The message of Jesus is a presupposition for the theology of the New Testament rather than a part of that theology itself. For New Testament theology consists in the unfolding of those ideas by means of which Christian faith makes sure of its own object, basis, and consequences. But Christian faith did not exist until there was a Christian kerygma; i.e., a kerygma proclaiming Jesus Christ – specifically Jesus Christ the Crucified and Risen One – to be God’s eschatological act of salvation. He was first so proclaimed in the kerygma of the earliest Church, not in the message of the historical Jesus, even though that Church frequently introduced into its account of Jesus’ message, motifs of its own proclamation. Thus, theological thinking – the theology of the New Testament – begins with the kerygma of the earliest Church and not before. But the fact that Jesus had appeared and the message which he had proclaimed were, of course, among its historical presuppositions; and for this reason Jesus’ message cannot be omitted from the delineation of New Testament theology. (Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament; translated by Kendrick Grobel; Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007, pg 3) – italics in translation.
Provocative, eh? What do you think? Agree, disagree? Partially, wholly?