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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(1,616 words)

Author(s): Tomson, Peter J.
The Hebrew and Aramaic רבי/ rabbi (lit. “my master”) appears in the ancient sources as a polite phrase addressing a Jewish sage or teacher. In addition, it came to be used as the standard title of a Torah scholar accredited in the rabbinic movement, or in other words a “rabbi.” The import of the New Testament is twofold: it is the oldest extra-rabbinical document to use the term, and it is also the focus of the Christian trend to denigrate “rabbinism.”Outside rabbinic literature, the main ancient sources for the phrase rabbi are the Gospels of Mark, John, and Matthew, totaling 15 occ…
Date: 2020-12-17

Rabbula of Edessa

(1,504 words)

Author(s): Doran, Robert
Rabbula (d. 435/436 CE) was born around 350 CE in Qennishrin (Chalcis), about 40 km southwest of Aleppo, to a wealthy family whose father was pagan and mother Christian. As an influential local citizen, Rabbula was given a distinguished honorary governorship. However, on a visit to his estates, he witnessed a healing miracle by a Christian hermit, and he soon converted to Christianity. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and then decided to become a monk. He abandoned his possessions and distrib…
Date: 2020-12-17


(2,643 words)

Author(s): Zwiep, Arie W.
In this article “rapture” (Ger. Entrückung) is taken as a technical term for a bodily translation into the “beyond” (heaven or an otherwise inaccessible place) as the conclusion of one’s earthly life, without the intervention of death (Lohfink, 1971, 32–74; Wißmann, 1982, 680; Zwiep, 1997, 36–40; 2010, 44–49). This rather strict definition helps to disentangle the wide variety of (both literal and metaphorical) language of ascent in the ancient world and appreciate the distinctive place of the raptur…
Date: 2020-12-17


(3,528 words)

Author(s): Wiśniewski, Robert
Sacred objects holding a special power were known in diverse religions, some of which, like Buddhism (Strong, 2004), attributed such a power to the bodies of “special dead.” Yet this was not a universal phenomenon. With the Greeks the belief in the power of heroes’ bodies was rather marginal (Hartman, 2009), and the Romans did not know it at all. In the Old Testament, just two passages suggest that the bones of some prophets could have a special status (1 Kgs 13:32; 2 Kgs 13:21). In Christianity…
Date: 2020-12-17

Resurrection (General)

(5,174 words)

Author(s): Somov, Alexey
The general resurrection is the raising of the dead to eternal life at the end of time. In this resurrection both the righteous dead and the wicked will be restored to life to be judged along with the living at the final judgment. The belief in a general resurrection originated and developed in Judaism and then became the major form of afterlife existence in early Christianity.Resurrection in the Old Testament and Jewish LiteratureIt is difficult to decide with any certainty when the idea of resurrection first entered Jewish religious thought. Jewish concepts of res…
Date: 2020-12-17

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

(6,249 words)

Author(s): Granger Cook, John
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ remain the prime focal point of the Christian faith. The resurrection of Christ in particular continues to exercise a powerful draw in modern theological debate (see the summary in Thiessen, 2009; primarily a survey of Protestant theologians) and in the critique of Christianity by individuals who deny the historicity or reality of the resurrection (e.g. Lüdemann, 2002; Miller, 2015).HistoriographyChristians have reflected on the resurrection of Jesus since the earliest stages of the Christian tradition (e.g. th…
Date: 2020-12-17