(1906–98)

German NT scholar and a professor at Tübingen who was best known as a pupil of Rudolf Bultmann; he came to regard Bultmann's views on the historical worth of the synoptic gospels as too minimal. On the fourth gospel Käsemann, making special reference to ch. 17, held that its Christology is docetic, in that it denies the genuine humanity of Jesus. As a theologian of the Church, he thus diminished the authority of that gospel. At the same time he appealed to ‘mythological’ elements in epistles of Paul in support of his opposition to social and political creeds of his time: Paul preached a doctrine of the Cross and Resurrection and Justification, which Paul saw as God asserting and extending his rule over history; on this NT basis Käsemann as a Church theologian participated in the struggle for social justice and world peace as being part of the will of God.