Christ and the Caesars / Bruno Bauer – Now Online in English

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by Neil Godfrey

I have translated via machine tools Bruno Bauer’s Christ and the Caesars and made it available for all at a new page (see right margin), Bruno Bauer: Christ and the Caesars – in English. I have also formatted it as a single pdf file which is available at vridar.info.

It is a machine translation (DeepL, ChatGPT, Google Translate + some human checking from time to time) so it is not the best but it is readable — at least I found it to be so. I compared parts of it with another published translation and saw that the published book is also very close to a literal translation. A literal translation is not optimal (it is not always the easiest of reads) but this one is at least free.

ChatGPT to some extent tended to break away from the literal translation but at the cost of being too creative and even introducing what it thought should be corrections or additions to the original text! So I hope none of those creative additions slipped through to the finished product.





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Neil Godfrey

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5 thoughts on “Christ and the Caesars / Bruno Bauer – Now Online in English”

  1. Congratulations, Vridar,

    You have again produced for the English reader the genius of Bruno Bauer (1809-1882). Bauer was perhaps the greatest Hegelian of his generation. It’s amazing to me that the collected works of Bruno Bauer remain untranslated into English by the worldwide academic establishment.

    You’ve leveraged machine-learning tools to facilitate the translation, and perhaps that is the only economical way to do it.

    Twenty-one years ago, I released the first “English Edition of Bruno Bauer’s 1843 ‘Christianity Exposed: A Recollection of the 18th Century and a Contribution to the Crisis of the 19th Century’.” At that time I employed German speaking students at UC Berkeley to transliterate Bauer, and from that raw material I made him speak English. Edwin Mellen Press saw its value and published it, mainly for college libraries in the West. It was a labor of love, and I thank Edwin Mellen Press, although I never received a penny for that work.

    At that time there was only one other work by Bauer translated into English, namely his playful, “Trumpet of the Last Judgment Against Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist: An Ultimatum” (1841). I say this book is a comedy, yet it’s able translator, Professor Lawrence Stepelevich was convinced that Bruno Bauer meant this seriously as an orthodox Christian and an enemy of GWF Hegel! His view is the standard academic view today.

    We still disagree on that point — yet what this demonstrates is that scholarship on Bruno Bauer is still green, so that scholars cannot even agree whether Bruno Bauer was a “Right-Hegelian” or a “Left-Hegelian” — 180 years later!

    I declare, Vridar, your own hard work translating Bruno Bauer will make a major difference in future studies of Bruno Bauer and the evolution of Hegel’s philosophy of religion.

    Best wishes,
    –Paul Trejo, M.A.

    1. Thanks for the expression of appreciation. It is quite frustrating in one sense to see that though Bruno Bauer tore to shreds so much mainstream conventional wisdom of his day those same assumptions and mainstream arguments are prevalent throughout standard biblical studies today! I suppose by expelling Bauer and leaving his works largely unread many NT scholars could continue in peace to perpetuate the same olds.

      Some of his ideas can no longer hold water — e.g. his view that Matthew used Luke — but it was interesting to see he long ago argued for scenarios I have only slowly been edging towards for some years now: Paul’s letters being very late works and Christianity not really taking root until the second century…. It’s nice to find evidence that such “radical” views made the tracks long before and that they can give latecomers further guidance on our journeys.

    2. I am having a hard time finding a copy of “Christianity Exposed” to borrow or purchase. Can you suggest a link, please?

      My knowledge of Hegelianism is virtually nonexistent. I only gained some idea of the principles in my study of Marx many years ago. Bruno Bauer does address Hegelianism in various ways in some of this biblical criticisms but I confess those discussions go over my head.

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