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(503 words)

Author(s): Paulsen, Henning
In the primitive Christian community parenesis (from Gk. paraineō, “advise, urge”) had the aim of giving ethical instruction to the post-Easter churches (Ethics). Presupposing baptism, it linked basic theses to situational formulas. In its various forms parenesis was part of early Christian history and cannot be separated from it. We should also note the relation to the Jesus tradition and its basic ethical directions (Sermon on the Mount). Research based on the insights of M. Dibelius (1883–1947) traces primitive parenesis mainly to the Epistles (Literature, …

Apostolic Fathers

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Paulsen, Henning
1. The Phrase The phrase “Apostolic Fathers” goes back to a 1672 Paris edition prepared by J.-B. Cotelier entitled Ss. Patrum qui temporibus apostolicis floruerunt … opera. This work contained Barnabas, 1 and 2 Clement, the epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, and Hermas. Although the historicity is debatable, the phrase has secured a place in historical study. It now applies also to Didache, the Epistle to Diognetus, the Quadratus Fragment, and the fragments of Papias. 2. The Writings 2.1. Didache The work called The Didache, or The Teaching of the Twelve…

Literature, Biblical and Early Christian

(9,082 words)

Author(s): Schmitt, Hans-Christoph | Paulsen, Henning | May, Gerhard
1. OT 1.1. Task Viewing the OT as literature means engaging in critical literary analysis (Exegesis, Biblical) of the individual books. There is then an attempt to achieve ¶ a synthetic picture of the development of the entire literature of Israel from its early beginnings to the age of the Maccabees. This study will also take account of Israel’s life settings. First, however, this endeavor must survey the forms and genres of the preliterary tradition. 1.2. History of Research H. Gunkel (1862–1932) initiated this kind of study, at least in outline (Die israelitische Litera…