New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Number 1 (January 2011) by Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas

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Extra resources for New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Number 1 (January 2011)

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That the appropriation of pagan tradition occurs. Aratus, Cleanthes, the deep similarity with Stoic theological vocabulary, and so on, all appear within the perspective created by the order of thought that begins with Adam and ends with Jesus Christ. To grasp the importance of this hermeneutical context for ‘reading’ pagan tradition is at once to see that Luke’s appropriation is not translation. It is, rather, a transformation of preexisting tradition at the most fundamental level of the unity between thought and life.

And Paul Schubert, ‘The Place of the Areopagus Speech in the Composition of Acts’, Transitions in Biblical Scholarship (ed. J. Coert Rylaarsdam; Chicago: University of Chicago, ) –, esp. . Examples of pagan tradition that were evident to early Christians are too numerous to name. We shall mention only one particularly striking example known to Acts commentators for a long time: for Origen the echoes of Socrates’s trial reverberated so loud through the scene in Athens that he believed Socrates himself to have been tried before the Areopagus.

And despite being the home of antiquity’s greatest thinkers and scholars, wrote Apuleius, the city’s treatment of Socrates had nevertheless resulted in its ‘perpetual ignominy’ (Met. ): Athens was the place where everyone knew that to bring in foreign or new deities was to invite trial and court death.  Barnes, ‘An Apostle on Trial’, .  It is important to note that the interpretive move runs the other way as well: the Socratic echoes also rightfully reinforce the reading of the scene as a trial.

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