NT 512B 2

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Information about NT 512B 2

Published on August 7, 2007

Author: Tarzen

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Philemon:  Philemon Authorship. Not in dispute It is one of Paul’s undisputed letters. What is in dispute is the Apostle’s attitude toward the institution of slavery. While early scholars, such as Bartchy, could maintain the institution had benign elements, more research by John Byron (Slavery Metaphors) has pointed out that it was just as brutal and dehumanizing in Roman society as any other. Why does Paul not call on Philemon to free Onesimus? Or, does he call on Philemon to free Onesimus, but in a very subtle manner? Philemon: Setting:  Philemon: Setting IN Colossians, we find the name Onesimus (4:9) and Archippus affiliated with the church at Colossae. Philemon is likely a resident of Colossae. He has been converted by Paul (see 19), probably in connection with Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. Philemon: Setting:  Philemon: Setting Philemon owned a slave, Onesimus, who ran away. We do not know the details. He may have stole some money or property (18-19). He was certainly a problem slave, since he was considered 'Useless' as opposed to the meaning of his name, Onesimus, meaning 'Useful.' Philemon: Setting:  Philemon: Setting Why he ran away is not stated. See J. Byron, Slavery Metaphors on the brutality of Roman Slavery. Although previous scholarship, such as Bartchy in the ABD and Barth and Blanke Letter to Philemon 2000, 9-23, allowed for good and bad masters, and that the institution could be benevolent, this was not the actual case. One must be careful what ones believes from discussion of slavery in literature, and the duties of a master. It is the masters who are writing. Philemon: Setting:  Philemon: Setting Onesimus found Paul, who is in prison (9-10) Three possible locations, Rome, Caesarea and Ephesus. See discussion in deSilva, and reasons for accepting Ephesus as the likely location, which I think is the best possibility. Onesimus is converted by the apostle. Paul would like to retain Onesimus’ service, but feels compelled to return him to Philemon (13-14). Philemon: Setting:  Philemon: Setting Why does Paul feel compelled to return Onesimus? It is possible Roman law did provide for temporary asylum for a fugitive slave (Barth and Blanke, Philemon, 28). In these cases, a slave could return of the slave’s own will, and carry a letter of intercession from a friend (ibid., 31). While the letter could recommend kind treatment, it has no legal force (ibid.). Philemon: Contents and Rhetorical Force:  Philemon: Contents and Rhetorical Force Of all Paul’s letters, Philemon is most like the letters we find in the papyrii. It is short. It is addressed to an individual. It deals with a single problem, the problem of Onesimus. Philemon: Contents:  Philemon: Contents Epistolary prefix (1-3) To Philemon To Apphia, the sister (possibly of Philemon). To Archipus 'our fellow soldier and the church that meets at your house). Exordium (in form of a thanksgiving) (4-7) Hearing of your faith (5) In order the fellowship of our faith may be active in you. For I have much joy. Philemon: Contents:  Philemon: Contents Mediation: Receive Onesimus (8-14) I have boldness to order you (8-9) I exhort you concerning my child, who was born to me in chains, Onesimus (10) I wised to keep him (13) I am not willing to do anything apart from you knowledge (14) Proof: Onesimus’ return (15-20). He was separated in order you should receive him (15) Not as a slave, but more than a slave … a brother (16) Receive him as me (17) I Paul, write with my own hand (19) You owe, even yourself (20) Philemon: contents:  Philemon: contents Exhortio (21-22) Convinced of your obedience Prepare a guest room. Final greetings (23-25). Philemon: Rhetorical force:  Philemon: Rhetorical force Type of letter Stowers points to Philemon as a letter of mediation. Paul intercedes in behalf of Onesimus. Yet, there are dynamics different from usual letter of mediation. Usually, these letters are to individuals. Philemon is addressed not only to Philemon, but to Apphia, Archipus and 'the church at your house.' Philemon is read in public. This places more pressure on Philemon (see N. Peterson, Rediscovering Paul) Philemon: Dynamics:  Philemon: Dynamics Letter is addressed to a church, which means it will be read in the assembly. Paul uses situation to assert authority over Philemon, but subtly. He could order Philemon to obey, but will not (8). Paul emphasizes his position as an apostle. He has full boldness, literally 'freedom of speech,' 'the freedom of a citizen in the assembly' to order Philemon (note irony). He has authority as an apostle, made plain in next verse. Philemon: Dynamics:  Philemon: Dynamics Paul describes himself as an 'ambassador,' 'elder,' or 'old man' (9) The term can mean any of these. From 2 Cor 5:20 and Eph 6:20, the verbal form is used, demonstrating we may have a title as well as description, Paul makes full reference to his authority (Bart and Blanke, Philemon, 323). Yet, rather than order Philemon, Paul expects him to respond out of love. Philemon: Dynamics:  Philemon: Dynamics In 16, Paul exhorts Philemon to receive Onesimus, not as a slave, but as a brother. Consider the setting. Letter is being read in community, possibly in your house. As a prominent member, your honor is at stake. You are being exhorted, kindly, but still exhorted, by Paul, who makes plain his authority in Christ. What are your options? Philemon: Dynamics:  Philemon: Dynamics Paul further expresses authority In 18-19, calls on Philemon to charge Paul’s account for anything owed. At the same time, notice Paul’s own not so subtle reference to what Philemon owes. Who is master? Note: Paul’s use of authority and the shame that Philemon would suffer if he does not respond. Philemon: Dynamics:  Philemon: Dynamics Finally, Paul asserts that he fully convinced Philemon will obey (21). Again, in a public setting, what are Philemon’s choices? Again, if that is not enough, in 22, Paul calls on Philemon to prepare a guest room. Paul intends to visit Colossae after his imprisonment. It is not enough to put social pressure on Philemon. Paul expects to be released, and he will visit Philemon (from Ephesus?) The statement gives Philemon no choice but to obey. Philemon: Conclusions:  Philemon: Conclusions Why does Paul not call on Philemon to free Onesimus. This is a difficulty for us today. Was it because Paul does not feel he has the authority? But see 8-9. Was it because of his eschatological understanding that does not ultimately regard slavery as an impossible burden, but sees freedom as preferable (see 1 Cor 7:21-24)? Philemon: Conclusions:  Philemon: Conclusions Nevertheless, Paul’s letter to Philemon exceeds constraints of the normal intercessory letter. Not demanding obedience, Paul’s rhetoric is a masterful display of the expectation of obedience. The demands are that Philemon no longer regard Onesimus as a slave. Philemon will be pressured by the community to obey. Philemon: Conclusions:  Philemon: Conclusions While we cannot be sure that Paul was calling on Philemon to free Onisemus, the implications are clear. No one, especially fellow believers, are to be considered 'objects.' Fellow believers are to be valued as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Attempts to objectify people, and believers in particular is to be rejected. Philemon: Conclusions:  Philemon: Conclusions While in the Western world we do not think of slavery as a reality, it is in other parts of the world, and is to be rejected and fought. As is any other form of dehumanization. Wage slavery. Those whose wages are withheld (see Jas. 5:1-5) Hebrews and General (“Catholic) Epistles:  Hebrews and General ('Catholic) Epistles Status of the so-called General or 'Catholic' Epistles is not the same in the history of the church as are the letters of Paul. While modern scholarship debates the authorship of some Pauline letters, they were not rejected in the ancient church. With the exception of 1 Peter and 1 John, this is not the case of the general letters. All the others were debated. Yet, each gives important witness to what it means to live the Christian life, especially as 'strangers and aliens' (1 Pet 2:11) in a hostile world. Hebrews:  Hebrews Hebrews presents important themes. Need to endure and remain faithful and grateful to God, who sent his own son, who paid a high price, his own blood (2:17-18), to become a 'High Priest (5:10, ch. 7; 12:1-2) of the new covenant (ch. 8, 10:18-18). So, Christ is superior to the angels (Heb 1-2), and the old covenant (Heb 3, 8) So, believers should not slide back into their former way of life, but continue to endure hostility (10:32-39), and press on to 'perfection' (5:11-6:4). Hebrews: Canonical Status:  Hebrews: Canonical Status In the West Missing from the Muratorian Canon (late 2nd century) Missing from the Canonical index of Africa (ca. 360) Is included by Hilary of Poitiers, who considered it Pauline. Is generally slow to gain acceptance in the West. Why? Is it due to memory? If written from Italy (13:24) is there the memory that Paul did not write Hebrews? This hypothesis makes slow acceptance in the West understandable. Hebrews: Canonical Status:  Hebrews: Canonical Status In the East Hebrews receives its first canonical attestation. Pantaneus held Hebrews was written by Paul, but because of humility he does not give a superscription (Eusebius HE 6.14.4) This view is adopted by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. Origen quotes Hebrews some 200 times, although toward the end of his life he expresses doubts about Pauline authorship. It is accepted in Athanasius’ canon of 367. Hebrews: Canonical Status:  Hebrews: Canonical Status Reconciliation With the influence of Greek theological literature in the West, Greek traditions gain influence, including influence on Jerome. Jerome’s influence. Jerome is credited with bringing Eastern and Western canons together, since Pope Damasus acceded to Jerome’s judgment on canonical issues. Athanasius’ canon accepted. Some uncertainty remains. By fifth century, NT canon fixed, and contains Hebrews as part of a compromise: West accepts Hebrews, East accepts Revelation. Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy:  Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy A letter? Lacks epistolary prefix. It resembles a sermon more than a letter. Were it not for epistolary postscript (13:18-25), it would not likely have been considered a letter. Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy:  Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy A 'Word of exhortation' (13:22) As a 'word of exhortation,' Hebrews utilizes epideictic rhetoric This feature is found in the 'faith chapter,' Heb. 11. Also found in Heb. 1-2, where readers are pointed to Christ’s supremacy. Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy:  Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy The author also uses deliberative rhetoric It is expedient to hold onto their confession, as we see in Heb. 10. There is also a certain type of behavior that is expedient, including the behavior of Jesus himself (5:8-9; 12:-13) Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy:  Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy In fact: epideictic and deliberative elements are found together. Use of the Hortatory 'Let us press on sections' can be seen as deliberative, for the reader is called to follow a path that is expedient. Hebrews also uses epideictic language, the language of praise and blame (see 10:32-39), in combination. In fact, the two are often used together in speeches and letters, and interact very closely in Hebrews. Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy:  Hebrews: Rhetorical Strategy Rhetorical Devices. Minori ad maius, known by the rabbis as qal wahomer: an argument from lesser to greater. What applies to the lesser applies to the greater: see 7:20-22. Rhythm, where sentences begin or end with repeated clauses or balance (11:33-37). Quasi poetic passages (1:3; 4:12-13; 7:1-3, 26-28). Alternation between exposition and exhortation (4:1, 11, 14, 15; 6:1; 10:22-24; 12:1; 13:13, 15. Alliteration, or the repetition of initial consonants (1:1; 2:1-4; 4:16). Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes These themes are often thought to make Pauline authorship impossible. See deSilva. Christ as high Priest according to the order of Melchizedek (5:10; ch. 7) This theme is never found in Paul. Similarly, the role of the sacrificial system has no parallel in Paul. Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Christology. Hebrews has the highest and most exalted Christology in the NT, with the exception of Revelation and the Gospel of John. One point is that Christ is superior to: Angels. Beginning in 1:1, contrast between way God spoke in past and at present. In present, God speaks through a Son, who is superior to angels. See 1:5, quoting Ps. 2:7 LXX . The quotation, originally applied to the king, is applied to Christ, who is superior to angels. Hebrews: Major themes:  Hebrews: Major themes Christ superior to the Mosaic law. Christ is superior to Moses (3:1-19) He is superior as son over the house, as builder of the house is superior to the house (3:2-3). Moses was faithful as a servant (3:5). Christ is superior as a Son. Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Christ is superior to the Aaronic priesthood. If previous priesthood was perfect, there would not be need for a new one. Yet, God promises a new priesthood (Heb 5;5-6, 9-10). This priesthood is not according to old order of Aaron (7:11-19). It is a new type, according to the order of Melchizedek (see Ps. 110:4; cf. Gen 14:17-20). The author uses the Melchizedek story (Heb 7), which describes Abraham being blessed by Melchizedek, to state that sons of Levi are subordinate to this mysterious figure, who is without genealogy. This logic uses rabbinic method, what is not mentioned in scripture does not exist. Hebrews: Major Themes.:  Hebrews: Major Themes. Need to remain faithful to the God who has bought us. Impossibility of restoring those who abandoned the faith (6:4-8; 10:26-31). Reminder of former endurance (10:32-39). Evidence from the past, the praise of the faithful in Heb. 11 (see Ben Sirach 44-50, the 'Hymn to Famous Men). Evidence from the example of Christ (5:8-9; 12:1-2). Negative evidence of faithlessness from the example of Esau (12:16-17). Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Reason to be faithful is because Christ is: Pioneer and perfector of our faith (12:2) The one who learned obedience through suffering (5:8-9) The perfect high priest, who was tempted as we are (2:18), yet was obedient, and presents himself as a superior sacrifice (2:16), as opposed to previous imperfect sacrifices (10:1-4) Hebrews: Major themes:  Hebrews: Major themes So, believers are to press on to 'perfection' or 'completeness,’ the Greek root: tel. No author uses this root as often as does Hebrews. Significance It refers to someone adequate for a task, as the example of Moses an Aaron in Philo, or the person lacking harmful emotion in Stoicism. In Wisdom of Solomon, it refers to the righteous person In 4 Macc. The death of Eleazar and the seven brothers, using stoic language. In Hebrews, the idea is subtle. Hebrews: Major themes:  Hebrews: Major themes Perfection or completeness It is not merely the cultic installation of Jesus as High Priest. It is also the vocational preparation of Christ for his office Christ learns 'perfection' through suffering (5:8) and is for that reason the merciful and 'perfect' intercessor. Perfection is the preparation of Jesus for the role of High Priest. Believers are also to press on to perfection, but not as result of their own moral accomplishments, but through moral obedience. Thus, the example of Christ is held before their eyes. Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Eschatology Two ages In past, God gave the law and Aaronic priesthood. These made nothing 'perfect' (see 10:1-4). Thus, a new priesthood is necessary, according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Eschatology: High Priesthood. We now have a High Priest, not of the order of Aaron, but of Melchizedek. This view is consistent with other Christian writings, which understand a distinct contrast between the two ages, and places the author of Hebrews within this tradition (see B. Lindars, Theology of the Letter to the Hebrews, 30). Hebrews: Major Themes:  Hebrews: Major Themes Eschatology: Christ’s High Priesthood. In Hebrews’ eschatological understanding, the author sees not only temporal fulfillment, but the understanding of a heavenly fulfillment corresponding to earthly institutions. The author sees Christ as part of the fulfillment of Israel’s history, which occurs 'now' (6:4). The author sees correspondence between earthly and heavenly, as seen not only in concept of Jesus as High Priest, but also of a Sabbath 'rest' (3:7-11; 4:9), fulfilling the function of a heavenly reality corresponding to an earthly one, or to a promise to Israel. James: Canonical Status.:  James: Canonical Status. Few books have had their canonical status as questioned as James. This observation is especially true for Protestants. On the basis of Jas. 2:24, Luther concluded that James is an 'epistle of straw,' that contradicted Paul. There is no Gospel content in it. Luther, therefore, rejected James. James: Canonical status.:  James: Canonical status. Concern about James precedes Luther. Like Hebrews, it is not mentioned in the Muratorian Canon. Eusebius lists it as one of the antilegoumena, the disputed books (HE 3.25.3). Origen knows the book, but he probably became acquainted with it after he left Alexandria to live in Caesarea. James: Canonical Status:  James: Canonical Status In Athanasius’ 39th Festal letter, he accepts James as part of Canon. James’s status remains disputed. Theodore of Mopsusetia (d. 498) is said to have rejected it. It is missing from the canon of Cyprian of Carthage. Jerome includes it in the Vulgate, but accepts it only reluctantly. James: Canonical Status:  James: Canonical Status In the Reformation. Rejected by Luther. Accepted by Calvin. He thought James unlike Acts of Peter or Apocalypse of Peter or Letter of Barnabas, should be included in the canon on the basis of 'intrinsic worth.' That is, James bears witness to the message of Christ, and is important in the life of the church. James: Possible Background.:  James: Possible Background. Probably Jewish Christian, perhaps Palestinian in origin. 1:1, address Jewish Christian community. Note two terms or phrases First, letter is addressed to the 'twelve tribes,' a specifically Jewish form of address. Second, the author refers to the 'Diaspora,' the Jewish dispersion. We see here familiarity with Jewish language. The address to the 'Diaspora' may also be a reference to Palestinian origin. James: Possible Background.:  James: Possible Background. In 2:2, the Christian assembly is not referred to as the 'church' (ekklesia), but as a 'synagogue.' Again, the reference is to the Jewish synagogue. It is sometimes deduced that the use of the term means the author is either at home in the Jewish synagogue, or that the writer belongs to a community that still utilizes traditional Jewish language to refer to its assemblies. James: Possible Background.:  James: Possible Background. The sins of the rich (5:4) who withhold wages from those mowing fields. The language presupposes a rural, Palestinian environment, as opposed to an urban based Christianity, as in Paul. See also 4:4,quoting Isa 5:9, 'Lord Sabaoth,’ rather than translating it as 'Lord of Hosts,' again demonstrating a possible Jewish environment. James: Possible Background:  James: Possible Background Despite Palestinian and rural language, the author seems to have some familiarity with Pauline writings and traditions. See 2:14-26. Reference to Abraham and Rahab in 2:20-26. Author draws conclusions precisely opposite of Paul (Rom 4) and Hebrews (Heb 11). States that these examples prove that one is justified on basis of works and not just 'faith alone' (2:24, only time phrase is used in the NT). James: Possible Background:  James: Possible Background Is James simply opposed to Paul? In Rom 6, Paul opposes position that one may 'sin that grace may abound.' In Phil 2:12-13, Paul says to work out our own salvation. James: Possible Background:  James: Possible Background James is more opposed to a Paulinism. If this is the case, it is assumed the letter is written near the end of the 1st century. If written this late, it is a pseudonymous composition of late 1st century Palestinian Christianity. This observation is said to explain both the Palestinian milieu, as well as the letter’s excellent Greek. But, see Acts 21:18-25, where James calls on Paul to pay expenses of a vow. Could reports of Paulinism have reached the historical James? Could James have used a secretary? Conclusive evidence is lacking James: Rhetorical Strategy:  James: Rhetorical Strategy Paraenetic Wisdom As paraenesis, the outline of James is hard to follow. It seems to move from subject to subject. Yet, criticism of the book, that it lacks an overall outline, as in Dibelius-Greeven (James, Hermeneia) are not fair. There is an over all structure. Basically, issues that are introduced early, especially in Jas. 1, are developed as the letter progresses. For more detail, see discussion in deSilva. James: Rhetorical Strategy:  James: Rhetorical Strategy As paraenetic wisdom, standard devices are employed. Exhortations are traditional in character. They are expressed in imperative mood. They are concerned with how to live a virtuous life (see 1:19; 3:1-8; 4:3-4). It points to heroic examples (such as Jesus, Abraham, Rahab, and Elijah, see 5:17 for last example). James: Rhetorical Strategy:  James: Rhetorical Strategy Standard devices. The paraenetic wisdom has a specific purpose It reinforces either the values of the dominant culture in times of crisis, or, It can challenge the norms by establishing the norms of a marginal group. The latter is at work in James See also 1 Pet 2:11 for similar phenomenon in 1 Peter. James: Rhetorical Strategy:  James: Rhetorical Strategy In addition to paraenetic motifs, there are also wisdom themes. James is concerned with what it means to live the virtuous life, something also found in Stoic and Cynic philosophy. James is also profoundly biblical. Living an ethical life is based on a believer’s faith in God. Lack of faith imperils the believer’s relationship with God. James: Rhetorical Structure:  James: Rhetorical Structure Affinities with wisdom tradition are demonstrated in that: Jas 4:6, quotes Prov 3:34. Jas 1:19 has affinity with Ben Sir 5:1; Prov 10:19; 17:27. Jas. 1:27 sounds similar to Ben Sir 4:10; 7:35; Job 31:16-21, References to Job in 5:11. James: Major Themes:  James: Major Themes Rich and Poor: See 2:1-6. Group work: Break into groups, and prepare short presentation to class: Two people come into your church. One is homeless One is either a prominent business person or banker. What would really happen in the church. How would the members really treat the two. What does James have to say to us? James: Major Themes:  James: Major Themes Rich and poor As paraenetic wisdom, James has a timeless dimension. The language deals with the concerns of all people Thus, there is a certain universality in James, as in Proverbs. We are prevented in being judgmental toward the heartless actions described by James, because it describes us as well. James: Major Concerns:  James: Major Concerns Rich and Poor See 4:13-5:6 How often do Christian organizations withhold pay because someone is doing 'service to the Lord'? What does James say to us about this behavior? James Major Concerns:  James Major Concerns Faith and works When we consider this theme, we usually focus on 2:14-26, with the rejection of the formula 'faith alone' (2:24). Also, 1:22-27, need to not only hear the law, but do it. In 3:1-12, also mention of the importance of faith and works in relation to sins of the 'tongue.' In James, faith that does not correspond to lifestyle is worthless. Does this contradict Paul? James: Major Themes:  James: Major Themes Eschatology and judgment Eschatology is not a major emphasis in James, as in other NT writings. Yet, there are eschatological allusions. In 1:2-4, theme of eschatological trial. 5:9-20 provides a direct allusion to the final judgment. 2:12-13; 4:11-12 provide implicit references. In 2:12-13 judgment is described in terms of the law. In 4:11-12, warning against judging other Christians is described in terms that judgment is God’s work alone (see Mt. 7:1). James: Major Themes:  James: Major Themes Eschatology Eschatology is further implied in 4:13-17. This passage is more than the normal observation about the transitory nature of life. One reason you cannot be certain about your life is that in a year’s time, the Lord may return, as implied in 5:7. 1 Peter: Canonical Status:  1 Peter: Canonical Status Again 1 Peter is not mentioned in the Muratorian Canon. Yet, by time of Eusebius, 1 Peter is one of the homologoumena, one of the universally acknowledged documents of the NT (HE 3.3.4) This universal recognition makes the absence in the Muratorian Canon more surprising. Why is it missing from the Muratorian Canon? 1 Peter: Authorship:  1 Peter: Authorship Traditionally, written by Peter, the Apostle. Challenges, especially in 19th century, include: Fact 1 Peter is written in very good Greek. Could a Galilean fisherman have written that well. The use of the LXX rather than Aramaic or Hebrew forms of the OT. Situation implies a time later than life of Peter. Development of household codes and reflection of what it means to be 'strangers and aliens' (2:11) in Rome. Reflection of Pauline theology also said to represent time after the life of Peter. 1 Peter: Authorship:  1 Peter: Authorship Defenses of Peterine authorship include: Peter used an anmuensis, or secretary who had great freedom. Reference to Silvanus (5:12) is said to confirm this conclusion. Could this be the Silas who accompanied Paul in Acts 16? Could this be the same person mentioned in 1 Thess 1:1 and 2 Thess 1:1? 1 Peter: Authorship:  1 Peter: Authorship While some point to 'through Silvanus in 5:12 as indication that he was the amnuensis of the letter, it is doubtful that the simple 'through' will bear this conclusion. More likely it indicates that Silvanus was the one who bore the letter (J. R. Michaels, 1 Peter, WBC, 1988, 306, See J. H. Elliot, 1 Peter AB 2000, 871-74. 1 Peter: Authorship:  1 Peter: Authorship Letter could be an official communication. Then it is addressed to churches at the fringe of the Roman Empire It makes known Peter’s ideas. This 'defense,' however, is not so different from the conclusions of those who deny Peterine authorship. 1 Peter: Authorship:  1 Peter: Authorship Conclusions. Letter traces its heritage back to Peter. Thus, it reflects the traditions that have an origin, ultimately, in the famous apostle. 1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy:  1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy Purpose of letter is to reinforce faith of readers/hearers. They are experiencing persecution. The exordium (1:6-7) states purpose of testing. It refines faith. It prepares believers for ultimate hope found in the 'praise and glory and honor in the revelation of Jesus Christ.' It is the author’s hope that the readers be found faithful to Christ at the Lord’s return. 1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy:  1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy Believers are conduct themselves as 'strangers and aliens' The phrase shows they are not to rely on those things valued by Roman society as providing security, wealth, status, etc. Rather, they are to live in a manner that demonstrates they are not this world, by virtue of their behavior they will put accusers to shame (2:12), by suffering innocently because of the name 'Christian.' 1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy:  1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy Suffering as Christians In time of Trajan, Pliny the Younger would write about the trials of Christians (10.96-97). He finds Christians vow not to commit crimes, theft, or adultery, but to conduct themselves honorably. Their crime is not in being politically dangerous, but adherence to 'a perverse and immoderate superstition' that causes people to abandon traditional religion (see P. J. Achtemeier, 1 Peter Hermeneia, 1996, 32). 1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy:  1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy To accomplish goal, 1 Peter employs: Judicial elements There is the denial of accusations against Christians (3:15-16; 4:15-16). The charges are invalid. Yet, the letter is not a defense. 1 Peter: Rhetorical strategy.:  1 Peter: Rhetorical strategy. Epideictic elements The carefully crafted exordium (1:3-12) catches the reader’s attention. Also, the carefully crafted epilogue (5:6-11) is another feature of epideictic rhetoric. Yet, the letter lacks the flourish normally associated with epideictic rhetoric. 1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy:  1 Peter: Rhetorical Strategy 1 Peter contains several exhortations. Obedience to governing authorities (2:13-17). Slaves are to obey masters (2:18-25) Wives are to obey husbands (3:1-7). These features are used in deliberative speech to persuade readers. Like James, 1 Peter is a hortatory letter. Unlike James, it does not consist in 'disjointed' paraenesis. Rather, it is a complex hortatory letter, similar to several of Paul’s letters, see especially Philippians (Stowers, 97). 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Imitation of Christ’s sufferings It is the NT document where Christology is most closely tied to Isa 53 (see 2:21-25) Morna Hooker, in her classic analysis of the theme of the Servant in the NT (Jesus and the Servant, 1959, 125) notes there are five phrases in 1 Peter 2:21-25 associated with Isa 53 (LXX) including: 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Imitation of Christ’s sufferings: 2:21-25 compared Isa 53 LXX. 'Who did not sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth' (1 Pet 2:22, cf. Isa 53:9) 'He himself bore our sins (1 Pet 2:24, cf. Isa 53:12). By his wounds you are healed (1 Pet 2:24, cf. Isa 53:5). 'for you were wandering as sheep' (1 Pet 2:25; cf. Isa 53:6). Conclusion: Christ’s passion is interpreted in light of Isa 53 in 1 Pet. 2. 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Suffering is sharing the vocation of Christ (2:18-25; 3:8-19; 4:12-19). Believers are to see suffering as bearing the reproach of Christ. They are to suffer as Christians, which is an honor (4:16). Through faithful obedience in the midst of suffering, like wives who can bear witness to their husbands 'without a word' (3:1), Christians bear witness by their good conduct to the truth of their confession. 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes What do these statements mean? In 2:18-25, we see a reminder to Christian slaves who endure unjust hardship of the example of Christ. In 3:8-22, the language is similar to Mt. 5, especially in 3:9, not to return evil for evil. Is this advice to the fellow church member? 3:8 seems to imply this (see 1 Cor. 6:1-11, the sin of taking fellow believers to court). Or, do we see something similar to Rom 12:10-16, love for one’s neighbors including unbelievers. 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Conclusions on suffering in 1 Peter Christians are to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their confession. Suffering is a very real possibility despite, or more likely, because of religious behavior. 1 Peter is likely addressed to the powerless, who have no other means of addressing the real evils of their superiors than their witness in the midst of suffering (see also example of Epictetus to his cruel master). 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Believers are 'strangers and aliens' in the world (2:11). To be strangers and aliens. In part, it is a reference to spiritual status. Also addresses real insecurity that Christians face in their social situation. They cannot rely on legal redress for grievances. They live as those without status in the world, especially vulnerable in the status conscious, patronage society, of 1st century Rome. As in Heb 4 or 1 Cor. 10, the imagery of the patriarchs, who wandered without a home, is applied to the Christian life (see 4:1-6). 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Use of Household tables. Again, encounter language that is now among the most controversial aspects of 1 Peter. Language of household tables is conventional, but why is it used. Language of the household tables is that of Stoicism and Platonism, that encourages household order, and applied to the order imposed by Rome. Yet, it is employed by 1 Peter in light of 1:6, quoting Leviticus, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' 1 Peter: Major Themes:  1 Peter: Major Themes Use of Household Tables The issue may be less of social conformity than to the call of a holy people to be a missionary movement (see D. Balch, Let Wives be Submissive). The writer recognizes believers will suffer unfairly His advice occurs within a social context. That context requires a positive witness, and the recognition that suffering is temporary in the light of hope in a glorious future in Christ (1:3-21). That hope sets the agenda for what follows. What does that mean for us? For Next Time:  For Next Time Compare 1 Jn 1 with John 1:1-18. What is similar? What is different? Compare 1 Jn 2:2 with Jn 15:16-21; 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:5-7. Who is the Advocate in John? In 1 Jn 2:2? Who are being addressed in 1 Jn 2:12-14? What is represented by the terms? What is the warning of 1 Jn 2:15-17? What does this mean to us? Who are the antichrists of 1 Jn 2:18-21? What characterizes believers in 1 Jn. 3? In 3 John, who are: Gaius, Diotrophes, Demetrius? Read Rev. 1:9-20; 4-5; 19:11-21. Who is revealed? How is this figure described? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the churches of Rev. 2-3 How is Rome described in Rev. 13, 17-18. 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude Canonical status and authorship Of all documents discussed up to this point, few have a more checkered history of canonical acceptance than 2 Peter and Jude. 1 Jude 14 quotes 1 Enoch 1:9. 2 Peter’s Greek is very different from 1 Peter. This fact noted in ancient times. It led several church fathers to question Peterine authorship. Both 2 Peter and Jude are included among the antilegoumena in Eusebius (HE) 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude Other peculiarities 2 Peter 2:1-3:3 follows argument of Jude 4-18 very closely, using some of the same terms, such as 'clouds without water.' Both 2 Peter 2 and Jude address false teachers. 2 Peter is often thought later than Jude because the author omits references to Enoch and the Assumption of Moses. 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude Language of 2 Peter among the most Hellenistic of the N T. Especially in use of terms such as 'virtue' (arete) and 'self control' (engcrateia) and 'godliness' (eusebeia). Concentrated use of Hellenistic terms in 2 Peter 1:5-7, that are rare in the NT but found in later writers lends credence to this observation. Language of 2 Peter 1:5-7 resembles list known as a 'sortie,' a climaxing structure (see Wisd. of Sol 6:16-20). 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude 2 Peter 1:16-21 also reminiscent of a type of Jewish Hellenistic literature known as a 'Testament,' such as Testament of Abraham, Testament of Job, Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. There are other elements of a last testament in 1:12-15. 1:14 'Putting of my tent,' i.e. death. Desire ('zeal') to make memory of those things, a common testamental theme. 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude 2 Peter 3:15-16 contains what a appears to be a canonization formula People who distort Paul’s teachings misuse the 'other scriptures.' Writings of Paul appear to have canonical status. Most authors, including deSilva, conclude 2 Peter not written by the Apostle Peter. 2 Peter and Jude.:  2 Peter and Jude. Jude, because of its similarity to 2 Peter often considered to be written at similar date, although use of 1 Enoch and Assumption of Moses may mean that the author belonged to a group that revered those writings, or that it was written before Christians universally adopted the LXX. 2 Peter and Jude:  2 Peter and Jude Jude’s concern: Contend for the 'faith once delivered to the saints' This phrase is one that appears to have more in common with 2nd or 3rd generation writer than 1st generation. Most scholars assume Jude, with 2 Peter, are among the latest writings of the NT. Major Themes of 2 Peter:  Major Themes of 2 Peter 2 Peter 1 establishes focus of 2 Peter Author writes in Peter’s name, describing the situation at the time of the apostle’s death. 2 Peter provides a final testament to the readers/hearers. The testament is verified by the fact that the believers do not 'follow cleverly devised myths.' Rather by pointing to events of the Gospels, particularly the Transfiguration, the author points to the veracity of his assertion about the reliability of apostolic tradition. Major Themes of 2 Peter:  Major Themes of 2 Peter 2 Peter 2:1-3:3 warns against false teachers. 1st generation of Christians has died. Can later believers hold on to hope. Some come and deny promise of Christ’s return (3:1-3). Denial has negative affect on theology and morals. 2 Peter is quick to employ teachings of Hellenistic virtue (1:5-7) with a reaffirmation of the hope of Christ’s return to establish continued need for piety (eusebeia) Major Themes of 2 Peter:  Major Themes of 2 Peter Concern, like that of Jude, is for later generations to retain faith of the apostles. In 2 Peter, a unique twist, the canonization formula of 3:15-16. False teachers misuse Paul There is apostolic tradition, exemplified by the author of 2 Peter, that uses Paul correctly. Major Themes of Jude:  Major Themes of Jude Warning that false teachers have crept in and disrupted the life to the church. Evidence of these false teachers is their behavior. They deny the Lord They are scoffers Their behavior proves they are corrupted. See 10-13. Claim to be spiritual, but are physical. Follow way of Cain Cause disruption Doctrine confirmed by lifestyle. Conclusions about 2 Peter and Jude:  Conclusions about 2 Peter and Jude Do we take the writer’s warnings seriously? Are we willing to back up confession with lifestyle? There is no room for 'cheap grace' in 2 Peter and Jude. In both, truth of confession is backed up but godliness Johannine Epistles. :  Johannine Epistles. Canonical History With 1 Peter, 1 John is one of the earliest of the 'catholic letters' included in the incipient NT canon. The Didache (ca 90-120) 10:5 and 1 John share theme of the church being perfected in love 10:6 reflects 1 Jn 2:17, the world passing away. Ignatius of Antioch ( 110-115) IEph 11:1 reflects 1 Jn 2:18 IEph 15:3 reflects 1 Jn 5:3. Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History Shepherd of Hermas: Mandate 3:1, 'The Lord is truthful in every word and in him there is no lie (cf. 1 Jn 2:27). Mandate 12.3.5 'You will easily observe the commandments, for they are not hard' (cf. 1 Jn. 5:3). Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History 1-2 John Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, ca. 180-200. In AH 1uotes 2 Jn 11 (1.16.3). Quotes 2 Jn 7-8 and 1 Jn 2:18-19, 21, 22, anf 4:1-2; 5:1 in AH 3.18.8. Clement of Alexandria Of the general epistles, only quotes from 1 Peter, Jude and 1 John, which he refers to as the 'greater' letter of John. The title 'greater letter' seems to indicate that he knows of a 'lesser' letter, usually thought to be 2 John. Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History Muratorian Fragment. Mentions 'The Epistle of Jude and the aforementioned two epistles of John' It appears the Muratorian canon knows only 1 and 2 John. Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History 3 John In Latin Tradition Both 1-2 John are acknowledged relatively early. The same is not the case for 3 John. In the Greek Church, Eusebius mentions 1 John among the homolegoumena, the recognized books. Both 2-3 John are among the antilegoumena, the disputed books. Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History Conclusions. 1 John is adopted rather early 2-3 John are questioned 2-3 John are considered apostolic by some churches. The letters identify their author as the 'Elder.' They are shorter, and bear characteristics that seem to differ from both the Gospel of John and 1 John This observation applies especially to 1 John. Johannine Epistles: Canonical History:  Johannine Epistles: Canonical History Later attestation. In 367, Athanasius in his Paschal letter defines the books of the canon, including 1-3 John. In 405, Pope Innocent I makes the Athanasian canon standard. In the Syriac church, however, in the 5th century, only James, 1 Peter and 1 John among the general epistles are accepted in the canon. 2 Peter, 2-3 John and Jude are excluded. As is the Apocalypse of John. Johannine Letters: Authorship.:  Johannine Letters: Authorship. Relationship with Gospel of John Attributed, with Gospel, to John, son of Zebedee by tradition. Tradition recorded in EH 3.2.1-3. John, Apostle and Evangelist returned from banishment under Domitian He wrote Gospel and letters in Ephesus, and died in the time of the emperor Nerva. Epistles of John: Authorship:  Epistles of John: Authorship Questions about the traditional authorship. Traditional ascription assumes that the 'Beloved Disciple' of John’s Gospel is John, son of Zebedee, and is author of the epistles. Yet, questions arise from a close reading of John’s Gospel. 'Beloved Disciple' appears to be a resident of Jerusalem, not Galilee. In Jn. 21:22-23, is questionable that the 'Beloved Disciple' was alive at time of final edition of Gospel. In Jn. 18:15-16, the 'other disciple' (another phrase for the 'Beloved Disciple' is known to the High Priest. Epistles of John: Authorship:  Epistles of John: Authorship Geography of John: John focuses on Jerusalem ministry, with only a few incidents in Galilee. Why would a Galilean companion of Jesus neglect Jesus’ Galilean ministry? This phenomenon makes sense for a follower of Jesus who is from Jerusalem. Epistles of John: Authorship:  Epistles of John: Authorship Results Johannine community traces its roots to an original follower of Jesus. This unnamed follower was close to Jesus, but likely not one of the Twelve. The community had its origins in Jerusalem, and left some time around the time of the Jewish revolt, likely relocating to Syria. The close connection with Jesus, and designation 'the Beloved Disciple' eventually got confused, and this figure was seen as John the son of Zebedee, perhaps because of the influence of the Apocalypse, written by a Christian prophet named 'John.' Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel:  Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel Where Johannine letters and Gospel of John written by the same person? If letters were written after the Gospel, are likely written by different people. Vocabulary. 'Advocate' 1 Jn 2:2 means Jesu, in Gospel (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) it refers to the Holy Spirit. Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel:  Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel Vocabulary Verb, 'to believe' found 9 times in epistles, noun, 'belief' found once. Words are used differently than in the Gospel. In Gospel, idea is trust in God and in Jesus. In 1 Jn 3:23, that we should believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another' i.e. remain members of the community and share a common confession. 4:1, readers exhorted not to 'believe every spirit.' 5:1,5, confessional aspect further emphasized. Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel:  Johannine Epistles: Relationship to the Gospel Vocabulary Verb 'to remain used differently in 1 Jn. In Gospel, one 'remains' in Jesus or God. In 1 Jn, especially 1 Jn 5, one 'remains in' the teaching of the Johannine community. Results. Same words are used, but seem to mean different things. Slight differences may mean a common community, but different author. For different conclusion, see M. Hengel, The Johannine Question, who decides works are from the same hand. History of Johannine Community:  History of Johannine Community The following discussion based on the work of R.E. Brown, Community of the Beloved Disciple as well as his commentaries on John and the Johannine Epistles. Not all scholars agree. For example, Strecker conjectures that the epistles were written before the Gospel. But Brown’s views have been highly influential. History of the Johannine Community.:  History of the Johannine Community. First phase, 50’s to 80’s Originally group from Palestine, including followers of John the Baptist, and including the 'Beloved Disciple' come to regard Jesus as the Davidic Messiah. This group is joined by second group with anti-temple bias, who regard Jesus as the Mosaic Messiah (see the messianic speculation of the Qumran community) History of the Johannine Community:  History of the Johannine Community Phase 2, the original group joined by Gentile Christians. They regard majority of Jews, who do not acknowledge Jesus as Messiah as 'blind' (see Jn 9). Christians should not belong to world, Satan’s arena A follower of the 'Beloved Disciple' writes the Gospel of John. The community experiences a split. History of the Johannine Community:  History of the Johannine Community In Phase 3, the results of the split. Adherents of the author of the epistles form one group. They focus on faith that Jesus came in the flesh. They focus on love commandment, manifested in not separating from the community. Secessionists are regarded as 'children of the devil.' This group sees Jesus as so Divine that his earthly existence has no salvific importance. Only knowledge of the heavenly Son of God is important for salvation. History of the Johannine Community:  History of the Johannine Community Ultimately the two groups have two different destinies. The community of the author of the epistles joins the great church, and is incorporated into 'Catholic orthodoxy.' A byproduct is the rescue of John’s Gospel for the church. Otherwise, the gospel would have become seen as a Gnostic document (indeed, the first commentator on the Gospel of John was the Valentinian Gnostic, Heraclyon The second group joins emerging 'Gnosticism.' Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes The Gospel heard from the 'beginning' 1:1, this gospel is heard It is seen. It is touched It is nothing less than the gospel the Johannine community proclaims The understanding of 'beginning' here is different from the understanding in Jn 1:1-18. In Jn 1:18 focus is on the beginning of creation. In 1 Jn 1:1-5, focus is the 'beginning' of Christian proclamation. It is the proclamation that God is light, and in God is no darkness. Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes Light vs. Darkness. Light is the characteristic of God (1:4), in whom there is no darkness. It is opposite of sin, being in darkness (1:8). One knows if one is in the 'light' by 'walking' in the light (note Jewish term for way of life, 'walk'). It is accomplished by confessing sin (1:8-2:2) It is manifested in keeping the commandment (2:3-11), the love commandment. If one 'hates' a fellow believer, one is blind (2:11) and guilty of the sin of Cain (3:11-12). Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes Walking in the light 'Walking in the Light' defined by nonconformity with the 'world' (2:15-17) Indeed, world hates those 'walking in the light' (3:13-18). Why does 'world' hate believers' They are not from God (see 4:4-6) Those from God hear and believe proclamation of the Johannine community (see 3:1) Disbelief, and withdrawal from the community means one is not from God. Why unity is so important for our writer. Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes Importance of Unity of Community Remaining in the community is main evidence of 'remaining' in God It is by remaining in the community one 'tests the spirits' (4:1) The test is adherence to the gospel heard, seen and touched (1:1), that Jesus has 'come in the flesh' (4:3). Unity affirmed by those who obey the proclamation of the Johannine community (4:4-6). Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes Unity of the community Unity is further affirmed in the hymnic fragment of 4:710, confession we love God because God first loved us. It is also manifested in actions (3:16-18) Language reminiscent of Jas. 3:16-17. Love is manifested to fellow believers (3:17), not world at large. This point is clarified by warning against 'antichrists' with whom one is not to associate (see 2 Jn). Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes The 'antichrists' 1-2 John are the only places in NT where term 'antichrist' is used. Used in specific manner. Is not like the eschatological 'man of sin (2 Thess. 2) or tradition underlying Rev. 12-13. It is not a single individual. Are many 'antichrists,' who appear now, and whose message and behavior provide evidence of their condemnation. Epistles of John: Major Themes:  Epistles of John: Major Themes 'Antichrists' In 1 Jn 2:18-25, defined: They are evidence of the 'last hour,' which applies to life of the community. They 'went out from us' Withdrawal of secessionists is sign of their condemnation. They do not remain within Johannine community. They are, therefore, understood as 'antichrists' Also they deny central Christian doctrine. Deny Jesus Christ has 'come in the flesh' (1 Jn 2:22; 4:3; 2 Jn 7) See Brown’s reconstruction on denial of salvific importance of Jesus’ earthly life. For author of 1-2 John, Jesus’ earthly life of vital importance. Johannine Epistles: Major Themes:  Johannine Epistles: Major Themes 'Antichrists' How is one supposed to behave toward such peoples? In 2 Jn 7-8, see further hardening of position. They are to be denied hospitality. Why? Were wandering preachers, representing both Johannine community and the secessionists. Becomes increasingly important to tell difference between groups, see warnings about false teachers in the Didache. So, in 2 Jn, those who deny Christ’s coming 'in the flesh' are not to be granted hosptitality. Johannine Epistles: Major Themes:  Johannine Epistles: Major Themes Denial of hospitality to 'antichrists' Some see in the warning against the 'antichrists' the beginning of a monarchical oversight of the church, where the leader, here the 'Elder,' has authority to excommunicate the 'heterodox. Not as advanced as in Ignatius of Antioch, but can see here the beginnings of the claims of control of a church official over a broader region than a local community, a situation very different from Paul But what if roles are reversed, and Johannine officials are denied hospitality? Such appears to be the case in 3 John. Johannine Epistles: Major Themes:  Johannine Epistles: Major Themes Hospitality in 3 John Break into groups. Who are the following people: Gaius, Diotrophes, Demetrius? What is the sin of Diotrophes? What is his motive? What is he trying to accomplish? What is the meaning of 3 Jn 11, the difference between 'doing good' and 'doing evil'? Why is Demetrius commended? Johannine Epistles: Major Themes:  Johannine Epistles: Major Themes 3 John, Elder is on receiving end of his advice in 2 John. Diotrphes has refused fellowship and support of representatives of the 'Elder' Details are not stated, only 'Diotrophes does not receive us' and 'loves to be first.' Diotrophes is usurping authority. This usurpation is manifested by dishonoring the Elder’s representatives. Is this action motivated by Diotrophes adherence to the teaching of the secessionists? Johannine Epistles: Major themes:  Johannine Epistles: Major themes Conclusions. Secessionists appear to have separated themselves from the community. Their action, as well as the associated doctrines, are understood by the elder as indications that the secessionists are opposed to the work of God, are 'antichrists.' Evidence is manifested by their leaving the Johannine community. Remedy. Adherence to the teaching of the Johannine gospel. Remaining in the community. Secessionists are denied hospitality (2 John). Crisis and conflict in the community is multifaceted (3 John) Revelation, or, The Apocalypse of John:  Revelation, or, The Apocalypse of John Many Christians wary of the Apocalypse of John This wariness is due to misuse of Revelation. It is used by many preachers to establish an eschatological agenda. Yet, Revelation is a powerful visionary witness to the exclusive claims of God and Christ upon the Christian. Revelation:  Revelation To accomplish his goal, John employs themes from various sources to describe his vision. The traditions of Israel, especially as found in the Hebrew Bible, especially Isaiah and Ezekiel Traditions of the ancient Near East Greco-Roman cult ritual. Revelation:  Revelation Purpose of traditions. Warning to godless of God’s impending judgment. Warning to Christians not to compromise. Meaning. Revelation is a resource for churches undergoing persecution of the ultimate triumph of God and Christ. Has been a favorite for liberation theology, focusing on God’s judgment of the powerful (see E. Schussler-Fiorenza, The Book of Revelation: Justice and Judgment) Revelation: Canonical History:  Revelation: Canonical History Like several 'general' epistles, Revelation has checkered canonical history. It was accepted by some early church fathers in the 2nd century. According to Papias, written by either John the Apostle or Elder. Papias’ exact sentiments are not known, since his works are lost. What we have is from Eusebius, in HE 3.39.12, who notes that Papias believed in a literal millennium Eusebius faithfully represents Papias’ belief. Eusebius sees Papias’ understanding evidence that Papias was somewhat intellectually dull. Revelation: Canonical History:  Revelation: Canonical History Revelation is quoted by Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus of Lyons Irenaeus, likewise accepts a literal millennium Reason: creation is good, and needs the millennium to be restored. Justin Martyr also accepts Revelation as well as a literal millennium. Revelation is listed in the Muratorian canon. Revelation: Canonical History:  Revelation: Canonical History Despite good and early attestation, others in the church did not accept Revelation. It appears unknown by the Shepherd of Hermas. Hippolytus attributes the work to John’s arch enemy, the Gnostic teacher Cerenthius. Revelation: Canonical History:  Revelation: Canonical History In the Eastern Church, great hesitancy about accepting the Apocalypse. Church father Dionysius of Alexandria rejects apostolic authority. On linguistic grounds, points to the difference between the Greek of Revelation and the Johannine Gospel and Epistles. Thus, John, son of Zebedee could not have written Revelation These observations resurface in the 19th century Dionysius’ arguments effective in the East Revelation is among the antilegoumena in Eusebius. Revelation: Canonical History:  Revelation: Canonical History Accepted into the canon was a compromise Eastern church agreed to accept Revelation, and Western church agreed to accept Hebrews. By 367 it is accepted as canonical in Athanasius’ festal letter. It was not accepted by the Syriac church. Authorship and Relationship to other Johannine writings:  Authorship and Relationship to other Johannine writings Relationship to Johannine writings has been question. Traditionally associated with John, son of Zebedee, but the author makes no apostolic claim This differs from Paul (see Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal. 1:1, etc.). Could this be because the John of Revelation was not considered an apostle either by himself or his readers/hearers? Authorship and Relationship to other Johannine Writings:  Authorship and Relationship to other Johannine Writings Other possibilities. Author member of a 'Johannine School.' Both Gospel of John and Revelation use Logos as a title for Christ (Jn 1; Rev 19) Some commentators, such as Lohmeyer, see the theologies of the two works as complementing each other. Relationship to Other Johannine Writings:  Relationship to Other Johannine Writings Not a member of a Johannine School. E. Schussler-Fiorenza in 'Quest for a Johannine School (NTS 23 [1976-77], 402-427, reprinted in The Book of Revelation: Justice and Judgment) contests the common assumption of a Johannine school. Term Logos is not common in Revelation or John, and may derive from a common source. The eschatology of the two works is very different. John’s eschatology is 'realized.' Revelation’s eschatology is 'apocalyptic.' Relationship to Other Johannine Writings:  Relationship to Other Johannine Writings Johannine school? Schussler-Fiorenza’s objections. The two books are far too different to come from the same community. Revelation has as many affinities to the 'Q' and Pauline traditions as it does to Johannine. Revelation, therefore, derives from a Christian apocalyptic 'school,' which had access to Johannine and Pauline traditions. There is no evidence for a 'Johannine School.' Authorship:  Authorship Connections with Palestine. There are natural affinities between Revelation and the Qumran community. There are also some common themes between Revelation and 4 Ezra (Ezra writing from 'Babylon'=Rome; Babylon=Rome in Revelation). Revelation 11 appears to be based on Palestinian prophetic traditions from the time of the siege of Jerusalem (see R.H. Charles). Authorship:  Authorship Conclusions Author is a Jewish Christian prophet, likely from Palestine, named John. He knows the situation of the addressees, and is known by them (see Rev 2-3) He is an individual of some authority Indicated in part by epistolary structure. The letter structure is employed in the Christian church by those whose authority is recognized by recipients (Paul, Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch). More than this we cannot assert. Genre:  Genre Revelation is an 'apocalypse' Term comes from the first word of the Book of Revelation, apocalypsis An 'apocalypse,' then, is a book with characteristics similar to Revelation. The term is a modern scholarly convenience, and no one in the ancient world self consciously would say, 'I am writing an apocalypse.' Genre:  Genre Definition, commonly used is from Semeia 14 (1979) 'Apocalypse is a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial, insofar as it involves another, supernatural world.' Genre:  Genre Semeia 14 definition shows two aspects of an apocalypse Eschatological expectation. Contains a view of spiritual reality. The form is narrative, not poetic Genre:  Genre Definition criticized by D. Aune in Semeia 36 (1986). Inductive, but not helpful. Aune notes three elements that make Revelation an apocalypse. Autobiographical in format. Content: Communication of transcendent, but not always eschatological perspective on human experience. Function. Legitimates the transcendent authorization of the message. Mediates new revelatory experience. Encourages recipients to modify their behavior. Genre:  Genre Semeia 14 definition is still dominant in scholarly circles. Aune’s criticism, that there needs to be a consideration of function, is a helpful corrective, and needs to be taken into account. Emperor Cult in Asia Minor and John’s Response:  Emperor Cult in Asia Minor and John’s Response John addresses reality of the emperor cult. His primary message is a word of God warning against the seduction of the power of Rome. This points to our interpretive principle for understanding Revelation. It needed to mean something to its original audience It is less a 'foretelling' of the future than a 'forth telling' of God’s judgment against a system that opposes all that is godly and true. Emperor Cult of Asia Minor:  Emperor Cult of Asia Minor Was not imposed by Rome It had a long history, and was an expression of gratitude by the people After the Battle of Actium, Rome restores peace to the provinces. Rome is responsible for the prosperity of the east, for which the population is grateful. Detailed study may be found in S.R.F. Price, Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor. See also discussion in deSilva. See also A. Yarbro Collins, Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse. John’s response:  John’s response Rome’s claims are blasphemy. Rome claims illegitimately what belongs only to God and Christ by right. This point is made in the descriptions of the heavenly throne in Rev 4-5 and 7:9-17 John employs imagery derived from imperial court, including acclamation and hymn Why? He shows that true honor belongs to God and Christ Roman appropriation of divine honor is a mere parody Rome’s blasphemous usurpation of God’s authority must be resisted by Christians. John’s response:  John’s response Rome is the 2 beasts of Rev. 13, inspired by the dragon of Rev 12. Rome is also the harlot of Rev 17. AT her destruction, the powerful of the earth mourn, but the heavens rejoice. John’s response:  John’s response If Rome is the city that opposes all that is of God, the believer hopes in another city. The vision of the New Jerusalem, the perfect cube shaped celestial city of ancient speculation, is God’s response for the faithful. If Rome is the Harlot, the New Jerusalem is the Pure Bride. Again, the claims of Rome are shown to be a vile and imperfect attempt to imitate the true glory that awaits the believer. John’s Response.:  John’s Response. In contrast to the Roman imperial eagle, John proposes the figure of the Lamb who is slain (5:6), yet who conquers (5:5) and reigns (21:22-23) The Lamb receives worship, equivalent to God (5:8, 12-13; 7:9, 10, 14, 17) It is the Lamb who initiates judgment (6:1) and from whom the people cringe in fear (6:16), a rather unusual image. It is by the blood of the lamb the saints conquer (12:11, 14:1-4), again, a striking contrast from worldly expectations of power. It is against the Lamb the nations wage a war in vain, for it is the Lamb who conquers (17:14). Wrap Up:  Wrap Up Is there a common thread to the message of the documents we studied. We have seen various forms of literature History in Acts Letters in Paul and the general epistles. Sermon in Hebrews Apocalypse in Revelation Wrap up:  Wrap up Common Message? All these books portray that God has acted in Jesus Christ, and initiates a new, eschatological age. Believers are members of a new reality, a new covenant (see Paul and Hebrews) That community demands foremost loyalty. Wrap Up:  Wrap Up Acts 'God has made him Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.' Acts 10, Peter narrates actions of Jesus, who went about dong good, was executed, but whom God vindicates (see also Peter’s Pentecost Sermon in Acts 2). In Acts 14 and 17, God permitted gentiles to live in ignorance in times past. In conclusion, Paul speaks to the Jews at Rome Do they listen The gospel goes to the gentiles. Wrap Up:  Wrap Up In Paul God has acted in a new way in Jesus Christ God justifies, makes righteous, through Christ, outside of the works of the law. Christians are part of a new eschatological realm In Hebrews, Christians are participants in the promise, of the new hope. They have to hold firm. They are to show gratitude to their new master. To

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