Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.
Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici
Thomas E. Hunt
In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386-393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.
Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacques de Saroug et Narsaï
Tanios Bou Mansour
Le livre présente le sacerdoce chrétien chez quatre auteurs syriaques, Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacques et Narsai, en l’éclairant par le sacerdoce du Christ et en le plaçant dans la continuité du sacerdoce de l’A.T. Leur approche est essentiellement théologique, centrée, outre sur le Christ comme grand Prêtre, sur l’Esprit comme donateur des charismes et sur l’Eglise comme milieu vital du sacerdoce. L’originalité et l’actualité de nos auteurs resident dans leur conception de l’élection, de la succession apostolique, de traits “sacerdotaux” attribués aux femmes dans le N.T., et surtout du prêtre qui, mandaté par l’Eglise, exécute l’action du Chirst et de l’Esprit. Leur approche écarte tout légalisme et juridisme, dont témoigne leur perception de l’autorité comme kénose. This book treats the Christian priesthood in four Syriac writers: Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacob of Sarug and Narsaï. Their conception of priesthood is illuminated by the Priesthood of Christ and contextualized within the continuity of the priesthood of the OT. Their approach is essentially theological, centered on Christ as High Priest, but also on the Spirit as donor of charisms and on the Church as vital medium of the Priesthood. These authors’ originality and actuality lies in their conception of election, of apostolic succession, of “sacerdotal” traits attributed to women in the N.T., and especially of the priest who, commissioned by the Church, executes the action of the Christ and the Spirit. Their approach dismisses any legalism, as evidenced by their perception of authority as kenosis.
Collected Essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine
Johannes van Oort
Mani and Augustine: collected essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine gathers in one volume contributions on Manichaean scholarship made by the internationally renowned scholar Johannes van Oort. The first part of the book focuses on the Babylonian prophet Mani (216-277) who styled himself an ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’, on Jewish elements in Manichaeism and on ‘human semen eucharist’, eschatology and imagery of Christ as ‘God’s Right Hand’. The second part of the book concentrates on the question to what extent the former ‘auditor’ Augustine became acquainted with Mani’s gnostic world religion and his canonical writings, and explores to what extent Manichaeism had a lasting impact on the most influential church father of the West.
Introduction, Translation, and Commentary
David Runia and Albert Geljon
The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.
A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage
In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.
The Narrative Role and Early Reception of Genesis 13
In Separating Abram and Lot: The Narrative Role and Early Reception of Genesis 13, Dan Rickett presents a fresh analysis of two of Genesis’ most important characters. Many have understood Lot as Abram’s potential heir and as an ethical contrast to him. Here, Rickett explores whether these readings best reflect the focus of the story. In particular, he considers the origin of these readings and how a study of the early Jewish and Christian reception of Genesis 13 might help identify that origin. In turn, due attention is given to the overall purpose of Genesis 13, as well as how Lot and his function in the text should be understood.
From the Margins to the Mainstream
Edited by Stephen Mitchell and Philipp Pilhofer
This volume is part of the Berlin Topoi project re-examing the early Christian history of Asia Minor, Greece and the South Balkans, and is concerned with the emergence of Christianity in Asia Minor and in Cyprus. Five essays focus on the east Anatolian provinces, including a comprehensive evaluation of early Christianity in Cappadocia, a comparative study of the Christian poetry of Gregory of Nazianzus and his anonymous epigraphic contemporaries and three essays which pay special attention to the hagiography of Cappadocia and Armenia Minor. The remaining essays include a new analysis of the role of Constantinople in episcopal elections across Asia Minor, a detailed appraisal of the archaeological evidence from Sagalassus in Pisidia, a discussion of the significance of inscriptions in Carian sanctuaries through late antiquity, and a survey of Christian inscriptions from Cyprus.
Introduction, Critical Edition, and Commentary
Lorne R. Zelyck
In this commentary on the Egerton Gospel, Lorne R. Zelyck presents a fresh paleographical analysis and thorough reconstruction of the fragmentary text, which results in new readings and interpretations. Details surrounding the acquisition of the manuscript are presented for the first time, and various scholarly viewpoints on controversial topics, such as the date of composition and relationship to the canonical gospels, are addressed. This early apocryphal gospel (150-250 CE) provides traditional interpretations of the canonical gospels that are similar to those of other early Christian authors, and affirms Jesus’ continuity with the miracle-working prophets Moses and Elisha, his obedience to the Law, divinity, and violent rejection by Jewish opponents.