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Volume Editor: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold
How to read Plutarch in the context of New Testament studies? Almost 50 years after the seminal project on the topic led by Hans Dieter Betz, this volume elevates once again the issue’s priority. Bridging discourses is a fitting description both of the religio-philosophical spirit of Plutarch, the Platonist philosopher and priest of Apollo at Delphi, and the task of bringing his writings into fruitful dialogue with the writings of the New Testament, Hellenistic Judaism, and Early Christianity. Taken together, these authors constitute the religious Platonism of the early imperial era. Contributions from the fields of New Testament, classics, philosophy, religious studies, and patristics explore various ways of how to establish these bridges.
This volume provides a review of recent research in Philippi related to archaeology, demography, religion, the New Testament and early Christianity. Careful reading of texts, inscriptions, coins and other archaeological materials allow the reader to examine how religious practice in Philippi changed as the city moved from being a Hellenistic polis to a Roman colony to a center for Christian worship and pilgrimage. The essays raise questions about traditional understandings of material culture in Philippi, and come to conclusions that reflect more complicated and diverse views of the city and its inhabitants.
The Fables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke introduces the world of the ancient fable to biblical scholarship and argues that Jesus’s parables in Luke’s gospel belong to the ancient fable tradition.
Jesus is regarded as the first figure in history to use the parable genre with any regularity—a remarkable historical curiosity that serves as the foundation for many assumptions in New Testament scholarship. The Fables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke challenges this consensus, situating the parables within a literary context unknown to biblical scholarship: the ancient fable. After introducing the ancient fable, the “parables” of Jesus in Luke’s gospel are used as a testing ground to demon - strate that they are identical to first-century fables. This challenges many conven - tional assumptions about parables, Luke’s gospel, and the relationship of Jesus to the storytelling traditions of the Mediterranean world. This study offers multitudes of new parallels to the otherwise enigmatic parable tradition, opens an exciting new venue for comparative exploration, and lays a new foundation upon which to study the fables of Jesus.
Author: Doru Costache
In this volume, Costache endeavours to map the world as it was understood and experienced by the early Christians. Progressing from initial fears, they came to adopt a more positive view of the world through successive shifts of perception.
This did not happen overnight. Tracing these shifts, Costache considers the world of the early Christians through an interdisciplinary lens, revealing its meaningful complexity. He demonstrates that the early Christian worldview developed at the nexus of several perspectives. What facilitated this process was above all the experience of contemplating nature. When accompanied by genuine personal transformation, natural contemplation fostered the theological interpretation of the world as it had been known to the ancients.
Author: James D. Dvorak
In The Interpersonal Metafunction in 1 Corinthians 1-4, James D. Dvorak offers a linguistic-critical discourse analysis of 1 Cor 1-4 utilizing Appraisal Theory, a model rooted in the modern sociolinguistic paradigm known as Systemic-Functional Linguistics. This work is concerned primarily with the interpersonal meanings encoded in the text and how they pertain to the act of resocialization. Dvorak pays particular attention to the linguistics of appraisal in Paul’s language to determine the values with which Paul expects believers in Christ to align. This book will be of great value to biblical scholars and students with interests in biblical Greek, functional linguistics, appraisal theory, hermeneutics, exegesis, and 1 Corinthians.
This book investigates the various paraphrastic techniques employed by Nonnus of Panopolis (5th century AD) for his poetic version of the Gospel of John. The authors look at Nonnus’ Paraphrase, the only extant poetic Greek paraphrase of the New Testament, in the light of ancient rhetorical theory while also exploring its multi-faceted relationship with poetic tradition and the theological debates of its era. The study shows how interpretation, cardinal both in ancient literary criticism and in theology, is exploited in a poem that is exegetical both from a philological and a Christian point of view and adheres, at the same time, to the literary principles of Hellenistic times and late antiquity.
Nonnus of Panopolis (5th c. AD), the most important Greek poet of Late Antiquity, is best known for his Dionysiaca, a grand epic that gathers together all myths associated with Dionysus, god of wine and mysteries. The poet also authored the Paraphrase of St. John’s Gospel which renders the Fourth Gospel into sophisticated hexameter verse. This volume, edited by Filip Doroszewski and Katarzyna Jażdżewska, brings together twenty-six essays by eminent scholars that discuss Nonnus’ cultural and literary background, the literary techniques and motifs used by the poet, as well as the composition of the Dionysiaca and the exegetical principles applied in the Paraphrase. As such, the book will significantly deepen our understanding of literary culture and religion in Late Antiquity.
New Perspectives on Tradition and Transformation
Volume Editors: Albert Geljon and Nienke Vos
Based on the paradigmatic shift in both liturgical and ritual studies, this multidisciplinary volume presents a collection of case studies on rituals in the early Christian world. After a methodological discussion of the new paradigm, it shows how emblematic Christian rituals were influenced by their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, undergoing multiple transformations, while themselves affecting developments both within and outside Christianity. Notably, parallel traditions in Judaism and Islam are included in the discussion, highlighting the importance of ongoing reception history. Focusing on the dynamic character of rituals, the new perspectives on ritual traditions pursued here relate to the expanding source material, both textual and material, as well as the development of recent interdisciplinary approaches, including the cognitive science of religion.
Epistolary Literature, Circulation, and The Gospels for All Christians
Author: David Smith
In The Epistles for All Christians, David Smith argues that epistolary literature offers analogous evidence of circulation to the Gospels. Since Richard Bauckham’s edited volume The Gospels for All Christians was published in 1998, debate over the validity of the contributors’ claims that the Gospels were written for “all Christians” has revolved around interpretation. Smith brings circulation to bear on the conversation.
Studying ancient media practices of publication and circulation and using social network theory, Smith makes a compelling case that if the evangelists did not expect their texts to circulate they would be atypical.
Volume Editors: René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati
This volume, edited by René Brouwer and Emmanuele Vimercati, deals with the debate about fate, providence and free will in the early Imperial age. This debate is rekindled in the 1st century CE during emperor Augustus’ rule and ends in the 3rd century CE with Plotinus and Origen, when the different positions in the debate were more or less fully developed. The book aims to show how in this period the notions of fate, providence and freedom were developed and debated, not only within and between the main philosophical schools, that is Stoicism, Aristotelianism, and Platonism, but also in the interaction with other, “religious” movements, here understood in the general sense of groups of people sharing beliefs in and worship of (a) superhuman controlling power(s), such as Gnosticism, Hermetism as well as Judaism and Christianity.