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Book The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism

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The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    John Granger. Cook(Author)

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In the early centuries of what came to be called the Christian era, that new religion competed not only with Judaism but also with various traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs and practices. "Pagan" intellectuals read the emerging Christian scriptures and responded with critiques that provoked lengthy and repeated rejoinders from contemporary Christian leaders. In some cases, these criticisms anticipated perspectives that re-emerged many centuries later in modern scholarship. John Granger Cook offers the first detailed description of the exegesis of five of the most important ancient pagan critics of the New Testament: Celsus, Porphyry, the anonymous pagan reported by Macarius Magnes, Hierocles, and the emperor Julian.

Even though pagans who read the New Testament were not favorably impressed, according to Cook, serious students of the New Testament will certainly be impressed by the author's careful and informative discussion of how pagan authors, from Celsus through Julian (the late fourth century) reacted to those early Christian writings which came to constitute the New Testament. This book focuses on a very specific aspect of the Greek and Roman reactions to early Christianity, namely, how they attempted to both ridicule and refute the new faith by using the New Testament as evidence for what Christianity and its founder were really like. This sheds important new light on a neglected aspect of early Christianity in late antiquity.--David E. Aune, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame"The writings that were to become the New Testament were esoteric, and it is therefore remarkable that by the latter half of the second century, they had become well enough known and deemed important enough by Celsus, the archenemy of Christianity, to warrant a vehement attack. Celsus was followed by other cultured despisers of Christianity, and he and the most important critics from the third and fourth centuries are treated in detail in this volume. The book is certain to become a standard reference for those interested in the interface between early Christianity and paganism. It systematically treats more than the title might indicate, for in addition to the way the New Testament figured in pagan attacks, it discusses as well, among other things, pagan social comment on Christians and Christianity, and, on the other side, the cultural and political context of the critics. The interesting argumentis made that the critics brought to bear their arsenal of literary and historical criticism, rhetoric, and philosophy because they viewed the New Testament and Christian proclamation as dangerous owing to their ability to convert people to Christianity and to influence their lives. John Granger Cook s excellent book is sure to stimulate discussion."--Abraham J. Malherbe, Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale University Divinity School"John Cook's admirable studies on Graeco-Roman paganism's interpretations of the New Testament amount to nothing less than a compendium. His commentary, notes, and references meet a long-standing need of New Testament scholarship.--Hans Dieter Betz, Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament (emeritus), University of Chicago

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Book details

  • PDF | 400 pages
  • John Granger. Cook(Author)
  • Hendrickson Publishers Inc (Mar. 2002)
  • English
  • 9
  • Religion & Spirituality

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