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These truths are discoverable by reason, and can constitute the basis of a universal religion. A revealed religion could never obtain universality, as it could never be intelligible and credible to all men. However, the Bible does not present such a revelation. It abounds in error as to matters of fact, contradicts human experience, reason and morals, and is one tissue of folly, deceit, enthusiasm, selfishness and crime.


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Moreover, it is not a doctrinal compendium, or catechism, which a revelation would have to be. According to Reimarus, the Old Testament says little of the worship of God , and that little is worthless, while its writers are unacquainted with the second fundamental truth of religion, the immortality of the soul see sheol. The design of the writers of the New Testament , as well as that of Jesus , was not to teach true rational religion, but to serve their own selfish ambitions, thereby exhibiting an amazing combination of conscious fraud and enthusiasm.

Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768): Classicist, Hebraist, Enlightenment Radical in Disguise

However, it is important to remember that Reimarus attacked atheism with equal effect and sincerity. Estimates of Reimarus may be found in the works of B. Immortality is founded upon the essential nature of man and upon the purpose of God in creation. Religion is conducive to our happiness and alone brings satisfaction. Miracles are at variance with the divine purpose; without miracles there could be no revelation.

Pfleiderer says the errors of Reimarus were that he ignored historical and literary criticism, sources, date, origin, etc.


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He had no conception of an immanent reason. The work of Reimarus is highly praised in Albert Schweitzer. While calling the views expressed in the Fragments mistaken in some respects and one-sided, Schweitzer describes the essay on "The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples" as not only "one of the greatest events in the history of criticism" but also "a masterpiece of general literature".

Voltaire and the Radical Enlightenment

Lessing's third excerpt in Fragments , "On the Passing of the Israelites Through the Red Sea," is said to be "one of the ablest, wittiest and most acute which has ever been written. Richard N. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. New International Encyclopedia 1st ed. New York: Dodd, Mead.

Between Philology and Radical Enlightenment – Hermann Samuel Reimarus () | brill

The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. Chapter 1. The quest of the historical Jesus. PP5, at Google Books , 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. Montgomery as The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

Reimarus, the Hamburg Jews, and the Messiah.

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No Right to Resist? Lisa Curtis-Wendlandt - - Hypatia 27 4 - Defending the Radical Enlightenment.


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