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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Water, in the Bible

(3,595 words)

Author(s): Gerstenberger, Erhard S.
Doctrines of the (four) elements or modern scientific conceptions are missing in the Bible, but water was considered a basic part of this world in its heavenly, subterranean, and terrestrial forms and manifold appearances (liquid, ice, dew, steam). It antedated creation (Gen 1:2) and extended – for good and for bad – through time into the eschatological future (Rev 8:8–11; 22:1–2). Water was considered an indispensable part of everyday life, culture, and religion. People needed to drink, bathe, …
Date: 2022-09-22


(6,167 words)

Author(s): Hengstmengel, Joost W.
Social thought featured prominently in the early church’s theology. Rather than a byproduct, it was central to early Christian eschatology and soteriology (Rhee, 2012). The imitation of Christ (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) involved adopting the right attitudes toward God and, connected inseparably with this, toward the neighbor. The centrality of social issues is manifested by the sheer number of patristic texts devoted to them. One modern anthology (Sierra Bravo, 1967) contains nearly 1,000 pages…
Date: 2022-09-22