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Adam

(3,372 words)

Author(s): Dunn (†), James D.G.
Adam does not feature often in the biblical texts, but the references and allusions to him indicate a figure who provided an explanation of human character and destiny. Paul’s Adam theology and its influence thereafter indicate how important the figure of Adam was in early Christian theology.Adam in Genesis and Other Jewish ScripturesThe most famous passage in the Old Testament is the creation account in Gen 1–3, in which several features become fundamental to early Christian Adam (and Eve) references (Adam and Eve) . Adam is widely used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures in the …
Date: 2021-12-14

Pentecost

(3,256 words)

Author(s): Dunn (†), James D.G.
Luke’s account of the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:1–13) is one of his most famous and influential narratives. When the feast of Pentecost dawned, the disciples were all together (presumably all 120; see Acts 1:15?). Suddenly a sound like a violent wind comes from heaven and fills the whole house where they were sitting (2:2). And “divided tongues, just like fire,” appear to them, one sitting on each of them. They are all “filled with the Holy Spirit” and begin to speak with “other tongues”…
Date: 2021-12-14

Apostle/Disciple

(5,632 words)

Author(s): Dunn (†), James D.G.
Ἀπόστολος is a term not much used in Greek literature, meaning “messenger, ambassador, or envoy,” a natural derivation from the verb ἀποστέλλειν, “to send off” ( Liddell/Scott, s.v). It occurs only once in the Septuagint (3 Kings 14:6) in the sense of “one sent” with a message. Its 80-fold usage in the New Testament would therefore be somewhat surprising to the initial listeners to and readers of the New Testament documents. In the New Testament, the term is predominantly used in the Pauline letters (34) and in Acts (28)…
Date: 2021-12-14

Agraphon

(4,827 words)

Author(s): Dunn (†), James D.G.
Agraphon means “unwritten.” So the reference is to the “unwritten” sayings of Jesus. This should immediately put us in an impossible position. Since all our knowledge of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity depend on what was written down or transcribed, more or less by definition we have no access to, and therefore no knowledge, of unwritten tradition. Consequently, the common definition of Jesus’ agrapha has been sayings attributed to Jesus, which were not recorded in the New Testament Gospels but have been referred to elsewhere in the history of earliest Christianity.The Oral T…
Date: 2021-12-14

Apostolic Fathers

(4,924 words)

Author(s): Dunn (†), James D.G.
“Apostolic Fathers” is the name given to the Christian writings that have been preserved from the early decades of the 2nd century CE, regarded and revered as associates or disciples of the apostles to whom the New Testament writings themselves were attributed. The most famous study of the texts involved has been by J.B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, part I: S. Clement of Rome, 1890, 2 vols., and part II: S. Ignatius, S. Polycarp,1885, 3 vols. The collection was first made in 1672 by J.B. Cotelier (details in Lightfoot, 1890, vol. I, 3).Some of the texts were sometimes bound up with t…
Date: 2021-12-14