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Apostolic Fathers

(4,936 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: 2019-03-25

Adam

(3,721 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 GenesisThe most famous passage is Gen 1–3, in which several features become fundamental to future Adam references – first, the use of the term adam. Adam is widely used throughout the Hebrew scriptures in the sense “humankind, human being” (BDB, adam 2). The same is true in Gen 1–2, where adam is…
Date: 2019-03-25

Apostle/Disciple

(5,633 words)

Author(s): Dunn, James D.G.
Apostolos (ἀπόστολος) is a term not much used in Greek literature, meaning “messenger, ambassador, or envoy,” a natural derivation from the verb apostellein, “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 i…
Date: 2019-03-25

Agraphon

(4,763 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: 2019-03-25

Enthusiasm

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Dunn, James D.G. | Hempelmann, Reinhard
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics I. Greco-Roman Antiquity In the Greek realm, enthusiasm refers to a person's special relationship to a god, as was made apparent to others. The term offers something like an implicit theory for those alterations of behavior and claim that would otherwise be described as ékstasis or manía (see also Ecstasy). Linguistically, the relationship is encompassed within the bounds of “to enter into a person” ( éntheon eínai), to inspire a person ( empnoeín), or to take possession of a person ( katochḗ, katokōchḗ, Lat. posses…

Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

(2,816 words)

Author(s): Lewis, Ioan M. | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Wherever notions of “supernatural” anthropomorphic powers arise, so does the notion of spirit possession. A spirit can enter into a person’s body and sometimes supplant the spirit or soul (considered the same in many cultures) of the host’s body; often the spirit settles in the host’s head or on his or her shoulders. It is then described as being “in the saddle” and “riding” its human means of transportation. If a relationship develops between the spirit and the …

Spirit/Holy Spirit

(8,121 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Philosophy The dogmatic definition of the Holy Spirit as a person within the one divine substance (Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity) presupposes not only a particular philosophical context but also a religio-historical horizon. A formative influence on the conceptualization of the Holy Spirit was exercised by the various anthropomorphic interpretations of elemental anthropological or normative qualities in the context of polytheistic interpretations of …