The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism (Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity)

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9783161471957: The Interpretation of the New Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism (Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity)

Recent New Testament scholarship has raised the question of the effect of the New Testament on readers including an 'implied' reader. How did the New Testament affect ancient readers who rejected it? John Granger Cook contributes to the ongoing investigation of the relationship between Christianity and Greco-Roman antiquity. He addresses the response to the New Testament in the following authors: Celsus, Porphyry, the anonymous philosopher of Macarius Magnes, Hierocles, and Julian the Apostate. These authors are readers who found the New Testament to be a rejection of values they took to be fundamental in Greco-Roman culture. The works of these pagans exist in fragments preserved by Christian apologists who attempted to respond to their critique of Christian texts and practices. The doctrine of the resurrection, for example, contradicts the belief in reincarnation and an immortal bodiless soul. Apocalyptic texts rejected the eternity of the universe. Jesus was considered to be inferior to the heroes of Hellenistic culture such as Apollonius of Tyana who conducted themselves as philosophers should. Pagans were disturbed by the ability of Christian language to persuade people to join the movement. Both pagans and Christians made use of apologetic techniques designed to attract people to their respective positions. Rhetoric and literary criticism were tools that both used in their ongoing arguments. John Granger Cook makes use of these tools to analyze the texts of the pagan readers of the New Testament.

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About the Author:

John Granger Cook, Born 1955; 1976 B.A. in Philosophy, Davidson College; 1979 M.Div., Union Theological Seminary (VA); 1985 Ph.D. at Emory University; Professor of Religion and Philosophy, LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA.

Review:

Even though pagans who read the New Testament were not favorably impressed, according to Cook, serious students of the New Testament will certainly be impressed by the author's careful and informative discussion of how pagan authors, from Celsus through Julian (the late fourth century) reacted to those early Christian writings which came to constitute the New Testament. This book focuses on a very specific aspect of the Greek and Roman reactions to early Christianity, namely, how they attempted to both ridicule and refute the new faith by using the New Testament as evidence for what Christianity and its founder were really like. This sheds important new light on a neglected aspect of early Christianity in late antiquity.
--David E. Aune, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"The writings that were to become the New Testament were esoteric, and it is therefore remarkable that by the latter half of the second century, they had become well enough known and deemed important enough by Celsus, the archenemy of Christianity, to warrant a vehement attack. Celsus was followed by other cultured despisers of Christianity, and he and the most important critics from the third and fourth centuries are treated in detail in this volume. The book is certain to become a standard reference for those interested in the interface between early Christianity and paganism. It systematically treats more than the title might indicate, for in addition to the way the New Testament figured in pagan attacks, it discusses as well, among other things, pagan social comment on Christians and Christianity, and, on the other side, the cultural and political context of the critics. The interesting argument is made that the critics brought to bear their arsenal of literary and historical criticism, rhetoric, and philosophy because they viewed the New Testament and Christian proclamation as dangerous owing to their ability to convert people to Christianity and to influence their lives. John Granger CookÂ’s excellent book is sure to stimulate discussion."
--Abraham J. Malherbe, Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale University Divinity School

"John Cook's admirable studies on Graeco-Roman paganism's interpretations of the New Testament amount to nothing less than a compendium. His commentary, notes, and references meet a long-standing need of New Testament scholarship.
--Hans Dieter Betz, Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament (emeritus), University of Chicago -- Review

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Book Description Mohr Siebeck Gmbh & Co. K Mrz 2011, 2011. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - Recent New Testament scholarship has raised the question of the effect of the New Testament on readers including an 'implied' reader. How did the New Testament affect ancient readers who rejected it John Granger Cook contributes to the ongoing investigation of the relationship between Christianity and Greco-Roman antiquity. He addresses the response to the New Testament in the following authors: Celsus, Porphyry, the anonymous philosopher of Macarius Magnes, Hierocles, and Julian the Apostate. These authors are readers who found the New Testament to be a rejection of values they took to be fundamental in Greco-Roman culture. The works of these pagans exist in fragments preserved by Christian apologists who attempted to respond to their critique of Christian texts and practices. The doctrine of the resurrection, for example, contradicts the belief in reincarnation and an immortal bodiless soul. Apocalyptic texts rejected the eternity of the universe. Jesus was considered to be inferior to the heroes of Hellenistic culture such as Apollonius of Tyana who conducted themselves as philosophers should. Pagans were disturbed by the ability of Christian language to persuade people to join the movement. Both pagans and Christians made use of apologetic techniques designed to attract people to their respective positions. Rhetoric and literary criticism were tools that both used in their ongoing arguments. John Granger Cook makes use of these tools to analyze the texts of the pagan readers of the New Testament. 385 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9783161471957

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Book Description JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Germany, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Recent New Testament scholarship has raised the question of the effect of the New Testament on readers including an implied reader. How did the New Testament affect ancient readers who rejected it? John Granger Cook contributes to the ongoing investigation of the relationship between Christianity and Greco-Roman antiquity. He addresses the response to the New Testament in the following authors: Celsus, Porphyry, the anonymous philosopher of Macarius Magnes, Hierocles, and Julian the Apostate. These authors are readers who found the New Testament to be a rejection of values they took to be fundamental in Greco-Roman culture. The works of these pagans exist in fragments preserved by Christian apologists who attempted to respond to their critique of Christian texts and practices. The doctrine of the resurrection, for example, contradicts the belief in reincarnation and an immortal bodiless soul. Apocalyptic texts rejected the eternity of the universe. Jesus was considered to be inferior to the heroes of Hellenistic culture such as Apollonius of Tyana who conducted themselves as philosophers should. Pagans were disturbed by the ability of Christian language to persuade people to join the movement. Both pagans and Christians made use of apologetic techniques designed to attract people to their respective positions. Rhetoric and literary criticism were tools that both used in their ongoing arguments. John Granger Cook makes use of these tools to analyze the texts of the pagan readers of the New Testament. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9783161471957

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