Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies And Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. Hunter, Boston College, United States, Paul J.J. van Geest, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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 The Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity focuses on the history of early Christian texts, authors, ideas. Its content is intended to bridge the gap between the fields of New Testament studies and patristics, covering the whole period of early Christianity up to 600 CE. The BEEC aims to provide a critical review of the methods used in Early Christian Studies and to update the historiography.

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Kingdom of God

(5,095 words)

Author(s): Evans & J.J.Johnston, C.A.
The “kingdom of God” is of great importance in the preaching of Jesus and in early Christian literature (Klein, 1970; Vanoni & Heininger, 2002). It is a concept that is rooted in Israel’s ancient Scriptures, a concept that in the time of Jesus (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) had developed in new ways largely in response to Israel’s experience at the hands of the Greeks and then later the Romans. Jesus and his apostles (Apostle/Disciple) invested the kingdom concept with new meanings, aspects of which were developed further in the ante-Nicene and post-Nicene fathers.The Kingdom of God in th…
Date: 2024-01-19


(6,410 words)

Author(s): Schreiber, Stefan
The idea of the “kingdom of God” (Gk βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ/ basileia tou theou) is a fundamental theological conception that was current in the Jewish culture of the 1st century CE and that could therefore be evoked by means of this keyword. This early Jewish conception was taken up and employed by Jesus and his early followers. It became prominent in the narratives of Jesus (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) in the Gospels.Scholars discuss how the Greek syntagma βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ should be translated. The semantic spectrum of βασιλεία includes both a geographical-static…
Date: 2024-01-19


(3,120 words)

Author(s): Chase, Nathan P.
Ritualized kisses were a part of the Greco-Roman and Jewish world from which the early church emerged. While many of the references to kissing in Greco-Roman writers are between lovers, kisses were used in other instances as well. A kiss could serve as a greeting, as a way to acknowledge those in authority (like the emperor), or as a way to seal an agreement. In religious settings, kisses would be shared between religious participants and priests (Priest/Presbyter), or kisses could be bes…
Date: 2024-01-19

Knowledge, Interpretation of

(1,511 words)

Author(s): Burns, Dylan M.
The Interpretation of Knowledge is the first tractate of a Coptic book discovered near Nag Hammadi (Upper Egypt; Nag Hammadi Writings) in 1945: Codex XI. The scribe who copied the Interpretation of Knowledge also copied the subsequent work in the codex and the liturgical fragments that follow it ( Valentinian Exposition), as well as NHC I, 4 ( Resurrection, Treatise on). The scribe responsible for writing the latter treatises of NHC XI ( Allogenes and Hypsiphrone) also copied NHC VII, and the binding of Codices I, VII, and XI are similar, so the three may comprise a…
Date: 2024-01-19