no way limit social urgency. Redemption is not only from antagonistic spiritual powers but also from political and social systems that are opposed to faith. Christianity is strengthened by pitting itself against the forces which oppose it. Unificationists try to prevent the church from being weakened because of its failure to recognize or correctly identify its opposition, and they assist the student of the Bible at all times in making his work relevant.

These are some of the characteristics of an idealism that give Unificationism its unique contemporaneity and which in turn become an idealistic contextualization for Biblical Studies.

III. Its View of Scripture

Unificationism's view of Scripture is tied in closely with its place in the history of hermeneutics and its contemporaneity. Since a focal point in history is the development of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and since in its view an enlightened interpretation of this tradition can encompass and embrace all religions, philosophies and world-systems, the Old and the New Testaments take on unique and dynamic characters.

Unificationists refuse to take sides in the traditional dilemma which has been a divisive force in Christianity: whether the Bible is the Word of God or whether the Bible contains the Word of God. Unificationism suggests that the Bible cannot be identified with the Word of God, since the Bible itself describes the Word of God as something other than a written document or collection of documents. The "word" with which Elijah sealed the heavens, the "word" that is like a hammer that breaks rocks into pieces, the "word" that is sharper than a two-edged sword, the "word" that became flesh and dwelt among us, is a term that cannot be identified with written documents in the form of the question: is the Bible the Word of God? From the Bible's own description of the "word" it is also obvious that the Bible does not necessarily contain the word of God. Where is the sealer, the hammer, the sword, the flesh? For Unificationists to say that the Bible contains the word of God is to imply that some of the material in Scripture is not the word of God, and this Unificationists are not willing to say.

For Unificationists the Bible is the chief literary expression of the "word." "Word" is one of the principles of the universe which has expressed itself in many forms including the Old and the New Testaments, in what has come to be called extra-canonical Judeo-Christian literature, and in the scriptures of other religions. The Old Testament and the New Testament, however, because of the character of God which they describe and the history of restoration which they unfold, and the revelation of Jesus which they set forth provide a norm for the interpretations of all other religious literary traditions.

Thus, in Unificationism there is the highest regard for scriptures of all religions of the world. At the same time the authority and normative value of the Old and New Testaments are held in greatest esteem. In the Judeo-Christian Bible the sovereignty of God, the providence of God, the nature and destiny of man, judgment and restoration are seen most clearly. In the Hebrew-Christian scriptures the script is given for the drama of salvation.

Although Unificationists regard the Bible with eternal and ultimate value, it is never looked upon as the object of idolatry, and Christians are warned not to deal with the Bible as the Jews dealt with the Torah. The Bible must be prevented from becoming for us what scripture had become for the people of Jesus' day, a fixed tradition that depended on experts for interpretation.

Unificationists also demand that the Old and New Testaments be understood in the light of what transpired during the early Christian Church. Unificationists face the fact that the Bible as we know it is a product of the experience of nearly four centuries of the early Christian community. Since there were Christians who did not know, or did not regard as authoritative, some of the Catholic Epistles, the Book of Revelation, some of the Epistles or Paul, one or more of the Gospels, then what was the shape and substance of their faith? Was it less than ours, who have a broader and more inclusive canon?

Similar questions arise with respect to text. From textual criticism much can be learned about the diversity of texts in the ancient church. Is our Bible, a conflation of texts, superior to older texts which represent different and diverse records of the ancient testimonies?

Although a Unificationist's faith may depend a great deal upon the Bible, it is not necessarily shaped or shrunken by what one may think about any book of the Bible or about any part of any book of the Bible.

Thus, a Unificationist may love the Bible as deeply and dearly as the most devout Fundamentalist and analyze the Bible with an acumen as sharp as a radical biblical critic.

In Unificationism, heart and mind approach the Bible with faith and love. This is possible since faith is not dependent exclusively on Scripture. It is dependent primarily on a personal relationship to God in Christ.

With respect to its view of Scripture, Unificationists are also appreciative of what some scholars have been saying and writing recently concerning what is considered to be the major theme or concept of the Old Testament or the New Testament or the entire Bible. Gerhard Hasel of the Adventist Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan recently wrote: "The central concern of the whole Bible is not reconciliation and redemption, but the Kingdom of God." For Hasel the Kingdom of God is to be found in both testaments and forms the most natural bridge between the two.

Hasel also notes the importance of a revival of an older type of methodology in relating the Testaments, that is, the use of typology. Used by both Eichrodt and von Rad, typology is a designation for a peculiar way of looking at history, the types being persons, institutions, and events of the Old Testament which are regarded as divinely established models or prerepresentations of corresponding realities in the New Testament salvation history.

Unificationists posit the Kingdom of God and God's creative and redemptive power as part of a unified scheme, the major theme of the whole Bible, and the primary concern of contemporary society. They also consider typology as one of the principle motifs for the interpretation not only of the Bible but of subsequent human history.

Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Moses and Joshua and many other biblical characters become for Unificationists not only dramatic historic biblical figures but also the bases for the dynamics of life throughout all history. For them numerology also takes on a typological character. For example, 3, 7, 21, 40 and 100 become for them not only the number of times a biblical hero did something or the number of years of a king's reign or the number of days or years someone spent somewhere but also the number of days they should spend in workshops studying the Divine Principle, or numbers for days or years in sequences of what they call providential history.

Obviously related to Unificationism's view of Scripture is its view of history. This may be described as structures on a series of parallels, periods of pre-Christian history comparable to periods of Christian history. Although these structures as outlined in Unification literature are artificial and noteworthy for certain conspicuous historical errors, they do provide Unificationists with a means of relating scripture to history.

At the same time, in the Unificationist's view, history moves towards a definite point, determined by the relationship which man keeps with God. Consequently it was not a problem for Unificationists that the Kingdom of God did not come on earth in 1981 as Rev. Moon had promised that it would. Now the time is projected to the end of this millennium. But again, the coming of the kingdom will be dependent upon humanity's response to the will of God.

Also, Unificationists may use the Hegelian principle of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis and the Darwinian principle of evolution, even when applied to social processes, to illuminate biblical themes. Thus, Unificationism takes several major patterns of historical thinking from both the pre-scientific and the scientific worlds and allows each to cast its own light on historical processes.

In Unificationism, then, history is a unified continuum, in which all processes of the universe participate in rhythm and in order, affecting each other with diversity and change, and moving from an original perfection to an ultimate ideal. In trying to understand the historical nature of the literature, such a view produces profound effects upon Biblical Studies.

Unificationists call for a confrontation with the totality of the biblical record in Biblical Studies. Unificationists encourage and respond to biblical criticism. They view it as a way of "testing the spirits to see whether they are of God." They are interested in interpretations and methodologies and theologies that are rooted in reality and reflect and produce faith in God.

IV. Its Christology and the Mission of Jesus

Unificationism has come under considerable criticism particularly for one aspect of its faith; namely, its Christology. Since it does not affirm the Trinitarian formula of conservative and orthodox Christianity and refuses to equate Jesus with God, it has been labeled un-Christian or non-Christian. Many critics have labeled it heretical and associated it with movements in early Christianity. It has even been referred to as a modern form of one of the early heresies or as a new form of Gnosticism. Oddly, however, the Unificationists' Christology is the opposite of the Gnostic and is more closely identifiable with the Ebionite, placing emphasis on the humanity of Jesus. (See Wells' essay in this volume for a Unificationist's view.)

The Unificationists' view of Jesus is that his birth was from a human mother and a human father and that his resurrection is to be thought of as fundamentally spiritual rather than primarily physical. According to their interpretation of I Corinthians 15, Paul is describing both the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of believers as spiritual in nature in contrast to the physical and material, and from their readings of the birth narratives in Matthew 1-2 and in Luke 1-2 they do not hesitate to think of Jesus as having had a human father.

At the same time Unificationists ascribe to the Christology stated by the author of the Fourth Gospel in John l:lff, by Paul in Colossians l:lff and by the author of Hebrews in l:lff. For them Jesus is truly the Son of God. They possess what is known as a functional Christology as over against an ontological Christology, and understand the term "Son of God" primarily in an ethical sense (Hebraic) rather than in a metaphysical sense (Greek).

Similar views on each of these issues is held by Christian scholars and clerics in Germany Great Britain, and in the United States. Generally their views are called liberal or radical. Sometimes they are called refreshing. Rarely are they called un-Christian or heretical.

There can be no question that the Christology of the Unificationist, although shaped differently than traditional Christianity, has a high regard for Jesus, comes into close personal fellowship with him, and also brings the Unificationist into the experience of what the Apostle Paul calls living "in Christ."

Unificationists have also been severely censored by Christians for their view of the mission of Jesus. Critics like to quote Unificationists as believing that "Jesus failed in his mission" and that Jesus "did not come to die."

Critics in addition to committing the error of caricaturing the Unificationists' point of view also fail to recall the debate which has been going in biblical circles all during this century. A typical traditional view held by orthodox and fundamentalist Christians is that the purpose of Jesus' mission was to die on the cross to provide atonement tor the sins of humanity. A typical point of view held by liberal and radical Christians and by some Jews is that the purpose of Jesus' mission was to establish the Kingdom of God on earth in his lifetime. The Gospel record, according to the latter scholars, is a re-interpretation made on the intention of Jesus by the early Christian community because of what happened at Golgotha. Because he did die, it had to be proposed that Jesus' purpose was to die.

Rudolf Bultmann has suggested the problem with which all critics and theologians must deal: "The greatest embarrassment to the attempt to reconstruct a portrait of Jesus is the fact that we cannot know how Jesus understood his end, his death... What is certain is merely that he was crucified by the Romans, and thus suffered the death of a political criminal. This death can scarcely be understood as an inherent and necessary consequence of his activity; rather it took place because his activity was misconstrued as a political activity. In that case it would have been -- historically speaking -- a meaningless fate. We cannot tell whether or how Jesus found meaning in it. We may not veil from ourselves the possibility that he suffered a collapse." ("The Primitive Christian Kerygma and the Historical Jesus")

For the Unificationist, Jesus' cry of dereliction from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (which is the only "word" from the cross given by either Matthew or Mark), is the expression of that collapse, that sense of rejection which Jesus totally felt along with the awareness of the failure of his mission.

Vincent Taylor, when describing the mission of the twelve, wrote: "What Jesus expected, and what he sent forth the Twelve to announce was the speedy coming of the rule of God and the setting up of the messianic community of the Son of Man." Continuing, Taylor concluded, "No small part of the significance of the mission is that it failed." Before Taylor, Albert Schweitzer described the mission of Jesus in similar terms and after Taylor, Hyam Maccoby has done the same.

Unificationists are sensitive to the insights of both Vincent Taylor and Rudolf Bultmann and speak to the death of Jesus as the climax or consummation of the failure of Jesus' mission to fulfill his avowed intention of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth in his own lifetime. For these views some American Christians would like to run the Unificationists out of the country. The Germans and French did manage to drive Albert Schweitzer into Africa where he eventually became more famous as a medical doctor than he had been as a musician or theologian.

In Divine Principle the subject of Jesus' mission is presented under the heading "The Purpose of the Coming of the Messiah." It warrants a closer look.

Unlike most of Christian theology which is tied in with the relationship of the mission of Jesus to the fall of man, Unificationism ties the mission of Jesus in with creation. "God's purpose of creation was to be fulfilled with the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth." Salvation or restoration, then, was to come about through God's Messiah who would re-establish humankind to a state comparable to that of the ideal of creation of the pre-fallen state.

The purpose of Jesus, according to this view, had to be to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Looked at in another way, "The purpose of salvation (restoration) history focuses on the fulfillment of the principle of creation." Jesus came to fulfill the principle of creation. Two texts from Matthew are used to support this concept: "Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect" (5:48), "Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven" (6:10).

This intention of Jesus is also viewed by the Unificationist in relationship to the mission of John the Baptist. It is noted that the proclamation of John the Baptist and of Jesus is the same. John the Baptist, according to Matthew 3:2, and Jesus, according to Matthew 4:17, proclaim the same message: "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

The Jewish belief of Jesus' day was that Elijah would come prior to the coming of the Messiah. "Elijah truly shall come first and restore all things (Matthew 17:11)." According to Matthew 11:14 and Matthew 17:13 this was to be the role of John the Baptist. However, according to John 1:21, this is a role which John the Baptist himself rejected. Since the mission of Elijah and Messiah were integrally and imperatively related, with the fulfillment of Elijah's mission vital to the success of the mission of the Messiah in establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the failure of John the Baptist to accept the role of Elijah was one of the factors which made it impossible for Jesus to fulfill the providence of restoration, i.e., establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

According to Divine Principle John's protest that he was not Elijah (John 1:21) was the principal cause blocking the way of the people to Jesus. The mission of John the Baptist as a witness to Jesus ended with his testifying to Jesus and with his baptism of Jesus. For Unificationists, John the Baptist should have assumed his role as Elijah and worked effectively along with Jesus. John the Baptist should have become a foremost disciple of Jesus. This, of course, he did not do. He even continued to baptize separate from Jesus and his disciples, and reference is made to the disciples of John, indicating that his following continued as a movement separate from Jesus' followers.

Thus, betrayed by John the Baptist, Jesus had to wander about the seacoast of Galilee and in the region of Samaria looking for those who would listen to his Gospel. John the Baptist greatly offended Jesus and failed to accomplish his mission although he was greatest among the prophets (Matthew 11:11).

Unificationists note that Jesus was rejected by John the Baptist, his own family (Luke 2:48), by his own disciples (Matthew 26, 27) and by the people. Jesus, then, came to accomplish the will of God for establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth in his lifetime but died a reluctant death on the cross due to the disbelief and lack of acceptance of him by those closest to him as well as the populace and nation to whom he ministered.

If Jesus had not been rejected, he would not have been crucified. Unificationists argue that crucifixion could not have been primary to the will of God, since even the Apostle Paul who made the crucifixion central to his own message maintained that Jesus was crucified out of ignorance and disbelief (I Corinthians 2:8). God's will, Unificationists say, is expressed in two texts in the Fourth Gospel. "This is the work of God, that ye believe in him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29) "I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10).

In Divine Principle a relationship is made between the apparently separate and contradictory concepts of the mission of Jesus: to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, or to die on the cross. It is pointed out that two prominent salvation motifs appear in Hebrew tradition regarding the fulfillment of God's will. God has entered into a covenant relationship with his people, and this is a relationship in which both God and man share responsibility. One motif is the kingdom motif. The other is the suffering motif. The former is primary. The latter is an alternative which comes about due to humankind's failure to carry out its responsibility for bringing about the fulfillment of the first.

The Messianic kingdom motif is to be found in Isaiah 9:6-7 which speaks of a peaceful and lasting kingdom of David, Isaiah 11:4 which speaks of righteousness stemming from Jesus the father of David, Isaiah 60:1-12 which speaks of peace and righteousness and God as light and glory, and Luke 1:30-33 which speaks of the everlasting kingdom of David.

The Suffering Servant motif is to be found in Isaiah 52:13-53:12, which speaks of the individual or nation that suffers as God's servant for others and Mark 10:45 which identifies the mission of Jesus with giving his life as a ransom for many.

The Christian community understood Jesus to have fulfilled the dynamics of Isaiah 52, 53 (Mark 10:45). Jesus originally understood his mission to be the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth (Mark 1:14, 15) but re-interpreted his own mission to be one of suffering and death (Matthew 16:21). Salvation, then, accomplished by Jesus' mission of his suffering and death on the cross was reconciliation (Romans 1-6) rather than restoration. Since restoration includes renewal both of the spiritual and the physical aspects of humankind's nature, and since reconciliation may be thought of as pertaining to the spiritual aspect of salvation, Jesus in his death upon the cross did provide spiritual salvation for mankind, i.e., reconciliation and forgiveness of sins.

Critics of Unificationism should never fail to take into account another of Divine Principle's statements: "We can never deny and must affirm the magnitude of the grace of reconciliation (or redemption) by the suffering and death of Jesus."

To all of this still another dimension is given by Unificationists. Jesus' mission of suffering and death, which resulted from the disbelief of the Jewish People and the failure of John the Baptist to unite with Jesus, may be viewed as a consequence to the work of Satan. Satan's work is thought of as having begun at the time of the Monarchy (ca. 1000 B.C.) in terms of Satan's success in corrupting the "ideal of the temple" so that the temple for a millennium did not actualize the presence and the power of God. Malachi, who had prophesied Elijah's return (4:5) had also spoken of "the messenger of the covenant" for the purification of the Lord's Temple. Jesus, as the messenger of the covenant, cleansed the Temple, but because of lack of support from the people accomplished only being brought to the attention of temple authorities and being led down a course that consummated in his death on the cross. By invading Solomon, Satan succeeded in corrupting the "ideal of the Temple." It may be said too that Satan invaded that temple which was Jesus' body (John 2:18-21), i.e., God gave the body of Jesus over to Satan.

The bodies, therefore, of those who believe in Jesus still remain subject to Satan's invasion. Although the eternal penalty for sin has been removed by the death of Jesus, the actuality of sin in the daily lives of believers remains. But since God's predestination to restore the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is absolute and unchangeable, Christ has to come again to fulfill perfectly the will of God, and since sin still works in us, Christ must come again on the earth to accomplish the complete providence of restoration which will include the physical as well as spiritual salvation.

V. Its Eschatological Perspective

Among the more debatable points of Unificationism is the contention that in Jesus' intention to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, he also intended to marry and to have a family. This conclusion is based on a line of argument based on the Apostle Paul's designation of Jesus as the second Adam. If that is so, then Jesus had to have his Eve and together they were to have had children. Jesus' crucifixion, however, interrupted and changed this course of his life and mission.

Since it is the contention of Unificationists that Christ must come again, it is also their contention that when he does come he will marry and have a family. It is the claim of Rev. Sun Myung Moon that Jesus himself appeared to him on an Easter morning in Korea and challenged him to complete his mission. This was the vision that inaugurated and inspires the mission of the Rev. Moon. Sun Myung Moon's intention is to complete the mission of Jesus by arousing humanity to respond to the will of God and thereby bring about the completion of the providence of restoration, i.e., the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Jesus as Messiah completed the spiritual aspects of the providence of restoration. Jesus has commissioned Moon to complete the physical aspects of the providence of restoration.

In view of this it is striking that Rev. and Mrs. Moon's children number twelve (thirteen at time of publication -- ed.), that Rev. Moon speaks of himself as having overcome the dominion of Satan, and that some of his closest followers speak of him as being in charge of the spirit world.

Whatever messianic pretensions these items suggest may be tempered however by the facts that five of his children are girls, he enjoys taking the whole family to Great Adventure in New Jersey, he loves to fish in the Atlantic Ocean for tuna and in the Hudson River for carp, and his magic touch is in business, being especially successful as a major distributor of ginseng tea in the Far East.

Unlike many Christians who believe only in a spiritual kingdom of God, unlike liberal Christians who do not believe in the second coming of Christ, and unlike Christians who believe in the second coming of Christ as the return of Jesus on the clouds, and unlike Jews who reject Jesus as the Messiah altogether and look forward to the coming of another Jewish Messiah, Unificationists believe in a second coming of Christ, who does not come on clouds and who is not a Jew but one who is a believer in Jesus. The fundamental difference between Unificationist eschatology and either Christian or Jewish eschatologies, however, lies in the Unificationists' concept that the fulfillment of the providence of restoration is more dependent upon the people's response to God than it is on the Messiah himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is not so much what the Messiah brings about as what the people fulfill and do.

When I personally asked Rev. Moon what would happen if he and his movement were not instrumental in bringing about a response of humanity to the will of God and should fail in establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, he replied casually and graciously, "Then someone else will do it at another time. God's will will be done."

As startling and controversial as this eschatology may be, it does provide the necessary function of challenging Christians and Jews to think eschatologically Since the Hebrew Christian scriptures have an eschatological perspective and a strong apocalyptic element, it is incumbent upon both Christians and Jews to take this dimension and element in the Bible seriously. Independently of Rev. Moon, Christian biblical scholars have only recently begun to do so.

Just a decade ago Klaus Koch, Professor of Old Testament at the University of Hamburg, posed a crucial question: "Has biblical scholarship really done everything that it was possible to do by historical methods?" (The Rediscovery of Apocalyptic, 1970). He answered the question himself by suggesting that biblical criticism has dealt only sparingly with eschatology and especially meagerly with that special dimension of eschatology, apocalyptic literature. Koch emphasized how apocalyptic concepts formed the final stage in the religion of the Old Testament and provided a determining role for the origins of Jesus as well as primitive Christianity. He outlined in detail his thesis that scholars are still far from an adequate overall grasp of this subject.

Koch pointed out how interest in apocalyptic literature in German theological education practically disappeared during the 1900s through the 1950s. He credits Ernst Kasemann with pointing out how "apocalyptic was the mother of all Christian theology..." and both Kasemann and Wolfhart Pannenberg with engendering in certain of the younger German theologians a positive apocalyptic renaissance and how Martin Noth, O. Ploger and D. Rossler helped to resume research into this area so long ignored in German scholarship.

He also reminds us how Rudolf Bultmann contributed to the neglect of proper treatment of apocalyptic literature. In his essay "The New Testament and Mythology" Bultmann wrote: "The cosmology of the New Testament is essentially mythical in character... The mythology of the New Testament is in essence that of Jewish apocalyptic and Gnostic redemption myths... This mythology is outdated for every thinking person today, whether he is a believer or an unbeliever..."

Koch sketched the rise of interest in apocalyptic literature among British and American scholars signaling the major contributions made by R. H. Charles, George F. Moore, R. Travers Herford, H. H. Rowley, W. D. Davies, and C. K. Barrett.

He also reminds us of Rudolf Otto's judgment: "Jesus' preaching of the Kingdom is manifestly connected with (and yet is... in definite contrast to) an earlier historical phenomenon, i.e., the later Jewish eschatology and apocalyptic...Jesus' preaching both reflects and transforms them." Koch also allows Ethelbert Stauffer to speak again: "The world of apocalyptic ideas is the one in which the New Testament writers were really at home." But, Koch laments that voices like these became lost in the great chorus of New Testament scholars who view apocalyptic of every kind -- even the book of Revelation -- with mistrust and discomfort. For some such as Gerhard Ebling apocalyptic suggests a heretical tendency, and many scholars are not unsympathetic with R. Travers Herford's dictum, speaking about eschatology and apocalyptic, "Although both are the children of prophecy, the one is a Jacob, the other (apocalyptic) an Esau."

Koch's conclusion: "The prevailing opinion among German New Testament scholars is still that apocalyptic is a marginal phenomenon which undoubtedly played a certain role in some early Christian circles but which, seen as a whole, is unimportant." However, in spite of the general reluctance of German scholars to give apocalyptic its due and in spite of both English and American theological worlds leaving apocalyptic primarily in the hands of obscurantist sects, Koch insists that Pannenberg and others have helped launch a renaissance of apocalyptic. "Everything suggests that in the coming decades theology will have to concern itself increasingly with the apocalyptic writings."

Apocalyptic literature conveys the conviction that God will save and restore His people and establish His kingdom. This is a message compatible with Unificationism. One of the essential features of apocalyptic literature is that it is not to be interpreted literally and presents a philosophy of history rather than a chronological scheme for history. With this, Unificationists have some difficulty, as do all Fundamentalist Christians, especially sectarian Christians.

One of the most serious limitations to the effectiveness of Unificationism comes in its use of apocalyptic literature. Although Unificationists can ascribe to apocalyptic as a code language presenting a philosophy of history, the founder, the chief interpreter, and numerous Unificationists see in the Apocalypse of John predictions of the coming of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Unificationism, and Mrs. Moon.

Rev. Moon is seen in Revelation 7:2 to be "another angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God." The 144,000 (Revelation 7:14) is seen as a symbol of Unificationism, and Rev. and Mrs. Moon are thought to be depicted in Revelation 19:7 as "the Lamb... and his wife..."

As startling as this use of Revelation may seem to be, however, it should be taken as no more so than Hal Lindsay's contention that the contemporary European Common Market and the current crisis in the Middle East are depicted in Daniel, and that what is in Revelation describes events which are and will be current.

Using the Apocalypse to foresee contemporary events and figures is useful as long as the Unification Movement has no biblical scholars. Such an interpretation is a principal cause for hoping that biblical scholars will soon be forthcoming. When this happens, Unificationism will retreat as an obscurantist cult, and emerge as a viable new religious movement.


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Baur, Ferdinard Christian. The Church History of the First Three Centuries, 3rd ed. London and Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, 1878.

Bultmann, Rudolf. "The Primitive Kerygma and the Historical Jesus." In In Search of the Historical Jesus. Edited by Harvey K. McArthur. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1969.

Case, Shirley Jackson. The Historicity of Jesus. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1912.

Drews, Arthur. The Christian-Myth. T.F. Unwin, 1910. The Open Court Publishing Co., 1912.

Hasel, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology: Basic Issues in the Current Debate, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, 1972.

Hegel, George W.F. Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. First published in German in 1832, trans, from the second German edition by Rev. E.B. Speirs and J. Burdon Sanderson. 3 vols. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tubner and Co., LTD, 1895.

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Hume, David. A Treatise on Human Nature, (1739, 1740) Edited, by T.H. Green and T.H. Grose. 2 vols. London: Longmans Green, and Co., 1874.

___. Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748). Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1894.

Kant, Immanuel. Die Religion Innerhalb der Grenzen der Blossen Vernunft 1794). Sammtliche Werke. Herausgegeben von Karl Rosenkranz und Friedr. Wilh. Schubert, Leibzig: Zehnter Theil, Leopold Voss, 1838.

Kim, Young Oon. Unification Theology and Christian Thought. New York: The Golden Gate Publishing Company, 1975.

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Ritschl, Albrecht. The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation, first German edition 1870-1874, English translation by H.R. Mackintosh and A.B. Macaulay, 2nd ed., Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1902.

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Schweitzer, Albert. Von Reimarus zu Werde, 1906, ET as The Quest of the Historical Jesus, 2nd ed., NY: The Macmillan Company, 1926.

Smith, J. Frederick. Studies in Religion Under German Masters, London and Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, 1880.

Strauss, David F. Das Lebenjesu, 1835, English translation from the 4th German edition in one volume, Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1892.

Taylor, Vincent. "The Mission of the Twelve," Chapter 22 in In Search of the Historical Jesus, Harvey K. McArthur, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1969.

Volkmar, Gustav. Jesus Nazarenus und die erste christliche Zeit mil den beiden ersten Erzahlern, Caesar Schmidt, 1882.

Weisse, Gustav. Die evangelische Geschichte kritisch und philosophisch Bearbeiter. Leipzig: Erster Band, Breitkopf und Hartel, 1838.

Wilke, Christian Gottlob. Der Urevangelist, Dresden und Leipzig: G. Fleischer, 1838.

Wright, William Kelley. A History of Modern Philosophy, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1941. 

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