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John, Gospel of

(1,581 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut
1. Structure and Contents The main body of the Gospel of John comprises two sections: the public ministry of Jesus (2:1–11:54) and the parting discourses and the passion (11:55–19:42). The prologue, with the story of John the Baptist and the calling of the disciples, forms the introduction (chap. 1), and the resurrection stories form the conclusion (20). Chap. 21 is an addition. The first section contains narratives, which are often combined with dialogues: the wedding at Cana (chap. 2), the interview with Nicodemus (3), the Samaritan woman (4:1–42), the healing of the official’s son (4:…

Gospel

(4,111 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut | Beintker, Michael
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Genre – III. Dogmatics I. Terminology The Greek noun εὐαγγέλιον/ euangélion (usually translated “gospel”) first appears in Homer, wh…

Wilder

(525 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut | Meller, Horst
[German Version] 1. Amos Niven (Sep 18, 1895, Madison, WI – May 1, 1993, Cambridge, MA), New Testament scholar and poet. From 1916 to 1918, Wilder served as a volunteer in the Balkans and France. He studied at Oberlin College, Oxford, Harvard, and Yale, receiving his Ph.D. in 1933; he taught at the Andover Newton Theological Seminary (1933–1943), the University of Chicago (1943–1954), and Harvard (1954–1963). He emphasized the relationship of mythology and symbolism to the historical reality of the past and the cultural exper…

Pergamum

(979 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut
[German Version] (pre-Gk “fortress”), on the Caicus (modern Bakir) in southern Mysia, 26 km from the coast, on a high hill (over 300 m) that drops steeply to the west, north, and east. In the Archaic and Classical periods, Pergamum/Pergamon was a fortress with a small settlement; in the late 6th century bce it came under Persian rule. After liberation by Alexander the Great, it came into the hands of the diadoch Antigonus, then Lysimachus (301–281 bce), who used it as the depository for his treasury of 20,000 talents, under the protection of the castellan Philetaerus. In 282 bce, Philetaerus went over to the Seleucids in a coalition against Lysimachus and was recognized as regent under Seleucid sovereignty. Philetaerus (281–263 bce) built a city protected by a wall on the upper southern slope of the hill…

Nock, Arthur Darby

(200 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut
[German Version] (Feb 21, 1902, Portsmouth, England – Jan 11, 1963, Cambridge, MA, USA), classical philologist and historian of religion. After studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, he taught at Harvard University from 1930 until his death. His early work on Sallust, On the Gods and the Universe (1926), aroused ¶ his interest in the history of religions, as became evident later in his contributions to the history of Roman religion in the Cambridge A…

Mark, Secret Gospel of

(380 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut
[German Version] The only existing fragments of the Secret Gospel of Mark are two quotes in a letter of Clement of Alexandria (authenticity is disputed) copied around 1750, which was discovered by Morton Smith in 1958 in Mar Saba Monastery (Sabas Monastery; 18 km southeast of Jerusalem). The letter is a reply to the question of a certain Theodorus concerning the “Secret Gospel” used by the Carpocratians (Carpocrates/Carpocratians). Clement describes this gospel as a forgery of the Secret Gospel authored in Alexandria by Mark himself, which is only ¶ read by those who “are initiated …

Miletus

(463 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut
[German Version] Miletus (Gk Μίλητος/ Mílētos, Hitt. Milliwanda) lies 50 km south of Ephesus on a peninsula with four natural harbors on the southern coast of a bay of the Aegean, on the edge of the alluvial plain of the Maeander (Menderes; see Greece, map). Cretan settlement to 1500 bce followed by Mycenaean settlement promise future archaeological discoveries. Resettled in the 11th century bce by Ionian immigrants, Miletus reached its apogee in the 7th and 6th centuries bce as the largest Greek city, with 90 colonies, primarily on the coasts of the Black Sea. Thales, A…

Introduction (intro_III_XXVI)

(6,458 words)

Author(s): Koester, Helmut | Pagels, Elaine
I. Title, Author, and Literary Character The title The Dialogue of the Savior occurs in the incipit (120:1) and in the explicit (147:23). But the work begins with an address of the Savior to his disciples that does not show any trace of the dialogue scheme ( Dial. Sav. 1-3 [120:3-124:22]).1 However, the main source used by the author (first appearing in 4 [124:23]; see sec. II.A below) is characterized by dialogues between Jesus and his disciples, of whom Judas, Matthew, and Mary are frequently named explicitly. Thus, the title Dialogue may derive from this main source. On the other…