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Braun, Herbert

(194 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (May 4, 1903, Warlubien, West Prussia – Aug 27, 1991, Mainz) studied from 1922 to 1926 in Königsberg, Tübingen, and Rostock. He received the Lic. Theol. from Halle in 1929. He was a pastor in the Confessing Church. He became Professor of NT in the Kirchliche Hochschule in Berlin. From 1952 to 1971 he was professor of NT in Mainz. He gave various guest lectures in the USA. The focal point of Braun's exegetical work lay in the interpretation of NT texts in the context of the Hellenistic and …

Antiquity and Christianity

(2,243 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. New Testament – III. Early Church– IV. Byzantine Empire – V. Renaissance, Humanism, Reformation – VI. Enlightenment and Rationalism – VII. Neohumanism – VIII. 20th Century…

Mithraic Religion

(1,241 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. Name and Locations – II. Myth and Cult – III. Mithraic Religion and Christianity I. Name and Locations The term Mithraic religion encompasses various form of worship of the god Mithra in antiquity. His name in Old Iranian and Vedic was Mitra (Gk and Lat. Mithras); its earliest appearance is in the text of a 14th- century bce…

Expeditus, Saint

(475 words)

Author(s): Bischof, Franz Xaver | Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. General – II. Significance in the Voodoo Cult – III. Iconography I. General Saint Expeditus was a martyr whose existence and name are questionable. The Martyrologium Hieronymianum m…

Wendland, Paul

(244 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter

History of Religions School

(2,568 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. Results of Research – III. Present Perspectives I. Concept and Hist…

Magical Papyri

(467 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] is the prevalent name given to a collection of Greco-Egyptian magical texts ( PGrM; Magic: II, 2) edited by Karl Preisendanz at the suggestion of Albrecht Dieterich (vol. I, 1928; vol. II, 1931; vol. III, destroyed in 1943 as…

Inner Person

(1,567 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Burkert, Walter | Betz, Hans Dieter | Heesch, Matthias
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Antiquity – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Systematic Theology I. Concept The notion of a “real person” residing within the outer human being is widely attested in ancient literature and became part of a comprehensive system of metaphors by the time of Hellenism at the latest. However, this n…


(196 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (Gk ᾽Ασκληπιός/ Asklēpiós). The religio-philosophical text called Asclepius is ascribed to the Platonist Apuleius but displays affinities with Hermeticism. It is a Latin translation and revision of a Greek original from Egypt, first cited in the 4th century by Lactantius under the title λόγος τέλειος ( lógos téleios, sermo perfectus). The concluding prayer of the Greek original of Asclepius 41 is cited in Papyrus Mimaut (PGM III, 591–609); Coptic fragments are preserved among the Nag Hammadi (Asclepius 41 in Pr. Thanks., NHC VI,7; Asclepius 21–29 in Asclepius, NHC …

Rite and Ritual

(6,139 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Stausberg, Michael | Schwemer, Daniel | Gertz, Jan Christian | Hollender, Elisabeth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The terms The terms rite and ritual are often used synonymously, both in daily speech and in the specialized language of religious studies, leading to a lack of clarity. “Rite” is etymologically related to Sanskrit ṛta, “right, order, truth, custom,” and may thus be regarded as the “smallest” building block of a ritual, which can be defined as a complex series of actions in a (logical) functional relationship. Within a three-level sequence, cult (Cult/Worship : I, 2) must also be taken into cons…

Fuchs, Ernst

(220 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (Jun 11, 1903, Heilbronn – Mar 15, 1983, Langenau near Ulm) studied Protestant theology in Tübingen, Marburg and Bonn, and was Privatdozent in Bonn from 1932. After the revocation of his venia legendi, he officiated as pastor of the Confessing Church in Württemberg from 1933 to 1949. He was again lecturer, then adjunct professor of the New Testament in Tübingen from 1949 to 1955. In 1955, he became professor at the Kirchliche Hochschule in Berlin, followed by an appointment in Marburg from 1961 to 1970. Involved…

Mystery Religions

(3,778 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. | Betz, Hans Dieter | Felmy, Karl Christian | Brüske, Gunda | Stolz, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. The Christian Cult and the Mysteries – III. Art History I. Religious Studies Modern discussion of the Greek mysteries goes back to the material collected by the Dutch scholar Jan de Meurs (1619), which served as the main source for I. Casaubon's argument that the Early Church borrowed but changed some terminology and institutions from the mysteries ( Exercitationes, 1655). The belief that there was a specific religious phenomenon, “the mystery cults of antiquity,” that could be compared directly with the practice…

Transmigration of Souls

(1,282 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Dehn, Ulrich | Dan, Joseph | Schmidtke, Sabine
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Theories of transmigration, which go back to the pre-Socratics of the 6th and 5th centuries bce (Empedocles, Pythagoras, Orphism), presuppose a dualism of body and soul. They hold that a human birth is not a totally new creation but the reincarnation of a pre-existent soul. Repeated incarnations extend not only to human beings of all classes and stations but also to flora and fauna; their purpose is the eschatological purification of the soul from ritual and ethic…

Goodspeed, Edgar Johnson

(230 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (Oct 23, 18731, Quincy, IL – Jan 13, 1961, Los Angeles, CA). Goodspeed was professor of NT at the University of Chicago from 1898 to 1937. He studied Semitic and Greek philology, textual criticism, and paleography at Chicago with William Rainey Harper, E.D. Burton, and Caspar René Gregory. Before taking up his teaching duties, he spent two years (1898–1900) studying i…

Colwell, Ernest Cadman

(140 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (Jan 19, 1901, Hallstead, PA – Sep 24, 1974, Deland, FL), New Testament scholar and university administrator; professor at the University of Chicago 1930–1951 (president 1945–1951), dean of faculties at Emory University, Atlanta, GA 1951–1957, president at the School of Theology at Claremont, CA, 1957–1968. Colwell collaborated with Harold R. Willoughby (1890–1962) on the critical edition of NT manuscripts ( The Four Gospels of Karahissar, 1936; The Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse, 1940). Colwell became known for his contributions to textu…


(2,576 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Frey, Jörg | Marquardt, Manfred | Thiede, Werner | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Religious History 1. Since the dawn of time, human birth has been associated with many religious ideas, rituals, and customs, including the idea of rebirth or regeneration. As a rite of p…

Virtues and Vices, Catalogues of

(1,008 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The formation of catalogues of virtues and vices in the Hellenistic period (Hellenism) during the conceptualization of moral philosophy appears primarily in the sou…


(1,126 words)

Author(s): Hülser, Karlheinz | Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] I. Philosophy While studying in Athens, Plutarch was converted to Platonism by Ammonius. Later he maintained a philosophical school in his home town, where the students read Plato but were exposed to other philosophical schools as well, especially the Stoics and Epicureans (Epicureanism). Plutarch had good contacts with some renowned contemporary philosophers; like many others, he cultivated philosophy as the art of living a life focused on happiness (II). In antiquity more than 260 works were ascribed to him. A good half of them were devoted to p…