Klaus Berger critiques Bultmann’s hermeneutic
The following is a selective and shortened summary of Berger’s treatment in Hermeneutik des Neuen Testaments (Franke: Tübingen, 1999), p 21f.
1. Is demythologising even possible? The most modern textual critics question if it is possible to divide between the expressions of the text itself, and that which lies ‘behind’ the text (cf. Bultmann’s Kern und Schale picture)
2. Is demythologising even necessary? Does one have to accept the uniform worldview of Bultmann? Plenty of others seem happy accepting the biblical mythic stories at face value.
3. Is radical abstinence from historical experience, the divorcing of things so cleanly from history into the personal-invisible, really healthy?
4. What happens to ethics when history is emphasised simply as simply an illustration of human potential?
5. The relation between seeing and believing, as Bultmann understood it, is, in the most recent NT research, challenged and perhaps even refuted. And that is not all, but other aspects that once seemed to confirm Bultmann’s scheme, are now very doubtful.