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He was drawn to theological stringency, melodramatic all-or-nothings, and obnoxiously proud circularity. A believer knows that God exists. One has an opinion, the other knowledge. There are no references and very few named sources, yet the material appears to rely on the established record, and is clearly built from the same archival labor that a conventional biographer would perform. He likes intervening frames. Instead of surreptitiously fictionalizing his story of the rise of early Christianity, he proceeds like a freelance—and slightly offbeat—scholar.

His inquiry into the lives and testimonies of Paul and Luke, and their journeys through the far-flung extremities of the Roman Empire, is scrupulously thorough, and relies on an enormous amount of reading, gently summoned. He likes to psychologize, to reconstruct scenes and episodes, to speculate when the historical record is thin.

He lightly amplifies four fairly reticent verses from the Acts of the Apostles, our only source. But there is a little group that gathers outside the walls on the banks of a river, to celebrate the Sabbath in an informal way. On the contrary, they thank God for having sent them such a learned rabbi.

emperors of salvation a literary review Manual

In silence, the bread and the wine are passed around the table, and everyone eats a piece of bread, drinks a mouthful of wine. In memory, Paul says, of the last meal that the savior ate on this earth before being crucified. Local Jews might well be hostile to an upstart group that espoused such beliefs as the notion that the Messiah was God made flesh, or that we will be spiritually and physically restored to eternal life in a heavenly kingdom. The Romans mainly left the Christians alone until Nero the emperor between 54 and 68 A. For several reasons, perhaps. We know more about Paul than about Jesus.


But it was another thing entirely to claim—as Paul did—that Jesus came to earth to wash away an original sin contracted by humans in Eden; that this Jesus was crucified by the Romans, was buried, and rose from the dead; and that he would soon come again, in a rescue mission that would usher in a new eternal kingdom. In place of the intimate, familial struggle of the Jews and their God, Paul invokes a strict theology of sin and salvation.

Paul was born Saul, in Tarsus now in Turkey , perhaps a few years after the birth of Jesus, whom he never met. He was a devout student of Judaism, and was sent to Jerusalem for schooling with one of the most eminent rabbis of the age. During the next twenty years, this incandescent missionary visited Christian churches and communities from Corinth to Antioch; and when he could not reach them he wrote to them, setting down the epistles that form with the Gospels the core of the New Testament.

Editions: Sibyllinische Weissagungen ed. Alfons Kurfess and J. According to Jane L. For their connection to the Apoc. I may pray that this be the case, since I am marked by the deep scars of transgressions that are in need of the greatest Grace. But shame be on Origen for his mendacious words, who claims that there will be an end to the torments. Origen himself lamented that his writings were interpolated already during his life, and Rufinus attests to this also for the subsequent period in his De adulteratione librorum Origenis.

La recension de Paris, BNF, lat. See Massimo il Confessore, Ambigua ed. Claudio Moreschini; Milan: Bompiani, Richard J. Bauckham et al. Sull'anima e la resurrezione Milan: Bompiani, , with new edition, essays, and commentary on this dialogue. Above all, Gregory adopted Origen's defense of free will and doctrine of apokatastasis : see Ramelli, Gregorio di Nissa Sull'anima , first integrative essay.

The Last Emperor: Inflection and Reflection

Under Marcus Aurelius's persecution several Christian apologies were written. He replied with intelligent discourses, courageously defending piety, and said that he did not fear death, since it would necessarily come, even if he had not opposed the emperor. In the initial frame he is presented as a heathen who is philosophically interested in Christian monotheism and theodicy. Moreover, the other interlocutor is the young Philip, who might even be M.

Origen's letters to Philip and his wife in defense of his own orthodoxy Eusebius, Hist. Jerome, Vir. John Chrysostom, Bab.

Jesus Christ

Eusebius, Hist. Favorable to the theory that he was a Christian are John M. In any case, Philip was not at all hostile to Christianity. He received a Greco-Roman instruction, and also knew Greek very well. Richard Sorabji and Robert W. Sharples; London: Institute of Classical Studies, — Benjamins, Eingeordnete Freiheit. Freiheit und Vorsehung bei Origenes Leiden: Brill, See Karen L.

King, What Is Gnosticism? Cambridge, Mass. Angelo Di Berardino; Genoa: Marietti, — See, e. On the cross in early Christian thinking Ps. Gregory of Nyssa's Theology ed. Martin Wallraff et al.

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On Africanus's stay in Edessa, see W. Studi in onore del Card. Wolfgang A.

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  7. He wrote infinite works against almost all heretics who sprouted in his day, among which the most famous and vigorous book On Fate that he presented to Marcus Antoninus, and many other volumes on the occasion of the persecution. His followers translated them from Syriac into Greek—at least if translations maintain all the force and splendor that we guess there were in the original language.

    He also wrote a work on free will, where, however, as observed by Claudio Moreschini, Storia della filosofia patristica Brescia: Morcelliana, , the theme is treated at much less depth than by Origen. Methodius, at any rate, was deeply influenced by Origen, although he disagreed with him, or with what he thought Origen maintained, on some points, especially concerning the resurrected bodies. But he finally retracted his attack and wrote a dialogue in praise of Origen, the Xenon Socrates, Hist. Garry W. Trompf; Leuven: Peeters, This is all the more noteworthy in that this Maximus, according to Eusebius Hist.

    Co py right by Robyn Lowrie. May be quoted in part or full only with attribution to Robyn Lowrie www. That is so interesting. You are my hero. I grapple with conversing in French as a second language and yet you have mastered several languages.

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    I feel sure six months of immersion would not be nearly enough for me. Amazing stuff. Thank you Alison. I began learning my second language at 45 so I had a late start. If I can achieve my second language acquisition in ten years, imagine what you can do!! A very daunting, while magical, task! Hugo would be difficult to translate. A tough call. Yes, Champollion deciphered the Rosetta Stone.

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    Very few people know the real story. It was an extraordinary achievement. It is extraordinary and at the same time humbling. What a brilliant mind and a courageous spirit. David, it is a good thing that your profession is language-centric! You have a gift for words. May I use your statement in my post?

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