Foreword to the Second German Edition

In earliest Christianity, orthodoxy and heresy do not stand in relation to one another as primary to secondary, but in many regions heresy is the original manifestation of Christianity. In the present work, Walter Bauer1 has developed this thesis in a consistent fashion, and not only has called into question in a fundamental way the traditional understanding of the development of church history and the historical foundation of ecclesiastical-orthodox self-understanding, but at the same time has indicated new directions for ecumenical discussion. The unfavorable political situation was, above all, responsible for denying the book a wider influence. Thus in the field of international scholarship, W. Bauer is known far less for being the pioneer of the approach to church history presented herein than as the author of the Wrterbuch zum Neuen Testament.2 Therefore, thanks are all the more due to the publisher for the decision to make the work available once again, and thereby to create the possibility of a new and more thorough appreciation.

Just a few weeks before his unexpected death on 17 November, 1960 Walter Bauer had learned of the proposed new edition and, with kind words, expressed agreement with the plan and with the person of the reviser. The task that faced the undersigned [vi] was first of all to correct typographical errors and other minor oversights, and to introduce such improvements as were envisioned by the author, according to his annotated copy.3 Apart from these additions, the text of the work has remained unchanged -- it was even possible to Retain the same pagination. Secondly, it was necessary to deal with the current state of the discussion. This task is undertaken in a double appendix, so as not to infringe upon the character of the original work. Following the original plan, this supplementary material includes a more detailed consideration of Jewish Christianity, and, in addition, an account of the reception of the book. In both parts an effort has been made to indicate possibilities and directions for elaborating Bauer's position and to provide a critical evaluation of more recent investigations of similar orientation.4

Thanks are expressed to all who have contributed to the production of this edition; in particular to Prof. D. Philip Vielhauer, from whose suggestion the form of the supplementary material essentially derives, and to Frau L. Bauer, who with constant, kindly assistance made accessible her husband's literary remains, and placed at my disposal the manuscript of the book, notes from three lectures that were delivered in September and October of 1933 on the same subject in Uppsala and Sondershausen, the author's annotated personal copy, and also his collection of reviews. My wife has assisted me in the expansion of the index and in reading proofs, and thus, with the others named, also deserves the thanks of the reader. GEORG STRECKER Bonn, September 1963 [ET xiii]

Introduction to the English Edition

It is not surprising that Bauer's investigation of "orthodoxy" and "heresy" in early Christianity has had relatively little direct influence on the English-speaking world (see appendix 2) and, despite its obvious significance and its presence on reading lists for advanced study in Christian origins, never has been translated into English. The book was written for a rather limited audience -- it is not an introductory volume for the beginner, nor is it a synthesis of modern opinions about the subject matter, but was written for scholars, as an original, front-line contribution to the progress of historical investigation. Bauer presupposes that his readers are conversant with the subject matter at more than an elementary level (see below, xxiv f.). In short, this investigation originally was oriented toward an audience that would be difficult to find today outside the hallways and classrooms of the best institutions of higher learning.

There is also another reason that became increasingly obvious to those who contributed their time and energy in preparing this edition. Quite apart from the difficulty of the subject matter (particularly in chap. 1!), Bauer's German style presents a complex and frustrating problem for the translator who hopes to capture something of the "tone" or "flavor" of the original as well as representing accurately its content. Bauer writes in a dynamic and highly sophisticated manner, mixing precision with irony and even insinuation, pictorial language with careful presentation of the historical evidence, hypotheses and caveats with the subtle use of overstatement and understatement in cleverly nuanced expressions. His German is literary but [ET xiv] not necessarily formal. Long sentences with closely interrelated parts appear alongside brief, sometimes cryptic or oblique comments couched in clever, often scholarly German idiom. Frequently the presentation flows along rapidly in an exciting manner, despite the difficulties of the subject matter -- but its flow is such that the motion is difficult to capture in translation, and is sometimes even difficult to follow in the original, unless one is already completely steeped in the evidence being discussed and in Bauer's general orientation toward it! Nor is it easy to represent the variety and nuances of his choice of vocabulary -- e.g. some readers will perhaps cringe at such renderings as "ecclesiastical" for kirchlich and related words, but the overuse of "orthodox" to cover even that word group in addition to rechtglubig and orthodox seemed less than fair to Bauer's intention. Hopefully his meaning will not be seriously obscured in such instances.

Editorial Modifications in This Edition.

A philosophy of translation -- and also of scholarly serviceability -- underlies this English edition. Translations can be only more or less adequate, and the editors are fully aware of the fact that there will remain room for improvement at various places throughout the volume. This English edition does not aim at "popularization" of the original style (e.g. long sentences are seldom chopped up or radically recast at the expense of Bauer's precision), but attempts to be as faithful as possible to both the content and the "tone" of the original. At the same time, it attempts to increase the potential usefulness of the book for English readers both in the classroom and in the study by a variety of means:

(1) The pagination of the original has been retained wherever possible by the use of bracketed bold type numbers inserted into the text at the appropriate places. Thus there should be little difficulty in using this edition to locate material referred to in earlier publications based on the two German editions (except for the footnotes which have been renumbered, and for appendix 2, which has been extensively revised).

(2) English translations (or equivalents) have been supplied for all non-English material (ancient or modern ) found in Bauer- Strecker, apart from a few Latin or Greek phrases included in standard English dictionaries. It should be noted, however, that although this edition may note the existence of an available ET (English trans lation) of mateial which Bauer (or Strecker) cites, the ET of that material which is supplied has been made especially for this volume [ET xv] with particular regard to the use made of the material in the German edition. This applies to modern as well as to ancient literature (cf. e.g. 44 and n.1 there). With some exceptions, the Greek, Latin, and Syriac words and passages found in Bauer-Strecker also are retained in this edition (Greek and Syriac in transliteration), and sometimes an ancient text has been expanded or supplied by the editors to help clarify the argument (e.g. xxiii n.1). In most instances, the ancient sources are referred to by English forms of their titles, rather than Latin or Greek -- a practice not without its frustrations, especially for the scholar!

(3) In the case of ancient texts, an attempt has been made to refer to standard editions in current use as well as to convenient ETs as available. For texts to which frequent reference is made in various parts of the book, this bibliographical information is included under the appropriate listing in the index; otherwise it is supplied in footnotes at the place of occurrence. Nevertheless, the reader/user will find that such tools as the patrologies of Altaner and/or Quasten, or for the less traveled paths of chap. 1, the Short Introduction by Wright, will be indispensable for following the presentation in all its detail (see the index).

(4) Where ETs or new editions of modern works mentioned by Bauer-Strecker are known to the editors, they have been included (or sometimes substituted) in the footnotes. Occasionally references to recent discoveries relevant for Bauer's argument also are added (e.g. 42 n.99).

(5) In general, the original footnote procedures have been modified considerably so that cross-references and brief references to ancient sources appear in the text itself, while longer references that might tend to interrupt the presentation unduly are contained in footnotes along with references to modern literature, parenthetical comments, supplementary information, and the like ( see e.g. 2 n.3 for an example of reshuffling and revision). Full bibliographical information normally is provided at the initial reference to modern works; thereafter, the author's name and a short title appear. The index is so constructed as to facilitate locating such bibliographical data.

Use of Brackets.

It has proved difficult consistently to alert the reader to the presence of such editorial adjustments at their numerous occurrences in this edition. For some changes, it has seemed unnecessary to do so -- e.g. the addition of cross- references, substitution [ET xvi] of an English edition for a German title (cf. e.g. 17 n.34, where Bauer referred to the German translation of Burkitt's book!), explicit mention of certain biblical references implied by Bauer's treatment (e.g. 234). Instances of substantial editorial additions, however, consistently have been designated by the use of brackets; certain minor supplements also are so marked. But where brackets occur within direct quotations (e.g. 3) or within parentheses, it is not to be assumed that expansion by the American editors is present; on the contrary, such instances usually represent a normal use of brackets under those conditions, and have no special significance.

Editorial Responsibility.

Almost without exception, the substantive editorial additions are the responsibility of R. A. Kraft, who has prepared the final form of the manuscript for the press and has attempted to standardize such things as footnote form and to reduce as much as possible any obvious inconsistencies in translation and style. It was the primary editorial responsibility of G. Krodel to check the work of the individual translators for accuracy of their understanding of the German. Translating is, for the most part, a thankless task -- and a difficult one if done carefully. Great appreciation is due to the translation team for their unselfish efforts.


The comprehensive index at the end of the volume is an experiment aimed at facilitating efficient use of the book. It includes not only such expected matters as subject and author entries, but also lists abbreviations and provides reference to editions and ETs of ancient sources cited frequently throughout the book. For less frequently cited sources, the material normally appears at the initial footnote reference. The index also is intended as a bibliographical tool for modern works cited, since it directs the user to the appropriate footnote (usually the first mentioned) in which such data is included.

Backgound of the Translation, Acknowledgements.

This English edition of Bauer represents the work of a team of translators from the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins (PSCO). In the spring of 1966, the seminar members voted to devote the forthcoming year to a study of Bauer's book, under the cochairmanship of J. Reumann (Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia) and R. A. Kraft. Concurrently, a subcommittee was formed to produce a translation of the volume, with Krodel and Kraft designated as final editors. [ET xvii] Negotiations with Fortress Press were opened immediately, and by the time the 1966/67 seminar commenced in the fall, Fortress Press had committed itself to the project and was negotiating for translation rights from the German publisher. Originally, it was proposed that two volumes be published: (1) a translation of the original 1934 edition of Bauer, and (2) a volume of supplementary studies including the material added by Strecker in the 1964 edition. Although this plan was abandoned in deference to the wishes of the German editor, it was agreed that the second appendix could be revised for the purposes of this edition, with added attention to the impact of Bauer's book in the English- speaking world.

Meanwhile, it was discovered that John E. Steely of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary had been at work independently on a translation of the book. When he learned of the PSCO project, he made his rough draft translation available (extending through the opening pages of appendix 1, without footnotes) and agreed to cooperate as a member of the team in seeing the project through to its completion. His draft proved useful not only as an extra checkpoint in editing the work of the team, but was used as the basic translation for two chapters of this edition. The translation team generously agreed that any monetary profit from the book should be channelled through the PSCO for the establishment of a series of scholarly publications dealing with Christian origins apart from New Testament proper.

Appreciation is due to Fortress Press for encouraging this project and undertaking to publish it, and to the many members and friends of the PSCO who became involved at various levels -- including a special debt to Niel J. McEleney of St. Paul's College in Washington D.C. for working through the final draft and offering several valuable suggestions. Professor Strecker also deserves thanks for making himself available by mail, especially in connection with the revision of the second appendix. Finally, for the often thankless task of transforming complicated handwritten materials into the final product presented here, mention should be made of those who, like Joan Krodel and the secretaries from the Department of Religious Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, contributed their time and talents. ROBERT A. KRAFT, for the editors and the translation team, July l970 [1]