Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
General Editors: David G. HUNTER, University of Kentucky, United States, Paul J.J. van GEEST, Tilburg University, Netherlands, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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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John, Acts of

(3,106 words)

Author(s): Spittler, Janet E.
The Acts of John, like most of the apocryphal acts of the apostles, is fragmentary and has a complicated text history. For the most part, the “early” or “primitive” Acts of John – to the extent that an “early” text can be reconstructed – is preserved only in sections that were incorporated into later compositions, above all the Acts of John by Pseudo-Prochorus.Only two sections of the Acts of John are extant independently: 1. The “metastasis” (i.e. the description of John’s notably peaceful death) is preserved in multiple Greek manuscripts and in the majority of Arme…
Date: 2020-09-21

John Arkaph

(1,231 words)

Author(s): Gwynn, David M.
John Arkaph (fl. 330s CE) was the bishop of Memphis in early 4th-century CE Egypt and the successor of Meletius of Lycopolis as the head of the schismatic Meletian church. A shadowy and controversial figure, John is remembered primarily as a leading opponent of Athanasius of Alexandria in the years culminating in the latter’s condemnation at the Council of Tyre in 335 CE.Nothing is known of John’s early life, and none of his own writings survive. The name John of Memphis is first attested in the Breviarium Melitii, the catalogue of Meletian clergy that Meletius submitted to Athana…
Date: 2020-09-21

John Chrysostom

(1,888 words)

Author(s): Wet, Chris De
John Chrysostom (b. 349/50–407 CE) was one of the most prolific Greek authors of the patristic period, and best known as a pulpit orator and expositor of Scripture. His eloquence was renowned even after his death, earning him the nickname “the golden mouthed.”LifeJohn was born in Syrian Antioch to a wealthy, albeit not illustrious, family. His father, Secundus, was an influential civil servant in the bureau of the military commander of the Oriens, but died when John was young. John was raised by his Christian mother, Athusa, who paid for him to have a liberal educat…
Date: 2020-09-21

John, Epistles of

(6,501 words)

Author(s): Beutler, Johannes
Since antiquity, three letters (Epistle) attributed to John have belonged to the canon of the New Testament. Among these letters, the first one is better attested than the second and the third. First witnesses of the First Letter of John are Papias (in Eus. Hist. eccl. 3.39.17, see Aland, 2001, 547), where “the earlier letter” should be 1 John, and Polycarp in his (Second) Letter to the Philippians (7:1), where 1 John 4:2 (see 2 John 7) is quoted, besides possible allusions to 1 John 3:8 (see 1 John 2:18.22). Although 1 John does not bear …
Date: 2020-09-21

John, Secret Revelation of

(3,876 words)

Author(s): King, Karen L.
The Secret Revelation of John (also known as Apocryphon of John or Secret Book of John) was first recovered in Egypt in 1896 (Berlin Codex). Three additional copies were discovered in 1945 among the Nag Hammadi Codices. The Secret Revelation of John is the first Christian writing to formulate a comprehensive narrative of theogony, cosmogony, and salvation. In it, the Savior reveals to John the nature of the divine realm above, the origin of evil and death, and humanity’s ultimate salvation through knowledge of God, moral perfection, and baptism with anointing.Manuscript Tradition and…
Date: 2020-09-21


(3,144 words)

Author(s): Han, Jin H.
The story of Jonah (Heb. yôn āh, “dove” or “oppressed”) looms large in early Christian literature and iconography. In Matt 12:38–42 and Luke 11:29–32, Jesus calls attention to Jonah in response to the Pharisees and Sadducees, who ask for a sign. The two canonical gospels, however, show a somewhat different approach to the topic. In Matthew, Jonah’s fish is compared to the tomb, and just as the prophet spends three days and nights in the belly of the fish, so Jesus will be “in the heart of the earth” f…
Date: 2020-09-21

Joppa (Jaffa)

(1,817 words)

Author(s): Neubert, Luke
Joppa (Jaffa: Heb יפו; Gk ᾽Ιόππη; Lat. Ioppe) is an ancient port city located in modern Israel in south Tel Aviv.History of the Port CityJoppa is mentioned for the first time in the reign of Tutmosis III (1479–1425 BCE) in a Karnak temple inscription among the cities under his dominion ( ANET 242). Later, the city is under the control of Sidqia, the Philistine king of Ashkelon until Sennacharib, per his annals, who conquered it circa 701 BCE ( ANET 287).According to Greek mythology, it was here on the precipice that Andromeda was exposed to the sea monster by her father, Ce…
Date: 2020-09-21


(2,960 words)

Author(s): Binder, Stéphanie E.
Judaeo-Hellenism may be understood in two complementary ways. The first addresses how the values and traditions of Judaism were adapted and applied in a Hellenistic framework; the second how Jews adopted and adapted Greek culture to a Jewish context. The most reliable testimony of Jewish Hellenistic activity is found in the literary production of Hellenized Jews transmitted through Christian literature which gives a precise picture of the extent to which the Jews were Hellenized, Jewish, or both.Hasmonean Period (Beginning with the Maccabean Revolt)The interplay between Judai…
Date: 2020-09-21

Judas, Gospel of

(3,015 words)

Author(s): Schenke Robinson, Gesine
The Gospel of Judas is a late 2nd-century CE Greek text extant only in one Coptic translation. It belongs to a 4th-century CE papyrus codex found around 1978 near Al Minya, Middle Egypt, and sold to an Egyptian antiquity dealer named Hanna who attempted to sell it abroad. Nothing more is known about the circumstances of the manuscript’s discovery. Around 1982, the codex first surfaced in Europe, then in the United States. It was offered to different institutions and universities that are known to h…
Date: 2020-09-21
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