One early confessional creed is 1 Tim. 3:16^10 (sometimes referred to as a “Christ-hymn”^11 ), which gives a brief recital of both the human and divine Jesus: Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world,
2 Ibid., pp. 57–58, 63–64.
3 Ibid., p. 32.
4 Ibid., pp. 22–23, 28, 55, 57–62. Cf. Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, vol. 1, pp. 27, 125, 131, 175, 298; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), pp. 9, 49, 57, 61; Fuller, Foundations, pp. 204–206, 221–225, 248; Pannenberg, Jesus, pp. 366–367.
5 Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, ibid., vol. 1, pp. 49, 81; Joachim Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 102; Neufeld, ibid., p. 145, cf. p. 128.
6 See Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 55, 58; C.F.D. Moule, The Birth of the New Testament, revised edition (New York: Harper and Row, 1982), p. 247; Neufeld, pp. 128–129, 133.
7 Cullmann, ibid., p. 55; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 27; II, p. 121; Pannenberg, Jesus, pp. 118, 283, 367; Neufeld, pp. 7, 50; cf. Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 14.
8 For example, see Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, pp. 27, 50. Other such sources will be pursued later in this chapter.
9 Moule, Birth, pp. 33–35.
10 Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 102; Neufeld, pp. 7, 9, 128.
11 Jeremias, ibid., p. 132; cf. Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 176; 2, pp. 153, 156; Fuller, Foundations, pp. 214, 216, 227, 239.
taken up in glory (RSV). Moule notes not only the early date of this creed but also its pattern of rhyme, which was probably utilized in worship and hymnody.^12 This statement also presents a contrast between Jesus’ human birth “in the flesh” and his deity,^13 further mentioning his approval by the Spirit and the witness of the angels. He was preached among the nations of the world and believed by people before he was “taken up in glory.” Another early confession which may well reflect an event in Christ’s life is Romans 10:9.^14 At present we are only concerned with the strong possibility that this may actually be a baptismal creed, cited by Christian candidates for baptism.^15 As such, it would be an indirect reference to Jesus’ own baptism. Although these early creeds are interested in theological elements of Christology, to be sure, they are also early reports of events in the life of Jesus. We are told (1) that Jesus was really born in human flesh (Phil. 2:6; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2) (2)of the lineage and family of David (Rom. 1:3–4; 2 Tim. 2:8). We find (3)an implication of his baptism (Rom. 10:9) and (4)that his word was preached, (5) resulting in persons believing his message (1 Tim. 3:16). The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Just prior to Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, both the synoptic Gospels and Paul relate that Jesus had a private supper with his disciples. The Pauline account in 1 Corinthians 11:23ff. presents a fixed tradition which is probably based on material independent of the sources for the synoptic Gospels.^16 Jeremias notes that Paul’s words “received” and “delivered” are not Paul’s typical terms, but “represent the rabbinical technical terms” for passing on tradition.^17 Additionally, there are other non-Pauline phrases such as “he was betrayed,” “when he had given thanks” and “my body” (11:23–24), which are further indications of the early nature of this report. In fact, Jeremias asserts that his material was formulated “in the very earliest period; at any rate before Paul . . . a pre-Pauline formula.” Paul is actually pointing out “that the chain of tradition goes back unbroken to Jesus himself.”^18 It is widely held that this ancient tradition presents actual historical events which occurred on the evening of the so-called “last supper.”^19 Such is even recognized by Bultmann.^20 As Martin Hengel explains, “Paul refers to a historical event with a