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Apocalypse of Elijah

(349 words)

Author(s): Berger, Klaus
[German Version] There have been several texts bearing the name “Apocalypse of Elijah”. 1. Completely preserved and existing in both Coptic dialects is the “Coptic Apocalypse of Elijah,” dated 1st–4th century ce, with a Jewish original. The only definitely Christian part of this text is the sign of the cross in 32:1, accompanying the coming of the messiah. Central to the representation of the end times is the battle …

Bousset, Johann Franz Wilhelm

(181 words)

Author(s): Berger, Klaus
[German Version] (Sep 3, 1865, Lübeck – Mar 8, 1920, Gießen), liberal New Testament scholar (History of Religions school). He gained his habilitation in 1890, and became Professor in Göttingen in 1896, and in Gießen in 1915. In Kyrios Christos, Bousset locates the early Christian affirmations about Jesus in the context of worship. On the tradition of “ruler/lord,” cf. also Der Antichrist (1895). For Bousset, the texts of early Christianity are in a particular manner symbols of “the eternal.” He demon…

Jubilees, Book of

(336 words)

Author(s): Berger, Klaus
[German Version] Jubilees (often also called “the Little Genesis”) is an ancient Jewish document from the middle of the 2nd century bce. The book offers an independent retelling of the biblical story from creation to the exodus. An underlying text, such as is known from Genesis or Exodus, is only occasionally cited. Many individual elements recur later in midrashim. The tendency of Jubilees is priestly and conservative (Heb. is its original language) and anti-Hellenistic (rejection of nakedness and mixed marriages [Marriage: II], propagation of Sabbath and…

Gentiles, Gentile Christianity

(1,436 words)

Author(s): Berger, Klaus
1. Usage Gentile Christianity takes on its meaning in antithesis to Jewish Christianity. The reference is to all non-Jewish Christians. Another term often used for non-Jews before Christian conversion is “heathen,” as in “missions to the heathen.” In the modern understanding of mission, however, this terminology is usually regarded as either too militant or too patronizing, and it is thus thought better to speak of non-Christians and to describe heathen religions as non-Christian religions, though…