Klaus Berger (theologian)

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Klaus Berger (2009)

Klaus Berger (born November 25, 1940 in Hildesheim ; † June 8, 2020 in Heidelberg ) was a German theologian - originally a Catholic , later a Protestant . He was professor for New Testament theology at the Theological Faculty of Heidelberg University . As one of the leading New Testament scholars, he published numerous monographs and specialist articles as well as numerous articles for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . His book about Jesus became a bestseller. Berger opposed the program of demythologizing the biblical tradition and called for greater trust in the text of the Bible . Shortly before his retirement he caused a scandal by stating that he had never left the Roman Catholic Church and had always been a Catholic.


Klaus Berger did his Abitur at the humanistic Ratsgymnasium Goslar in Goslar. From 1960 he studied Catholic theology and philosophy as well as Christian-Oriental languages ​​( Aramaic , Syriac , Ethiopian , Arabic ) at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , Free University of Berlin and University of Hamburg . In 1965 he passed the faculty examination in theology in Munich and received his doctorate in the New Testament in 1967 . In the dissertation, some passages were seen as heretical (see below), which is why he could no longer become a Catholic priest. In 1971 he completed his habilitation in the same subject at the University of Hamburg at the Protestant theological faculty. From 1968 he was a scholarship holder of the German Research Foundation , from 1970 lecturer for New Testament and early Christian literature at the Rijksuniversität Leiden .

From 1974 until his retirement in 2006 he taught as professor for the New Testament at the Protestant theological faculty of Heidelberg University . He worked for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for 25 years as a liaison professor in the field of theology. Berger has been a familiar of the Cistercian order since 2005 . Since 2010 he has been teaching in the home study of the Mariawald Abbey .

Berger had two children from his first marriage to Christa Berger. He was married to the translation scholar Christiane Nord for the second time . He died on June 8, 2020 in Heidelberg.

Teaching and Research

Klaus Berger

Together with the Old Testament scholar Horst Dietrich Preuss, Berger wrote a demanding Bible study that is repeatedly published. Berger's impulses also partially fertilized neighboring theological disciplines. As a connoisseur of the early Jewish and pagan Hellenistic comparative texts on the New Testament, Berger succeeded in constantly generating new research impulses . Especially in the 1970s and 1980s Berger was one of the leading interdisciplinary theologians in Germany. Berger's publications are numerous; His contributions to exegetical methodology, research on the history of religion, the history of form, hermeneutics , apocalyptic research and the history of theology of the New Testament are to be mentioned as focal points . Berger has also given new suggestions for the evaluation of text groups such as the Qumran texts and the Gnosis texts as they are known from the Church Fathers and the Nag Hammadi finds .


  1. The fundamental reorientation of exegesis , which he called for in his book "Exegesis of the New Testament", can be guided by more recent findings in linguistics . The comparative examination of word fields is assigned a high rank within text interpretation. Berger develops the basis of an exegesis that tries to come close to the statements of the texts in a controlled manner using a variety of methods .
  2. One of the methodological and theological-historical milestones of Berger's scientific work is a short essay that he wrote in the Festschrift for Günther Bornkamm in 1980: “The implicit opponents. On the method of opening up opponents in the New Testament texts ”. The result of this essay is that contemporary science should be much more critical of the " heretic polemics " from NT and early Christianity than it is most of the time. If in the past it was concluded from the presence of a "stimulus vocabulary" of an alleged or actual early Christian heresy in any text that this "heresy" was actually addressed in this text, critical research of the present must now be much more careful with adopting such evaluations or assignments. As a rule, the “implicit opponents” also turn out to be serious early Christian discussion partners, so that the adoption of ancient or research-historical polemics in the present is more confusing than illuminating.
  3. Another milestone in methodology is Berger's criticism of the search for the "ipsissima vox" of Jesus and his criticism of the criteria for "real Jesus words", which he has published several times since 1997 ("In the beginning was John"). With this, Berger rejects the project, which up until then was considered to be particularly exciting, of using suitable criteria to track down the “historical Jesus ”. In his opinion, most of the criteria say more about those who set them up than about Jesus - and the result is inevitably a figure of Jesus who “fits” the respective research landscape. On the other hand, Berger himself favors the image of an open mosaic, that is, an image according to which Jesus remains tangible only in approximations. The mosaic stones are the statements of the New Testament and the other early Christian writings about Jesus. Each piece of the mosaic has its lasting value and cannot be prematurely discredited as "late". The researcher's task is to find out to what extent and where such a piece of the mosaic fits the previously determined image of Jesus, or where it forces one to rethink.

Shape history

In his publications on the history of form in the New Testament, Berger distinguished himself from the classic form-history designs by Rudolf Bultmann and Martin Dibelius . His concern, which he does not find in the older drafts, is to work with categories of ancient (Hellenistic) rhetoric and not with modern constructs, and not only look at excerpts from the New Testament, but every text of the New Testament .

Fundamental for Berger was the realization that form and content cannot be separated like shell and core according to the old theory of liberal theology . Because the form also offers important signals for understanding the content and is therefore to be taken seriously. Offensive elements of a text (e.g. the miracles in the “miracle stories”) are therefore not simply to be viewed as a time-related form, which nevertheless convey a content that can be detached from them and can be contextualized anew today. At the same time, the history of form can no longer be used as an instrument for literary criticism, as it was in the past , since knowledge about the form of a text does not necessarily say anything about the tradition behind the text . Berger also maintains the old thesis that the original form must always be “simple” and that all “impure”, supposedly “expanded” forms are a sign of later revisions and are unrealistic.

Berger's impulses for the history of form were deepened in parable research and in the evaluation of the form of the gospels by his students Kurt Erlemann ( parables ) and Dirk Frickenschmidt ( gospels ).

History of religion

  1. Connected to the new approaches in the history of form and methodology is the high rank that Berger gives to the religious-historical comparison. The "Religious History Textbook for the New Testament" (1987), which he compiled together with the Berlin religious scholar Carsten Colpe , has remained the most frequently used instrument for finding relevant religious-historical comparative texts until the recent past. This is true even though the various criticisms that have been made about the opacity of selection criteria cannot be contradicted.
  2. His previous publications on the history of religion include the edition of Qumran Psalms, an early Jewish wisdom, an early Christian apocalypse, a concordance of two early Jewish apocalyptic texts, a large number of apocryphal early Christian texts (“ early Christianity ”), parables in the major religions, and texts of the Arab Christianity etc. to be expected. In addition, there is the most comprehensive collection of apocryphal words of Jesus to date. Berger's private collection of ancient apocalypses is believed to be the largest collection of apocalypses in the world.
  3. One of the most important steps towards a reorientation in research on the history of religion compared to the older school of history of religion lies in a new, methodologically controlled way of comparison. Similarities between fonts do not necessarily mean direct dependencies. Berger initiated an important, at first very controversial, reorientation with his article in the Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE) on Gnosis (Gnosis I) (1983). In contrast to the older religious-historical school, Berger refuses - like Carsten Colpe before him - to see a developed Gnosis, Prägnosis or even just a "naive docetism " at work in the background of the New Testament writings. Since we can only speak of a developed Gnosis from the second half of the second century, it seems to Berger to be absurd and, again, based on the biographies of the respective researchers, to assume a "Gnostic background" positive or negative for the writing of the New Testament writings.

"Theological history of early Christianity" instead of "theology of the NT"

Klaus Berger

Berger did not write a "Theology of the New Testament", but an extensive "Theological history of early Christianity". With this he expresses that he does not understand the development of Christian theology at its beginning as a linear or dialectical process, but, as Francois Vouga had also called for, as an explosive, dynamic event. In doing so, Berger accepts the lack of clarity owed to the method. He uses the model of a tree. So he tries, starting from the greatest theological similarities in the NT, which form a kind of “trunk”, to design a real “family tree” of the theologies of the New Testament. At the same time, he tries to anchor the respective theological ideas historically and geographically at the "main trading points" of early Christian theology in the Mediterranean region that we can recognize today.

One aspect of this non-linear view of the early Christian theological development is that Berger set the origin of some books of the New Testament, which were generally thought to be "late", earlier. This applies to the Gospel of John , the Epistles of John , the Revelation of John or also to the Epistle of James , the Epistles of Peter or the Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians .

Important theses in Berger's theological history are:

  1. The old theory that miracle stories were told about Jesus only after Easter, that he was called the Messiah and that he was seen as the Redeemer, cannot be upheld.
  2. This also leads to the assumption that the Messiah secret ( William Wrede ) of the synoptic Gospels is a “trick” of the evangelists to make it clear why nothing was known about all of this before Easter.
  3. This means that it is no longer possible to automatically interpret pre-Easter stories as a later community creation.
  4. The theory of the parousia delay , popular since Albert Schweitzer , according to which the absence of the return of Christ expected in the very near future has become the driving force behind the development of early Christian theology, does not correspond to what the texts themselves suggest. The second coming of Christ ( near expectation) was expected at all times as imminent.
  5. This also eliminates the idea of ​​a more or less straightforward, decadent or positively progressive development of the church and its theology. Reality is more complicated than single-line development models suggest.

Dating of the writings of the NT

In his commentary on the New Testament (2011), Berger dated the individual New Testament writings as follows:

Matthew was written between 50 and 60, Mark 45 at the latest, Luke 66 at the latest, John around 68/69, Acts around 66/67.
Romans 60 at the earliest (written to the Christians in Rome, but "diverted" to Ephesus by Paul himself - with Chapter 16 as an appendix ), 1st and 2nd Corinthians around 50, Galatians 50s, Ephesians before 63, Philippians (= Farewell letter) around 65, Colossians perhaps 58, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians 50–52.
1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus : mid-1950s (when Paul was in Ephesus), Philemon perhaps 61.
Hebrews around 54/55 (written by a Jewish Christian in Alexandria who had been expelled from Rome, to the Gentile Christians [!] In Rome), James around 55, 1. Peter 50–55, 2. Peter 50–52, 1. John 55/56 (at least not later), 2 John at the latest 50, 3 John at 50, Jude 50–55; Revelation 68/69. "

Research history and its criticism

As preparatory work for Berger's theological history work and as a justification for his criticism of the theology of Rudolf Bultmann , one can consider his research history work, as he presented it in the book “Exegesis and Philosophy” and a large number of essays. Here Berger shows that a large part of the assumptions about the developments and connections in New Testament theology say more about the respective researchers and their attachment to the prevailing rationalistic , idealistic or romantic philosophy than about the texts themselves. Albert Schweitzer had similar insights in expressed in his book about the "Life-Jesus research". Berger appears here as a legacy of the liberal enlightenment about one's own prerequisites for understanding and application.

Exegesis and its applicability; New methods in competition

For Berger, as a radical, critical historist, the question of the relevance of the writings to reality, which, in addition, precisely because of Berger's work, appeared increasingly strange, arose from the very beginning in Heidelberg, obviously prompted by questions from students.

In what was then the Heidelberg faculty, there were a number of colleagues who were dealing with similar problems. Rolf Rendtorff questioned the dissolution of the Old Testament texts into their supposedly identifiable individual parts - and thus the largely uncritical instrument of literary criticism . In some respects, like Berger, he tried to understand the text more on its own than by assuming hypothetical preliminary stages. The Heidelberg systematist Dietrich Ritschl posed the hermeneutical question of the strangeness of Christian ideas, just as Berger observed it in his research: New Testament Christianity appears ever more foreign and cannot be communicated at all with our everyday reality.

The Heidelberg colleague Gerd Theißen , Berger's longstanding antipode in the New Testament society, on the one hand posed the question of the social-historical reality of life of early Christians and was able to show comparability of many New Testament [texts?] For the present through the theories of sociology he used. In his investigations into the psychology of Pauline and other New Testament texts, Theißen also tried to use psychology as a means of interpreting the ancient texts.

Berger took a stand in each of these debates. In contrast to Theißen, the Bultmannschule , Uta Ranke-Heinemann , Eugen Drewermann and many others, as a critical historian he refused to draw conclusions about the past from research and empirical models of the present. “Basic anthropological constants”, as Sigmund Freud assumed , is what Berger sees as an ideological construct of the 19th and 20th centuries. As a result, Berger not only wrote his own "Historical Psychology of the New Testament" (3rd edition 1995), but above all designed a new " Hermeneutics of the New Testament" (1988/1999). In the new edition from 1999 he criticized the liberal ideology that he sees at work in the hermeneutics of his colleague Ritschl.

A new hermeneutics

The following aspects are fundamental to Berger's own hermeneutics :

  • The experience of the strangeness of the biblical texts as evidence of a culture alien to us, temporally and geographically distant, is not "smoothed out" by "merging horizons", as was otherwise attempted in Gadamer's entourage (cf. e.g. Hans Weder ). Instead, the strangeness of texts and people is used as a crucial critical impetus to question the experiences and categories of our current experience.
  • A distinction is made between exegesis and application. Not every knowledge of exegesis can be "applied". Much remains dead paper science with no direct profit for the faith of today's Christians. And some biblical text doesn't have anything to say directly to us. Orientation towards the Bible does not mean that every word in the Bible points the way for the present. It is also important that the "application" of New Testament texts generally requires thorough, independent exegetical work, but is fundamentally an additional, independent, demanding step that contemporary theology has to take.
  • The application criteria, which Berger does not simply take from the text, are important here. Here Berger is inspired in many ways by the experiences of the liberation theology of South America. In a nutshell, it is about the question of how a biblical text can be used in a helpful, clearing, encouraging, provocative, stimulating, healing manner, i.e. in any case with an effect on experience.

Provocative theses

It was one of the constants in Berger's scientific career that he repeatedly acted as a provocateur. Some statements in his dissertation in 1966 were criticized by the faculty as contradicting the teaching of the Catholic Church, which is why he had to give up his intention to become a priest. His allegedly heretical views at the time found their way into the Catholic world catechism . After his admission by the Evangelical Church in Hamburg, Berger threw the Evangelical Church into an uproar with his habilitation thesis, which he carried out and widely supported thesis that the resurrection of Jesus as a theologumenon is by no means as unique as that which was particularly shaped by dialectical post-war theology evangelical church. As a result, his new approaches in exegetical and form-historical methodology as well as his research-historical criticism were particularly directed against the powerful Bultmann school within New Testament science. But also socialist , idealistic , liberal or evangelical ideologies were repeatedly and sharply criticized by Berger. Corresponding scientific oppositions essentially result from these disputes.

Qumran dispute

The Qumran dispute escalated in the early 1990s. It was about the fact that almost 40 years after the discovery of Qumran's writings, not all writings were edited or even accessible to other researchers. Berger was one of the scholars who had tried several times without a chance to view certain Qumran texts even through editing activities ( anniversary book ). Now, however, Berger went on the offensive as one of the few other New Testament scholars and presented the situation from the point of view of the religious scholar and theologian. The Qumran dispute may have been one of the main triggers for turning to the high-profile presentation of New Testament theology.

Confrontation with Gerd Lüdemann

At the end of the 1990s, the Göttingen New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann published his theses on the resurrection of Jesus. He wanted to prove that it could only have been a matter of resurrection visions that were to be seen as an expression of collective coping with grief among the disciples. In any case, the grave was not empty. Lüdemann thus drew a radical consequence from the program of demythologizing that Rudolf Bultmann had propagated. Klaus Berger was one of the experts who took a clear opposing position. The discussion with Lüdemann was certainly one of the decisive occasions to re-pose the question of the reality of biblically portrayed mystical processes ( miracles , angels , prayer , resurrection , etc.).

Interdisciplinary impulses

In addition to research and teaching in his traditional sub-discipline, Berger also provides interdisciplinary impulses for other theological sub-disciplines, in particular for fundamental theology , ecclesiology and theological ethics . For example, he questions the classic theory of the necessary satisfaction ( Anselm von Canterbury ) for original sin , which is already controversial in contemporary theology (with this also the question of whether Jesus had to die on the cross). It also provides impetus to describe the biblical and early church, trinitarian image of God in an understandable and simple manner and to develop it from the biblical texts. This also includes attempted answers to the theodicy question from the New Testament.

Berger considers Protestant ecclesiology to be underdeveloped. One cannot derive everything from the doctrine of justification . There is more to a church than just preaching and the proper administration of the sacraments. This is what extreme sects would claim of themselves after all. A teaching from the church must also take into account the actual structures. Berger advocates an ecumenical movement that does not seek the lowest common denominator, but instead makes real unity possible through common prayer and struggle. In his opinion, the difference between the denominations is easier to bridge theologically than in the mentality of the respective churches.

Against the classic Catholic and Protestant ethics - shaped by Immanuel Kant's ethics of duty - Berger emphasizes the aesthetics of order and the sheen of beauty. Berger does not elaborate on such basic food for thought.

“Third way” between liberalism and fundamentalism

Looking back on his university activities, Berger said that at that time “there was a picture of Rudolf Bultmann hanging to the right of the desk in each of my colleagues' offices”.

According to Rudolf Bultmann, the demythologization of the biblically oriented faith has become almost common property. However, if the demythologization is carried out consistently, then there won't be much left biblically. Berger makes a suggestion how one can imagine a reality that is built up by more than just causally oriented rationality. In the house of the one reality one can imagine four interconnected rooms: one of rationality, one of emotionality, one of art and music and finally one of religion. Different rules of the game apply in each room, but they are all equally real. And all four areas can be described rationally, even if they cannot be reduced to a rational denominator. Accordingly, miracles do not necessarily disturb the realm of rational-logical thinking, if only it is admitted that there are realms of human experience that are essentially not "reasonable". (Can one believe in miracles; Are the reports of the New Testament true?) This makes it possible to take texts like the Transfiguration of Jesus seriously again. (Who was Jesus really?) With the picture of the house and the four rooms, Berger takes an epistemological localization of theology that is closely related to his “direct” access to biblical texts. For him, meditation “without philosophical glasses” is an important methodological source for scientific work.

In this way, Berger links the spirituality of contemplative prayer with theological research. Prayer is an important topic for Berger; he defines it as follows:

"Every prayer is first and foremost recognition of God and thereby a part of the repair of the world in which most people are god-forgotten."

Klaus Berger felt isolated from his colleagues.

Recovery of New Testament exegesis for theology

The New Testament science had a dissolving effect in the last two centuries: The Holy Scriptures no longer offer in any way the “solid foundation” on which one can base oneself theologically. Karl Barth's theology answered this dilemma with all the more rigorous dogmatic guidelines; the march through the so-called human sciences as category donors for theology is quite satisfied with the fact that faith and theology are only about people who can be described in this way.

Klaus Berger, on the other hand, wanted to rediscover the New Testament as a decisive factor for the development of theology. Above all, theology also has practical value and relevance.

Editor activity: series and magazines

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Berger has published the series “Texts and Works on the New Testament Age” (TANZ), initially with others, from 1999 to 2011 alone, and since then together with some of his students. In 1998, Berger and a group of his students started the project of their own magazine for university, church and school. The "New Testament Journal" (ZNT) is published twice a year. Berger has withdrawn from the editorial team for some time.

Public effect

Klaus Berger

Television and newspapers

Since the mid-1990s, Berger tried harder to apply his earlier hermeneutic impulses to various, mostly unloved biblical content, as well as to provide reasons for a responsible, critical and self-critical use of the Bible. So he was increasingly perceived by the public as one of the few theologians who gave new impulses for a life as a Christian from theological research . He was a sought-after conversation partner on television, gave many lectures and wrote regularly for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the daily mail . With his second wife Christiane Nord, he edited a translation of the New Testament and the early Christian scriptures, which cover roughly the first two centuries. In this way he made texts accessible to the public that are otherwise only presented by church critics with an anti-church tendency, but which can be perceived as important documents of the early Christian faith development.

Denomination scandal

Berger's turn to the piety of the Cistercians since the mid-1990s can be seen as preparation for a return to Catholic identity. Klaus Berger describes his confessional path in life in the book Faith Splitting is Divine Treason and in it suggests ways to end the denominational separation that is urgently needed in his opinion. Although he Catholic was baptized, Berger was allowed because of a now outdated heresy accusation not Roman Catholic priests are. Therefore he lived and taught in the Netherlands until he was accepted by the University of Heidelberg . According to his own account, he never left the Catholic Church .

Robert Leicht , the president of the Evangelical Academy in Berlin and a former council member of the Evangelical Church in Germany , accused Berger in articles for Die Zeit in 2005 that teaching at the Heidelberg Faculty of Evangelical Theology was only possible because he had the impression I awoke to have converted to the Protestant denomination . In truth, however, he always remained a Catholic. Berger defended himself against the accusation of deception. In fact, Berger had paid Protestant church tax since his stay in the Netherlands. That is why Berger said he could legally consider himself a member of the Protestant Church and at the same time a Catholic ("Catholic in exile"). To his discharge, he presented a certificate of transfer to the Evangelical Lutheran Church on November 6, 1968. There were voices from both the Catholic and the Protestant side who campaigned for Berger.

In a Vatican press release dated November 8, 2005, the allegation allegedly made by Klaus Berger, according to press reports, was rejected as "false" that " Cardinal Ratzinger , the future Pope" knew "the formal side of the process" and "raised no objections" . It also says: “It goes without saying that the provisions of Catholic church law , which do not allow membership of the Catholic Church and a Protestant regional church at the same time, apply without exception and therefore also in the case mentioned. It is also not possible to dispense from this order of the church in the sacrament of penance . ”On November 7, 2006, Klaus Berger formally resigned from the Evangelical Church in Baden and rejoined the Catholic Church in the responsible diocese of Hildesheim.

Klaus Berger became familiar in the Heiligenkreuz Abbey , at whose university Benedict XVI. he lectured repeatedly.

Publications (excerpts)

M. Sasse published a detailed and almost complete bibliography up to 2001, which also includes scientific essays, lexicon articles and reviews, in the Festschrift für Klaus Berger Religionsgeschichte des New Testament. Tübingen 2001, pp. 569-577.

Generally understandable

(Source: Gütersloher Verlagshaus et al.)


  • Jesus' interpretation of the law. Your historical background in Judaism and the Old Testament, part 1: Mark and parallels (WMANT 40). Neukirchen-Vluyn 1972.
  • New Testament Exegesis. New ways from text to interpretation. Heidelberg 1977, ISBN 3-494-02070-1 .
  • The Resurrection of the Prophet and the Exaltation of the Son of Man. Traditional historical studies on the interpretation of the fate of Jesus in early Christian texts (StUNT 13). Goettingen 1976.
  • Religious history text book for the New Testament, (TNT 1). Göttingen 1987, together with Carsten Colpe .
  • Qumran and Jesus. Truth under lock and key? Stuttgart 1992.
  • Qumran. Finds - texts - history. Stuttgart 1998.
  • Manna, flour and sourdough. Grain and bread in the everyday life of early Christians , Stuttgart 1993.
  • The book of anniversaries. , (JSHRZ II / 3) Gütersloh 1981 ISBN 3-579-03923-7 .
  • Biblical studies of the Old and New Testaments, New Testament. Heidelberg 1980 ISBN 3-8252-0972-5 (Old Testament with Horst Dietrich Preuß ).
  • Introduction to the history of shapes. Tübingen 1987.
  • Form history of the New Testament. Heidelberg 1984, ISBN 3-494-01128-1 .
  • Exegesis and Philosophy. (SBS 123/124). Stuttgart 1986, reprint and T .: The Bible and its philosophical enemies. Aachen 2015.
  • New Testament hermeneutics. Gütersloh 1988 and Tübingen 1999.
  • Historical New Testament Psychology. (SBS 123/124). Stuttgart 1991.
  • History of theology of the New Testament. New Testament theology. Tübingen and Basel 1994, 2nd revised. and exp. Edition 1995.
  • In the beginning was John - dating and theology of the fourth gospel. ISBN 3-579-05201-2 .
  • Paul . CH Beck 1st edition, Munich 2002 ISBN 978-3-406-47997-7 ; 2., through Edition 2005, ISBN 3-406-47997-9 ; 3rd edition 2008 3-406-47997-7; last edition as EPUB , ISBN 978-3-406-69127-0 .
  • Commentary on the New Testament. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2011, ISBN 978-3-579-08129-8 (1051 pages; covers the entire NT).
  • The Apocalypse of John: Commentary. Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2017, ISBN 978-3-451-34779-5 .
  • Lend me your wings, angels: the apocalypse in the life of the church. Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-30613-6 .
  • Tradition and Revelation. Studies on early Christianity. Edited by Matthias Klinghardt and Günter Röhser . Tübingen / Basel 2006, ISBN 3-7720-8108-8 . (Collection of essays by K. Berger)

Bible translation

  • The New Testament and Early Christian Scriptures. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-458-16970-9 (together with Christiane Nord).

Berger as a translator and editor of ancient writings

  • The Greek Danieldiegese. 1976.
  • The book of anniversaries. 1981.
  • The wisdom of the Cairo Geniza . 1989/1996.
  • Psalms from Qumran. 1994.
  • The meditations of Wilhelm von Sankt Thierry . 2001.
  • About peace between the religions by Nikolaus von Kues . 2003 (with Christiane Nord).
  • Martin Luther's conception of peace. 2003.
  • Between the world and the desert. Words of Christian Arabs. 2006.


  • “A handout for the media”. The theologian Klaus Berger criticizes the Kirchentag and pleads for a reflection on the liturgy. In conversation with Paul Badde . In: Die Welt , June 3, 2003.
  • "I believe in God, not in miracles". Interview with Philipp Gessler. In: taz , November 30, 2017. online

Newspaper articles

  • The fight of the chosen ones. . During the Iraq war, US President Bush often invoked the message of the Bible. Wrong, because the Scriptures are neither belligerent nor do they preach the use of force. In: The time . No. 17, April 16, 2003.
  • Protestants, save the Catholics! Before the Kirchentag: a plea for an ecumenical movement that is not a sham. In: FAZ . May 23, 2003.
  • Jesus laughs at the church. Revaluation of All Values: The Gospel According to Jude. In: FAZ, April 13, 2006.
  • The agony of childbirth. Why Gnosis is wrong if it does not want the divine to be tainted by the earthly. So a birth is not divine at all, but bloody and creature. In: The world. December 23, 2006.




  • Axel von Dobbeler, Kurt Erlemann , Roman Heiligenthal (ed.): Religious history of the New Testament. Festschrift for Klaus Berger on his 60th birthday. Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-7720-2756-3 .
  • Gerd Theißen (ed.): Heidel-Berger Apokryphen. An early Nilol edition for the 50th birthday of Prof. Dr. Klaus Berger on November 25, 1990. Heidelberg 1990 (reproduced as a manuscript).

Web links

Commons : Klaus Berger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Klaus Berger is dead. CNA German , June 9, 2020, accessed on June 9, 2020 .
  2. Familiares are appointed by the Abbot General at the suggestion of a monastery community. According to the De Familiaribus Ordinis statutes of 1953 , three groups of people can become familiars: 1. People who have made a name for themselves or who are to be honored; 2. Benefactors of the Order; and 3. People who wish to live in the world according to the spirit and principles of the Order.
  3. ↑ The beginning of the semester: Abbey Mariawald has home studies again. In: orden-online.de. January 30, 2010, accessed June 9, 2020 .
  4. ^ Christian Geyer: Klaus Berger died: The interpreter of two denominations . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( faz.net [accessed June 10, 2020]).
  5. ^ Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer in his review of Berger's comment in: Yearbook for Evangelical Theology 26, 2012, pp. 266–268.
  6. In detail, it was about Berger's view that Christ did not want to abolish the Old Covenant or the Mosaic Law .
  7. Berger: Wundertäter , 2010, p. 9.
  8. This is what readers feel in Berger's works: "A meditative book: Urgent, with rather short sentences that make you think." This is how Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer's review of Berger: Wundertäter , 2010, in: Yearbook for Evangelical Theology 25, begins . 2011, p. 248.
  9. Berger: Wundertäter , 2010, p. 169.
  10. Klaus Berger, letter to the editor in FAZ No. 222 of September 23, 2005 p. 11
  11. ^ Robert Leicht: The Klaus Berger case , DIE ZEIT, October 20, 2005
  12. Robert Leicht: Der Fall Klaus Berger , DIE ZEIT November 14, 2005
  13. Klaus Berger: You can recognize me by the fruits , DIE WELT, October 22, 2005
  14. Guido Horst: Im Blickpunkt, Die Tagespost October 22, 2005
  15. Joaquín Navarro-Valls: Vatican press release on the "Berger case"
  16. Klaus Berger resigned from "Evangelical Regional Church Baden", kath.net November 24, 2006
  17. D: Berger re-entered, Vatican Radio November 24, 2006 ( Memento from October 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Catalog entry