Today I will begin what will be an extended series of posts on the Mohr Siebeck Paulus Handbuch (ed. Friedrich W. Horn; 2013; see also PDF). I hope that the process of writing the “Paulus Handbuch Series” will give me a better overview of German scholarship on Paul and help me to mediate this knowledge to others (For another valuable work on German scholarship on Paul, see Oda Wischmeyer‘s edited volume Paul: Life, Setting, Work, Letters).
This post will introduce the Paulus Handbuch with a quotation from Prof. Horn’s preface, which I will analyze as a model sentence.
As usual I will begin with the English translation so that the (selective) grammatical commentary directly follows the German text.
English Translation and German Text
English Translation (wmc): In this handbook these aspects, namely life, letters, and theology, distributed over large sections on person and work, represent the main emphasis of the handbook. They are framed, on the one hand, through an introductory orientation on the text and the collection of the Corpus Paulinum as well as through a presentation of the history of research that starts with Ferdinand Christian Baur and reaches into the present. On the other hand, in closing the impact and reception of Paul is presented in the pseudepigraphic writings and through an outlook on the apocryphal Paul tradition and into the proximate effective history up to Marcion.
[Based on his helpful comments on the difficult final sentence (see below), Christoph Heilig has suggested that it could be paraphrased as follows: “On the other hand, in closing the impact and reception of Paul is presented – in the form it is found in the pseudepigraphic writings and by means of an outlook on the apocryphal Paul tradition and into the proximate effective history up to Marcion.”]
Paulus Handbuch (p. VI; see PDF): In diesem Handbuch stellen diese Aspekte, nämlich Leben, Briefe und Theologie, verteilt auf große Abschnitte zu Person und Werk, das Hauptgewicht des Handbuchs dar. Gerahmt werden sie einerseits durch eine einleitende Orientierung über den Textbestand und die Sammlung des Corpus Paulinum sowie durch eine Darstellung der mit Ferdinand Christian Baur einsetzenden und bis in die Gegenwart reichenden Forschungsgeschichte. Andererseits werden abschließend Wirkung und Rezeption des Paulus in den pseudepigraphen Schriften sowie durch einen Ausblick auf die apokryphe Paulus-Überlieferung und in die unmitelbare Wirkungsgeschichte bis zu Markion geboten.
In diesem Handbuch = In + dative demonstrative pronoun + noun. stellen … dar: the compound verb darstellen is divided and dar goes to end of sentence; possible translations include portray, present, and represent. diese Aspekte = subject of darstellen (demonstrative pronoun + plural noun). nämlich = namely. Leben, Briefe und Theologie = life, letters, and theology (nominative, having the same case as diese Aspekte). verteilt auf = distributed over. In this context große = large (accusative plural adjective modifying Abschnitte, both dependent on auf, modifies Abschnitte) and Abschnitte = sections (accusative plural with auf). zu = on, takes dative Person/person and Werk/work. das Hauptgewicht = direct object of darstellen; it is modified by the genitive des Handbuchs/of the handbook: you know it is genitive because of the article des and the s-suffix that has been added to Handbuch. sie is the subject of the next sentence (plural, refers back to diese Aspekte). The verb is werden gerahmt/are framed. durch = through or by + acc eine Darstellung/presentation + genitive der … Forschungsgeschichte/of the history of research/scholarship, which is modified by the participial phrase mit Ferdinand Christian Baur einsetzenden und bis in die Gegenwart reichenden. Here it is necessary to transform this participial phrase into a subordinate clause: “that starts with Ferdinand Christian Baur and reaches into the present”. Andererseits = on the other hand (in some cases, however, I translate einerseits as “first” and andererseits as “second”). The last sentence is very difficult. As I have noted elsewhere (see here), it is often difficult to translate abschließend, which I have rendered as “in closing” – other options would be “in conclusion”, “concluding the work”, or “to conclude”. Wirkung und Rezeption + des Paulus (genitive) is the subject of the verb “werden … geboten”: as usual part of the verb (werden) is in the second position and the other part (geboten) is at the end of the sentence. I am somewhat lost in relation to the last sentence. Specifically, I am not quite sure how the prepositional phrases “in den…Schriften” and “durch einen Ausblick auf … und in die … bis zu Markion“ relate to the verb (or subject in the first case?). Ausblick auf, which I have rendered as “outlook on”, is also difficult. I believe that “in die” is also dependent on Ausblick, but it might not be. I have rendered “unmittelbare” as “proximate”, though “immediate” might be better. Wirkungsgeschichte is often retained as a loan word. If translated, then I think “effective history” is probably the best translation, though “history of effects” might be more fitting for some authors. bis zu Marcion = up to Marcion.
[In his helpful comment on this post, Christoph Heilig has explained the difficult grammar of the final sentence as follows: The last sentence is really difficult. My guess: “Andererseits werden abschließend Wirkung und Rezeption des Paulus … geboten.” is the main clause. “in den pseudepigraphen Schriften” modifies the “Wirkung und Rezeption” locally. “sowie durch einen Ausblick” is used adverbially with “geboten”: How is “Wirkung und Rezeption geboten”? By means of an “Ausblick”. What kind of “Ausblick”? a) “auf die apokryphe Paulus-Überlieferung” and b) “in die unmitelbare Wirkungsgeschichte bis zu Markion”. So I think what makes this sentence so difficult is that the “sowie” coordinates an adverbial phrase and a local modification of “Wirkung und Rezeption”.]
I would like to draw attention to three points from this quotation. First, it is salutatory that some space is devoted to the text and to the collection of the Corpus Paulinum. Secondly, it is notable that there is a threefold emphasis on Paul’s life, letters, and theology, a valuable feature that is also found in Bruce Longenecker and Todd Still’s introductory textbook on Paul (see here). Third, while pride of place is given – for better or for worse – to the undisputed letters of Paul, which form the building blocks for the material that constitutes the main emphasis of the handbook, significant attention is also given to the pseudepigraphic writings, the apocryphal Paul, and the Wirkungsgeschichte, which results in a more comprehensive presentation of the Pauline tradition than what is found in works that restrict themselves exclusively to the undisputed letters.
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