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Karl Theodor Keim

1825-78. German Protestant theologian and church historian. After studying under F.C. Baur* at Tübingen, he was professor at Zurich (1860-73) and then at Giessen (from 1873). He concentrated on the history of primitive Christianity and the Protestant Reformation. His liberal-critical life of Christ, Die Geschichte Jesu von Nazara (3 vols., 1867-72; ET in 6 vols., 1873-82), is his best-known work; here he attempted to disengage the “facts” of the life of Jesus from the miraculous elements of the gospels. He rejected the historicity of the fourth gospel altogether, though (following Baur) he argued for the primitive nature and primacy of Matthew. Luke and Mark were understood to have adapted material from Matthew and other sources in the direction of a mediating Paulinism and world-embracing universalism respectively.