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Festschrift für Eckhard Plümacher zu seinem 65. Geburtstag
This volume - a Festschrift in honour of the renowned Acts-scholar Eckhard Plümacher - contains thirteen articles on Luke's Acts of the Apostles. Presented are essays concerning Luke's language and style (Alexander, Koch, Steyn, Victor), the literary and historiographical technique applied in Acts (Moessner, Koch, Lindemann), on Luke's theology / Christology (Schröter, Vouga) and on the use (and abuse) of Acts for reconstructing aspects of the history of Early Christianity (Breytenbach, Horn, Schmithals) and for constructing theology relevant to modern culture (Vouga). Furthermore it contains a critical edition and commentary of the Martyrdom of Stephen with a discussion of its relationship to Acts (Bovon/Bouvier) and a presentation and discussion of some unknown Coptic Fragments of Acts (Bethge).
Untersuchungen zu seiner Schrift, Contra Apionem
Contra Apionem, the last known work by the Jewish author Flavius Josephus (38 - ca. 100 CE), is the only direct Jewish apology, that remains from antiquity. It is of special interest to us, because in its third part Josephus undertakes to explain the main ideas and laws of Judaism and its "theocratic" constitution to non-Jewish readers.
This volume gives an introduction to Contra Apionem as a whole, a German translation, and a precise analysis and interpretation of the work's third part on Judaism, especially its meaning for non-Jewish readers.
This study gives the reader access to an aspect of Josephus and to a part of his important work Contra Apionem, which, to date, have not attracted sufficient scholarly attention.
Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament
In Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture, Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts assemble an international team of scholars whose work has focused on reconstructing the social matrix for earliest Christianity through the use of Greco-Roman materials and literary forms. Each essay moves forward the current understanding of how primitive Christianity situated itself in relation to evolving Hellenistic 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 Greco-Roman texts.
Leben oder sterben für Gott?
Concepts of voluntary death and martyrdom versus the ideal of preserving human life are an essential component of the Ethics of the Abrahamite religions throughout their history. The studies collected in this volume focus on concepts of voluntary death and martyrdom in the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Period Judaism, Early Christianity and its pagan environment, Rabbinic Judaism as well as in Islam. The contributions of scholars of different background present a broad panorama of the varied perspectives of the Abrahamite religions on this phenomenon. The established concepts of martyrdom are challenged as too schematic.

Betrachtungen über das Ideal eines freiwilligen Todes für den eigenen Glauben oder eines Martyriums, das in scharfem Gegensatz zum Gebot der Lebensbewahrung steht, ziehen sich durch die Geschichte der abrahamitischen Religionen. Der vorliegende interdisziplinäre Band versammelt Forschungen zu den Vorstellungen eines religiös begründeten freiwilligen Todes oder Martyriums in der Hebräischen Bibel, im Judentum des Zweiten Tempels, im Frühchristentum und seiner paganen Umwelt, im rabbinischen Judentum und im Islam. Die Beiträge verdeutlichen die unterschiedlichen Perspektiven der abrahamitischen Religionen auf dieses Phänomen. Es zeigt sich, dass die übergreifende, verallgemeinernde Charakterisierung jedes religiös bedingten freiwilligen Sterbens als 'Martyrium' der Komplexität des Phänomens nicht gerecht wird.
James 2:1-13 in its Roman Imperial Context
Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of James offers an interpretation of Jas 2:1-13 putting the text in the midst of the Roman imperial system of rank. This study shows that the conflict of the text has more to do with differences of rank than poverty and wealth. The main problem is that the Christian assemblies are acting according to Roman cultural etiquette instead of their Jewish-Christian heritage when a Roman equestrian and a beggar visit the assembly. The members of the assemblies are accused of having become too Roman. From a postcolonial
perspective, this is a typical case of hybrid identities. Additional key concepts from postcolonialism, such as diaspora, ‘othering’, naming of oppressors, and binarisms such as coloniser/colonised, centre/margin, honour/shame and power/powerless, are highlighted throughout the study.
In Early Christianity in the Lycus Valley, Ulrich Huttner explores the way Christians established communities and defined their position within their surroundings from the first to the fifth centuries. He shows that since the time of Paul the apostle, the cities Colossae, Hierapolis and Laodicea allowed Christians to expand and develop in their own way.
Huttner uses a wide variety of sources, not only Christian texts - from Pauline letters to Byzantine hagiographies - but also inscriptions and archeological remains, to reconstruct the religious conflicts as well as cooperation between Christians, Jews and Pagans. The book reveals the importance of local conditions in the development of Early Christianity.
Radboud Prestige Lectures by Prof. Dr. Michael Wolter
The Radboud Prestige Lectures in New Testament 2010 were presented by Prof. Michael Wolter (University of Bonn). His prestige lecture was entitled: ‘Which is the real Jesus?’. In this lecture he challenged many of the current views within the historical Jesus research by critically evaluating the approaches in various categories. Afterwards this lecture was presented to a variety of scholars from different disciplines who approach the problem from their particular perspectives, thus bringing a rich texture of insights, apart from engaging critically with Wolter’s views. Thus one can appreciate the role the quest for the historical Jesus plays within a wider framework. This resulted in interesting articles that not only deal with historical, but also with philosophical and hermeneutical issues.
Rights, Citizenship and Civil Discord
In the first century CE, Philo of Alexandria and Josephus offer vivid descriptions of conflicts between Judeans and Greeks in Greek cities of the Roman Empire over various issues, including the Judeans’ civic identity, the extent of their obligations to local cities and cults, and the potential security threat they posed to those cities. This study analyzes the narratives of these conflicts, investigating what citizenship status Judeans enjoyed, their political influence and whether they enjoyed the right to establish institutions for observing their ancestral worship. For these narratives to be understood properly, it should be assumed that many Judeans were already citizens of their cities, and that this status played a central role in those conflicts.
Empire Studies & the Book of Revelation
Many assume the book of Revelation is merely an “anti-imperial” attack on the Roman Empire. Yet, Shane J. Wood argues this conclusion over-exaggerates Rome’s significance and, thus, misses Revelation’s true target—the construction of the alter-empire through the destruction of the preeminent adversary: Satan. Applying insights from Postcolonial criticism and 'Examinations of Dominance,' this monograph challenges trajectories of New Testament Empire Studies by developing an Alter-Imperial paradigm that appreciates the complexities between the sovereign(s) and subject(s) of a society—beyond simply rebellion or acquiescence. Shane J. Wood analyses Roman propaganda, Jewish interaction with the Flavians, and Domitianic persecution to interpret Satan's release (Rev 20:1-10) as the climax of God's triumphal procession. Thus, Rome provides the imagery; Eden provides the target.