Martin Hengel

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Martin Hengel (born December 14, 1926 in Reutlingen , † July 2, 2009 in Tübingen ) was a German Protestant theologian and New Testament scholar in Tübingen.


Hengel received his doctorate in 1959 and completed his habilitation in Tübingen in 1967. In 1968 he became a professor in Erlangen . From 1972 to 1992 he was Professor of New Testament and Ancient Judaism at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and Director of the Institute for Ancient Judaism and Hellenistic Religious History. He was retired in 1992. Hengel was an honorary doctor from Uppsala and Strasbourg Universities , Doctor of Divinity from St. Andrews , Durham and Cambridge Universities and Litt. D. University of Dublin. In 1975 he was elected a corresponding member of the British Academy . Since 1978 he was a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences .

Hengel died in 2009 and was buried in the Tübingen mountain cemetery.

Hengel as a New Testament scholar

Hengel was an expert on the history of early Judaism at the time of the New Testament and was particularly concerned with the influences of Hellenism on Palestinian Judaism. He pointed out that Judaism and Hellenism in a complex way each influenced and corrected doing some basic assumptions of the History of Religions School , in particular theses of Rudolf Bultmann .

As a widely recognized researcher, Hengel allowed himself to make critical judgments about trends in New Testament science. He was skeptical about the concentration on the relatively small New Testament:

"The (hyper) specialization in a font collection of 680 pages is not good for us; rather, hypothesis labyrinths have been built, from which we often find it difficult to find out."

Hengel defended the originality of the Gospel headings ("Gospel according to Mark" etc.), because a subsequent introduction of author names would hardly have prevailed with such uniformity - as is the case in the manuscript evidence. With the image of such a subsequent introduction, "an unhistorical bogeyman is being built up, which to this day confuses the minds of exegetes". Hengel doubted that Q existed and said that "the source of logic Q itself has become a modern, pseudoscientific 'myth'". Instead, he took the use of Luke's Gospel by Matthew on. But “a purely literary model of dependency” cannot “ answer the ' synoptic question '”.

Even more tendencies were rejected by Hengel, he said something like: "The still popular so unmessianischen Jesus' never existed," or he spoke of the "now widely overestimated Gospel of Thomas ".

Hengel represented late dating of the Gospels, namely (approximately): Mark 69/70, Luke 75/80, Matthew 90/100, John 100/105.


His students included Jörg Frey , professor at the University of Zurich, Ulrich Heckel , professor apl. At the University of Tübingen and senior church councilor for theology, congregation and worldwide church in Stuttgart, Ulrike Mittmann , professor at the University of Osnabrück, Reinhard Feldmeier , professor at the University of Göttingen, Rainer Riesner , professor at the TU Dortmund and Friedrich Avemarie (1960–2012), most recently professor at the University of Marburg, Roland Deines , professor at the Liebenzell International University.


  • The Zealots . Studies on the Jewish liberation movement in the time of Herod I to 70 n. Chr . o. O. 1959, DNB 480080445 (Dissertation University of Tübingen, Evangelical Theology Faculty, 1959, VI, 328 pages, 256 drawn sheets, 4), AGJU 1. Brill, Leiden u. a. 1961, 2nd, improved and expanded edition 1976, ISBN 90-04-04327-6 , 3rd, revised and supplemented edition, edited by Roland Deines and Claus-Jürgen Thornton (= Scientific Studies on the New Testament , Volume 283), Mohr Siebeck 2011, ISBN 978-3-16-150776-2 (dissertation 1959, XXII, 573 pages, 24 cm).
  • To early Christian historiography . Calwer-Paperback. Calwer Verl., Stuttgart 1962, 2nd, through. u. supplementary edition 1984, ISBN 3-7668-0743-9 .
  • Judaism and Hellenism: Studies of Their Encounter with Special Consideration of Palestine up to the Middle of the 2nd Century BC. Tübingen 1967, DNB 482297077 (Habilitation at the University of Tübingen, Protestant Theology January 25, 1967, XI, 431 pages, LVIII, 217 drawn sheets, 4 typescript). WUNT 10. Mohr, Tübingen 1969, 3rd, revised edition 1988, ISBN 3-16-145271-2 (basic study)
  • Succession and Charisma . An exegetical-religious-historical study on Mt 8.21 f. and Jesus' call to follow . BZNW 34. Töpelmann, Berlin 1968
  • Was Jesus a Revolutionary? Calwer Hefte 110. Calwer Verl., Stuttgart 1970, 4th edition 1973
  • Property and Wealth in the Early Church. Aspects of an early Christian social history . Calwer Paperback. Calwer Verl., Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-7668-0430-8
  • Christ and the Power. The power of Christ and the impotence of Christians. On the problem of a “ political theology ” in the history of the church . Calwer Paperback. Calwer Verl., Stuttgart 1974, ISBN 3-7668-0442-1
  • The son of god . The Origin of Christology and the Jewish-Hellenistic History of Religion . Mohr, Tübingen 1975, 2nd, through. u. supplementary edition 1977, ISBN 3-16-139451-8
  • Jews, Greeks and barbarians. Aspects of the Hellenization of Judaism in pre-Christian times . Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 76th Verl. Kath. Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-460-03761-X
  • The Gospel Headings . Meeting reports of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class 1984.3. Winter, Heidelberg 1984, ISBN 3-533-03614-6
  • (Ed., Together with Anna Maria Schwemer :) King's rule and heavenly cult. In Judaism, early Christianity and in the Hellenistic world . WUNT 55. Mohr, Tübingen 1991, ISBN 3-16-145667-X
  • (Ed. :) Paul and ancient Judaism. Tübingen-Durham-Symposium in memory of the 50th anniversary of Adolf Schlatter's death (May 19, 1938) . WUNT 58. Mohr, Tübingen 1991, ISBN 3-16-145795-1
  • The Johannine question. An attempt at a solution. With a contribution to the Apocalypse by Jörg Frey . WUNT 67. Mohr, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-16-145836-2
  • (Ed. :) The Septuagint between Judaism and Christianity . WUNT 72. Mohr, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-16-146173-8
  • (Ed. :) Scripture interpretation in ancient Judaism and in early Christianity . WUNT 73. Mohr, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-16-146172-X
  • Small fonts . 7 vols. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
  • with Anna Maria Schwemer: Paul between Damascus and Antioch. The Apostle's Unknown Years . With a contribution by Ernst Axel Knauf. WUNT 108. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen (1998) 2000, ISBN 3-16-147469-4
  • with Anna Maria Schwemer: The messianic claim of Jesus and the beginnings of Christology. Four studies . WUNT 138. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2001, ISBN 3-16-147980-7
  • The underrated Peter. Two studies . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-16-148895-4
  • with Anna Maria Schwemer: Jesus and Judaism (History of Early Christianity, Vol. 1). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007.
  • The four gospels and the one gospel of Jesus Christ. Studies on their collection and creation . WUNT 224. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-16-149663-9
  • Peter Kuhn (Ed.): Conversation about Jesus. Pope Benedict XVI in dialogue with Martin Hengel and Peter Stuhlmacher . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010 ISBN 978-3-16-150441-9
  • Claus-Jürgen Thornton (Ed.): Theological, historical and biographical sketches. with an appreciation and a complete list of publications by Jörg Frey (= Kleine Schriften , VII). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010 ISBN 978-3-16-150201-9

Web links


  2. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed June 9, 2020 .
  3. Ulrich Heckel: The power of the gospel (Rom 1.16). Funeral of Professor Dr. Martin Hengel on July 10, 2009 at the Bergfriedhof in Tübingen. In: Theological contributions 40 (2009), pp. 306-310.
  4. Hengel: Die vier Evangelien , 2008, S. 11. Led by Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : In search of the historical Jesus. About the credibility of the Gospels and the doubts of the skeptics. Leun 2013, p. 17.
  5. Hengel: Die vier Evangelien , 2008, pp. 170, 99, 72; Hengel, Schwemer: Jesus and Judaism , 2007, p. 217.
  6. Hengel: The Four Gospels , 2008, p. 10, p. VIII and chap. VII. - Information taken from the review of this book by Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer in: Yearbook for Evangelical Theology 23, 2009, p. 277f.
  7. Hengel, Schwemer: Jesus und das Judentum , 2007, foreword and p. 197. - Information taken from the review of this book by Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer in: European Journal of Theology 18, 2009, p. 92f. (there also numerous critical references).
  8. Hengel: The Four Gospels , 2008, pp. 275, 354.