(1792–1860)

German NT scholar and Church historian of Tübingen University. He denied the authenticity of many of the letters ascribed to Paul and maintained that a bitter struggle in the apostolic Church between Peter and Paul was concealed by the author of the Acts in the interests of reconciliation. The conflict was resolved in the form of Catholic Christianity in the 2nd cent., when the fourth gospel was compiled (150 CE). It was an interpretation resembling the dialectical philosophy of history developed by Hegel (of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis). The principal English antagonist of Baur's view was J. B. Lightfoot. Today it is widely conceded that NT literature should be understood in terms of its diversity and that the differences within the early Church are of a piece with the contradictions and tensions of universal and ecclesiastical history—and to that extent Baur has some modern support.