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Forms and Genres

(5,675 words)

Author(s): Trappen, Stefan | Rösel, Martin | Dormeyer, Detlev
[German Version] I. Literary Theory – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament I. Literary Theory Genres are literary forms. They group multiple texts into a conceptual unit on the basis of formal similarity. Poetics determines the genres of literature and how they are constituted. Both literature and poetics stand within their own autonomous traditions. Therefore the conceptuality of genre, despite intensive interchange between poetics and literature, is not simply a reflection of literature. Every genre, in …


(582 words)

Author(s): Dormeyer, Detlev
[German Version] The term “apotheosis” (ἀποθέωσις/ apothéōsis) is a coinage of the Hellenistic period. Important individuals like Alexander the Great were said to have been elevated to divine status (Polybius). Apotheosis belongs to the extensive semantic field that associates deities with human beings (Gen 6:1–4). Divine kingship, the Egyptian pharaoh, and the Greek hero cult are the closest analogies. The beginnings of apotheosis in the narrow sense appear in the 6th and 5th centuries bce. The heroization of Greek figures like Homer and H…

Joseph of Arimathea (Saint)

(211 words)

Author(s): Dormeyer, Detlev
[German Version] Arimathea serves to indicate Joseph's place of origin. The location Arimathea is not attested. However, the Old Testament knows a place with the Hebrew form Ramathaim (1 Sam 1:1) and Eusebius of Caesarea equates Rontis, 14 km north of Lydda, with Arimathea ( Onomastikon, 32.21ff.; 144.27ff.). Joseph appears in Mark 15:42– 46 parr.; John 19:38–41. He is a councilor ( bouleutēs, Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50), a member of the Sanhedrin. Contrary to political realities, Luke 23:51 declares Arimathea a polis so that later the erroneous, historicizing…


(344 words)

Author(s): Dormeyer, Detlev
[German Version] (Aram. בַּר אַבָּאַ, “son of the father”, Gk Βαραββᾶς) is an unspecified patronymic, commonly used according to the Talmud ( b. Ber. 18b) and also attested in Greek inscriptions ( SEG I 7,489,1). In the story of the Passion, Barabbas appears 11 times in the context of the Passover amnesty. As this Barabbas is not attested anywhere else outside the NT, details regarding his person can only be deduced on the basis of the few …

Biblical Criticism

(6,009 words)

Author(s): Wacker, Marie-Theres | Udo, Schnelle | Dormeyer, Detlev | Patte, Daniel | Osiek, Carolyn | Et al.
[German Version] I. Methods of Biblical Criticism applied to the Old Testament – II. Methods of Biblical Criticism applied to the New Testament See also Effective History/Reception History I. Methods of Biblical Criticism applied to the Old Testament Today, (Christian) biblical scholarship is faced with a plethora of varied methodical approaches that, especially in the last decade of the 20th century, have persistently questioned the role of historical criticism …