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Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity

Festschrift in Honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday


Edited by David du Toit, Christine Gerber and Christiane Zimmermann

In Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity, an international team of scholars assembles to honour the distinguished academic career of New Testament scholar Cilliers Breytenbach. Colleagues and friends consider in which manner concepts of salvation were constructed in early Christianity and its Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts. Studies on aspects of soteriology in the New Testament writings, such as in the narratives on Jesus’ life and work, and theological interpretations of his life and death in the epistolary literature, are supplemented by studies on salvation in the Apostolic Fathers, Marcion, early Christian inscriptions and Antiochian theology. The volume starts with some exemplary studies on salvation in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, and popular Graeco-Roman literature and philosophy. Furthermore, some contributions shed light on the ancient cultural background of early Christian soteriological concepts.


Jonathan E Soyars

In The Shepherd of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy, Jonathan E. Soyars traces the influence of Pauline literary traditions upon one of the most widely attested and influential apocalyptic texts from early Christianity. Scholarship largely considers Hermas to have known very little about Pauline letters, but by looking beyond verbatim quotations Soyars discovers extensive evidence of his adoption, adaptation, and synthesis of identifiable Pauline material in the Visions, Mandates, and Similitudes sections. Hermas emerges as a Pauline interpreter who creatively engages topics and themes developed within and across the Pauline letters through time. These results reconnect the Shepherd with early Paulinism and extend reconstructions of the sphere of Pauline influence in the second century C.E.

Dynamis eis Soterian

Investigating the Semantic Background of a New Testament Syntagma

Marion Christina Hauck


This study shows that the syntagma δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν was widely used in ancient Greek literature of the Classical, Hellenistic, and Greco-Roman periods. A semantic context analysis reveals that “danger” is the common intersection of all contexts in which the syntagma δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν occurs. In a modified way it also appears in texts of the New Testament (Rom 1:16; 1 Pet 1:5): By using δύναµις (θεοῦ) εἰς σωτηρίαν in a context focused on danger, Paul (as well as the author of 1 Peter) indicates that his use of the syntagma is consistent with the pagan, non-biblical use of δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν.