Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism

Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament


In Christian Origins and Hellenistic Judaism, Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts assemble an international team of scholars whose work has focused on reconstructing the social matrix for earliest Christianity through reference to Hellenistic Judaism and its literary forms. Each essay moves forward the current understanding of how primitive Christianity situated itself in relation to evolving Greco-Roman Jewish culture. Some essays focus on configuring the social context for the origins of the Jesus movement and beyond, while others assess the literary relation between early Christian and Hellenistic Jewish texts.
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Biographical Note

Stanley E. Porter, Ph.D. (1988), University of Sheffield, is President and Dean, and Professor of New Testament, at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has published numerous monographs, edited volumes, and articles in the field of New Testament studies and related disciplines, including Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory (2011).

Andrew W. Pitts is a Ph.D. candidate in Christian Theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and has published articles in journals such as JBL, JGRChJ and CBR, as well as a number of chapters in edited volumes.

Review Quotes

... readers are given a master-class in the use of texts from Greco-Roman and Hellenistic Jewish sources to enrich the understanding of the emergence of Christianity.

Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Expository Times 126/6, March 2015

Table of contents

1. Hellenistic Judaism and New Testament Interpretation: An Introductory Essay
Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts

2. Hellenism and Biblical Canons: Is There a Connection?
Lee Martin McDonald

3. Glorifying the Present through the Past: Herod the Great and His Jewish Royal Predecessors
Adam Kolman Marshak

4. Beyond Covenant Nomism: Revisiting Palestinian Judaism in Light of Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities
Preston M. Sprinkle

5. Resurrection and Immortality in Hellenistic Judaism: Navigating the Conceptual Boundaries
C.D. Elledge

6. The Spirit in Second Temple Jewish Monotheism and the Origins of Early Christology
Andrew W. Pitts and Seth Pollinger

7. The Ethnic Context of Paul’s Letters
Christopher D. Stanley

8. “Is Saul of Tarsus also among the Prophets?” Paul’s Calling as Prophetic Divine Commissioning
Tony Costa

9. Monotheism and Philosophy: Notes on the Concept of God in Philo and Paul (Romans 1:18-21)
Peter Frick

10. Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide? The Case of Pauline Anthropology in Romans 7 and 2 Corinthians 4-5
Emma Wasserman

11. Was John the Baptist a Member of the Qumran Community? Once More
Stanley E. Porter

12. The Temple Attitudes of John and Qumran in the Light of Hellenistic Judaism
Wally V. Cirafesi

13. Rhetoric and the Art of Persuasion in the Wisdom of Solomon
Leo G. Perdue

14. Dialectics: Philosophical And Talmudic
Jacob Neusner

15. Ancient “Science Fiction:” Journeys into Space and Visions of the World in Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman Literature of Antiquity
Catherine Hezser

16. Luke, Josephus, and Historiography: The Formation of Luke-Acts and its Relationship to Jewish Apologetic Historiography
Sean A. Adams

17. Rivers, Springs, and Wells of Living Water: Metaphorical Transformation in the Johannine Corpus
Beth M. Stovell

18. Martyr Theology in Hellenistic Judaism and Paul’s Conception of Jesus’ Death in Romans 3:21-26
Jarvis J. Williams

19. Torah Instruction, Discussion, and Prophecy in First-Century Synagogues
Carl Mosser

20. On the Trail of Trypho: Two Fragmentary Jewish-Christian Dialogues from the Ancient Church
William Varner