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The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5)

A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics

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Paul Linjamaa

In The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5) Paul Linjamaa offers the first full length thematical monograph on the longest Valentinian text extant today. By investigating the ethics of The Tripartite Tractate, this study offers in-depth exploration of the text's ontology, epistemology, theory of will, and passions, as well as the anthropology and social setting of the text.
Valentinians have often been associated with determinism, which has been presented as “Gnostic” and then not taken seriously, or been disregarded as an invention of ancient intra-Christian polemics. Linjamaa challenges this conception and presents insights into how early Christian determinism actually worked, and how it effectively sustained viable and functioning ethics.

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H.A.G. Houghton, C.M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith

The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West.
This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version.
Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.

The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 28–30 May, 2013

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Edited by Ruth A. Clements, Menahem Kister and Michael Segal

The Dead Sea Scrolls offer a window onto the rich theological landscape of Judaism in the Second Temple period. Through careful textual analysis, the authors of these twelve studies explore such topics as dualism and determinism, esoteric knowledge, eschatology and covenant, the nature of heaven and / or the divine, moral agency, and more; as well as connections between concepts expressed in the Qumran corpus and in later Jewish and Christian literature. The religious worldviews reflected in the Scrolls constitute part of the ideological environment of Second Temple Judaism; the analysis of these texts is essential for the reconstruction of that milieu. Taken together, these studies indicate the breadth and depth of theological reflection in the Second Temple period.

Family 13 in St. John's Gospel

A Computer Assisted Phylogenetic Analysis

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Jac Perrin

In Family 13 in Saint John’s Gospel, Jac Perrin innovatively applies phylogenetic software to shed new light on Family 13 membership. To date, the relocation of the Pericope Adulterae from its traditional location in John 7:53 has been the sole criterion of Family 13 filiality. This book demonstrates the inadequacy of this criterion, and proposes new criteria in its stead.
Nineteen potential Family 13 witnesses are analyzed by means of a sampling process developed by David Parker, identifying eight witnesses inappropriately nominated as Family 13 members. This analysis is corroborated by a complete computer assisted collation of all variant readings in all known Family 13 witnesses. Lastly, the volume offers a comprehensive stemma representing the entire Johannine corpus of ten confirmed Family witnesses in constellation.

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Anthony Keddie

In Revelations of Ideology, G. Anthony Keddie proposes a new theory of the social function of Judaean apocalyptic texts produced in Early Roman Palestine (63 BCE–70 CE). In contrast to evaluations of Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic texts as “literature of the oppressed” or literature of resistance against empire, Keddie demonstrates that scribes produced apocalyptic texts to advance ideologies aimed at self-legitimation. By revealing that their opponents constituted an exploitative class, scribes generated apocalyptic ideologies that situated them in the same exploited class as their constituents. Through careful historical and ideological criticism of the Psalms of Solomon, Parables of Enoch, Testament of Moses, and Q source, Keddie identifies an internally diverse tradition of apocalyptic class rhetoric in late Second Temple Judaism.

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Matthew S. Goldstone

In The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke Matthew Goldstone explores the ways in which religious leaders within early Jewish and Christian communities conceived of the obligation to rebuke their fellows based upon the biblical verse: “Rebuke your fellow but do not incur sin” (Leviticus 19:17). Analyzing texts from the Bible through the Talmud and late Midrashim as well as early Christian monastic writings, he exposes a shift from asking how to rebuke in the Second Temple and early Christian period, to whether one can rebuke in early rabbinic texts, to whether one should rebuke in later rabbinic and monastic sources. Mapping these observations onto shifting sociological concerns, this work offers a new perspective on the nature of interpersonal responsibility in antiquity.

The Gospel of Thomas and Plato

A Study of the Impact of Platonism on the “Fifth Gospel”

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Ivan Miroshnikov

In The Gospel of Thomas and Plato, Ivan Miroshnikov contributes to the study of the earliest Christian engagements with philosophy by offering the first systematic discussion of the impact of Platonism on the Gospel of Thomas, one of the most intriguing and cryptic works among the Nag Hammadi writings. Miroshnikov demonstrates that a Platonist lens is indispensable to the understanding of a number of the Thomasine sayings that have, for decades, remained elusive as exegetical cruces. The Gospel of Thomas is thus an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the Platonist formulation of certain Christian dogmata.

Nonnus of Panopolis in Context II: Poetry, Religion, and Society

Proceedings of the International Conference on Nonnus of Panopolis, 26th – 29th September 2013, University of Vienna, Austria

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Edited by Herbert Bannert and Nicole Kröll

Nonnus of Panopolis in Upper-Egypt is the author of the 48 books of the last large scale mythological epic in antiquity, the Dionysiaca. The same author also wrote an epic poem on the life and times of Jesus Christ according to St John’s Gospel. Nonnus has an outstanding position in ancient literature being at the same time a pagan and a Christian author, living in a time when Christianity was common in the Roman empire, while pagan culture and traditional world views were still maintained. The volume is designed to cover literary, cultural and religious aspects of Nonnus’ poetry as well as to highlight the social and educational background of both the Dionysiaca and the Paraphrasis of the Gospel of St. John.

Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts

Text-Critical, Scribal, and Theological Studies

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Zachary Cole

In Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts, Zachary J. Cole provides the first in-depth examination of the seemingly obscure, yet important topic: how early Christian scribes wrote numbers and why. While scholars have long been aware that Christian scribes occasionally used numerical abbreviations in their books, few have been able to make much sense of it.
This detailed analysis of numerals in manuscripts up through the fifth century CE uncovers a wealth of palaeographical and codicological data. Among other findings, Zachary J. Cole shows that some numerals can function as “visual links” between witnesses, that numbers sometimes—though rarely—functioned like nomina sacra, and that Christians uniquely adapted their numbering system to suit the needs of public reading.

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Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Jaap Dekker, Henk R. van den Kamp and Eric Peels

Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.
This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.