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(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…

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 Ancient History and his Conversion (1933) and St. Paul (1936). As a historian, he devoted his attention to inscriptions, papyri,…

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 …


(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…


(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 p…


(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, where it means “a messenger's pay”; later it sometimes means “message.” The verb εὐαγγελίζεσθαι/ euangelízesthai (since Aristophanes) refers to the bringing of good news, for example, reports of victory. The idiom εὐαγγέλια θύειν / euangelia thýein means “offer thankofferings for good news.” Both the noun and the verb can also refer to bad news. The words are rare outside biblical and …