Resurrection And Reception In Early Christianity Pdf
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- Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity (eBook, PDF)
- Arguments for Jesus’ Resurrection
- Early Christian Thinking on Hope
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Don't have an account? In a fourfold, rhetorical apology, Augustine first insisted that belief in the resurrection of Christ establishes the identity of Christians and defines their faith. Then he appealed to the omnipotent, divine power shown in creation. Wonder at the constant marvels of creation should predispose human beings to accept the new creation of resurrection. Turning to history, Augustine argued from the rise of Christianity: without an adequate cause in the resurrection of Jesus, that success story would remain an unexplained effect.
Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity (eBook, PDF)
Historical and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Hope pp Cite as. Recent classical studies on hope have sought to correct a long-standing overemphasis on negative aspects of hope in antiquity, setting up possible correlations with early Christian and New Testament studies.
These studies, however, have focused more on the contemporary relevance of hope and the particular emphases of certain texts, without taking into account classical advances.
This chapter proposes a more integrative model to make up for this lack. The aim is to facilitate understandings and nuances of hope. This model is then applied to the letter of 1 Thessalonians, arguably the earliest preserved Christian text.
The results show to what extent the letter shares other developing conceptions and contexts related to hope, and how it specifically differs from them, with concluding observations for further study. The above citations illustrate two different perspectives on hope in the early imperial period of the Roman Empire arising in different sociological contexts.
The first comes from Cicero, De Legibus , a political treatise written ca. He extols the benefits of the Eleusinian mysteries, at least in part. The second occurs in a letter from the Apostle Paul to an early Christian community in Thessalonica, written about a century later ca. He reassures them regarding members who have died. This chapter aims to assess recent research on the subject of hope in classics as well as theological and biblical studies, with a view to advancing our understanding of ancient perspectives.
It begins by reviewing that research, showing that important gains have been registered, without much evidence of interaction between these two disciplines and with little methodological consensus Sect. Drawing on these gains, it then proposes a more integrative model analysing and correlating these Sect.
It then applies this model to a specific case Sect. Recent studies on hope in classical studies have treated hope as an emotion as well as recognising the contextual complexity of the concept. Two in particular merit mention. This work seeks to redress the balance. The introduction to the volume presents difficulties of definition, nuances, and to what extent ancient perceptions and conceptions differ from or correspond to modern ones.
This implies that spes takes on more affective connotations than elpis and may be paired with different terms. This framing of Greco-Roman concepts around hope represents a shift in interpreting how the ancients understood hope, not merely or predominantly as negative, but also with positive implications in societal and religious experience.
It also demonstrates the effect of various societal, political, and religious contexts in developing ancient perspectives. Two essays in the volume reflecting this shift have particular relevance for this article because of their potential resonance with early Christian contexts, those of Laurel Fulkerson and Angelos Chanoitis While Fulkerson primarily analyses the comic presentation of hope and the gods, along the way she offers two broader insights into classical Roman practice and understanding.
First of all, she reminds the reader of the extent of worship of the divinity Spes in the late Republican period, drawing attention to a mid-third century dedication of a temple to her, with clear political and military associations.
Naturally, the question remains whether active worship of Spes and ambiguity over hope persisted into the early imperial period. Reference to this as a possible frame for interpreting early Christian here Pauline statements about hope should not be overlooked. That question is partly answered in the affirmative by the essay of Chanoitis reviewing Greek epigraphic evidence Chanoitis While he never cites an inscription evoking or naming Spes , 2 he effectively traces development of hope and related concepts from the classical through to the Hellenistic and early imperial periods as reflected in inscriptions.
His results may be summarized as follows from Chanoitis , pp. All of these formulations, with differing or parallel connotations, appear in early Christian texts, as will be shown later.
These brief glimpses into ancient views of hope reflect complex views and associations. Like their counterparts in classical studies, biblical and theological scholars in recent research tend to focus on insider interests. Regarding hope, that means either a synthetic treatment addressing a larger theological issue related to hope, often eschatology, or a study focusing on hope as presented in one particular document or context.
The first type of study is represented by various writers. Kurt Erlemann has produced a monograph synthesizing New Testament data and concepts of hope to respond to contemporary concerns or uncertainties. Even where Erlemann engages specific texts, his primary interest seems to lie not in understanding hope in relation to its ancient contexts, but what meaning remains for readers today.
More balanced in this regard is the volume edited by Jan van der Watt on New Testament eschatology van der Watt , but there, too, the intrinsic? A slightly different tack has been taken by two other scholars, yet again with an agenda set by contemporary questions.
David Neville confronts claimed tension between the peaceable mission of Jesus and a counter-emphasis on violent judgement or vengeance in five New Testament books Neville Noting an apparent lacuna in the treatment of hope in Old Testament studies, she responds by proposing a broader biblical framework for renewed study of hope Mies , see the introduction, p.
Although limited in scope by its aim—to prepare future research on the theme throughout the Bible Mies , p. Overall, however, these studies give the impression of a closed, in-house conversation that appears oblivious to the larger historical and linguistic contexts in which views on hope are investigated. The above review of recent studies on hope and related concepts from the perspectives of classical, and then from that of biblical scholars, leads to certain methodological questions.
First, what evidence counts in examining hope in antiquity? A related question then arises of how to relate various types and layers of data. In her recent reflection, Mies proposes a multi-faceted approach to framing a biblical study of hope. After anchoring it philosophically pp. Regarding the first, hope is oriented on two axes, one temporal and the other relational. The temporal axis is the more complex, taking into account hope both as act, movement, or intention and hope as an object or end in view.
In a given text, hope or its opposite may be expressed in three modes: in direct language, via symbols or metaphors, or in actions. This model offers a more comprehensive, if demanding, analysis of texts and contexts than is often articulated, in either group of studies surveyed above.
A third methodological issue relates to the contextual nature of the evidence, as we are mainly dealing with texts. In other words, texts need to be located in, or correlated with, certain contexts in order to be properly interpreted.
These three concerns suggest the outline of our approach to reading and interpreting hope in the case study which follows. We will be sensitive both to the double orientation temporal and relational and various modes of expression of hope, not neglecting, where it occurs, the role of reason. For this particular case thirdly we propose and briefly evaluate some available contextual factors that could facilitate understanding of the text.
We focus on this New Testament text for various reasons. A starting point for lexical and semantic analysis recognizes the importance of identifying relevant semantic domains to be researched and words or expressions belonging to them.
Cross-referencing Spicq and Louw and Nida yields the following linguistic matrix:. What does Paul communicate regarding hope in each case? The second is more straightforward. Thus regarding hope one notices in these first two passages both temporal and relational axes and, to the extent that Paul recalls earlier instruction, the role of reason in his remarks.
These associated terms reflect an emotional relationship to Paul. This expression occurs seven times elsewhere in the New Testament. Thus it is plausible that Paul here refers to the future Parousia, a reference that becomes more explicit as the passage unfolds effectively from — Taking each of the questions in order: 1 Paul does not deny the possibility of grieving over loss see Rom After mentioning other possible reasons that the readers might be grieving Epicurean-like thinking, influence of Gnostic teachers, or lack of earlier Pauline instruction on the resurrection of Christians , Malherbe suggests p.
Paul may have feared that upon the death of loved ones, the Thessalonians might grieve as non-Christians grieved. Paul had to do so, because he had to counter erroneous apocalyptic discourses which seem to have circulated in the midst of the faith community 1 Th —3. Schnelle , p. Nevertheless, Paul maintained a high expectation of the imminent return of Christ 1 Cor In fact, it seems that Paul believed that he would still be alive when Jesus Christ returned cf.
Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. Here Paul may also be reacting against some form of a radical realized eschatology Malherbe , p. In the first century, several discourses circulated in Judaism that speculated on what would happen at the end of days to those who are still alive and to those who had already passed on e. In 4 Ezra —45 cf. Malherbe argues that Paul draws on this kind of discourse and provides a new perspective. For the first time in Early Christian writings, he brings Parousia and apocalyptic resurrection expectations together.
However, these notions already existed in the Pre-Pauline, Christ-following movement. The Thessalonians fell into a form of grief and despair directly associated with a displaced sense of hope, displaced due to a new understanding of identity with reference to the Parousia. For instance, F. Bruce , p. The difficulty with this view is that it neglects a wide range of data and research, some recent, some less so see above and Hoppe , p.
This, as well as the above data, suggests a certain selectivity on the part of some biblical scholars in reading ancient Greek and Latin evidence.
Considering similarities between the Thessalonian Christian community and voluntary associations, he links these to the social implications of funerary practices. He, like Malherbe, also points to evidence that for many non-Jews, death was not considered the end, but hope persisted.
If one accepts his insight of the community importance attached to burials and group belonging and, with Ascough, supposes that for the readers death of community members may have threatened or disrupted this sense of solidarity, Paul may in part intend to reassure the living members of the group that this solidarity, although temporarily disrupted, was not the final word and that the dead remained part of the community.
Thus all would benefit from the promised hope of reunion with the Lord 1 Th Options b and c are not mutually exclusive and have the advantage of taking into account a broader range of ancient evidence than that of option a. Furthermore, they highlight the relational dimension of hope between Paul and his readers. Persistent use of the present tense in the above contrast shows that Paul intends to refer to the present conduct of readers versus outsiders.
Of the three, hope occupies the most prominent position of emphasis Malherbe , p. To this extent, full realization of hope lies beyond the reach of the readers. As already noted, in addition to specific language about hope or its absence, 1 Thessalonians also includes different metaphorical or symbolic references to hope, principally of three types: family or kinship language, the stark contrast between light and darkness, and a specific metaphor related to military attire.
These include, among others, Paul as a gentle nurse caring for children 1 Th , with affectionate attention , how much he missed and longed to see them , as expressed in the following section of the letter — , a section on brotherly affection ff , and an engagement with their grieving over those who had died — Although such language was not uncommon in Greek associations see Ascough , p.
The prevalence of this dualistic metaphor in the ancient world makes it difficult to posit an origin for Paul, whether in Judaism or in Graeco-Roman thought.
Arguments for Jesus’ Resurrection
Historiography of early Christianity is the study of historical writings about early Christianity , which is the period before the First Council of Nicaea in Historians have used a variety of sources and methods in exploring and describing Christianity during this time. The growth of Christianity and its enhanced status in the Roman Empire after Constantine I led to the development of a distinct Christian historiography, influenced by both Christian theology and the Development of the Christian Biblical canon , encompassing new areas of study and views of history. The central role of the Bible in Christianity is reflected in the preference of Christian historians for written sources, compared to the classical historians' preference for oral sources and is also reflected in the inclusion of politically unimportant people. Christian historians also focused on development of religion and society. This can be seen in the extensive inclusion of written sources in the first Ecclesiastical History written by Eusebius of Caesarea around and in the subjects it covers. As God's plan encompassed everyone, Christian histories in this period had a universal approach.
Historical and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Hope pp Cite as. Recent classical studies on hope have sought to correct a long-standing overemphasis on negative aspects of hope in antiquity, setting up possible correlations with early Christian and New Testament studies. These studies, however, have focused more on the contemporary relevance of hope and the particular emphases of certain texts, without taking into account classical advances. This chapter proposes a more integrative model to make up for this lack. The aim is to facilitate understandings and nuances of hope.
This book offers an original interpretation of the origin and early reception of the most fundamental claim of Christianity: Jesus' resurrection. Richard Miller.
Early Christian Thinking on Hope
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Mary Magdalene travelled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was was present at the two most important moments in the story of Jesus: the crucifixion and the resurrection. Was she really a prostitute, as the early Church claimed? Mary Magdalene's story is intimately linked with Jesus.
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