Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Daily Archives: April 1, 2016

The Studia Philonica web page?

The Studia Philonica Annual (etc) webpage (http://divinity.yale.edu/philo-alexandria) has been down for some time now, and I still do not know the reason why; hopefully it is just due to some temporary problems.

In the meanwhile, some Philo material is still available on my page: http://torreys.org/bible/ (check out the right column)

Christians in Pompeii?

PompeiiFor all of those who are interested in early Christianity, and especially those who have walked in the streets of Pompeii, this book should be interesting reading:

Bruce Longenecker,
The Crosses of Pompeii: Jesus-Devotion in a Vesuvian Town.
Fortress Press, 2016 (Release date: May 1, 2016)

“Archaeologists have disputed the scarce evidence claimed for the presence of Christians in Pompeii before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Now, Bruce W. Longenecker reviews that evidence in comparison with other possible data of first-century Christian presence elsewhere in the Mediterranean and reaches the conclusion that there were indeed Christians living in the doomed city. The Crosses of Pompeii presents an elegant case for their presence, with photographic illustration of the available archaeological evidence.” (Publishers text).

Exciting new book

DestroyerOne of the books I am looking forward to dig into this fall, is this:

Larry W. Hurtado,
Destroyer of the gods.
Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World,
Baylor University Press, sept 2016. Hardback, 279 pages, $29.95

From the publishers announcement:

“Silly,” “stupid,” “irrational,” “simple.” “Wicked,” “hateful,” “obstinate,” “anti-social.” “Extravagant,” ”perverse.” The Roman world rendered harsh judgments upon early Christianity—including branding Christianity “new.” Novelty was no Roman religious virtue.
Nevertheless, as Larry W. Hurtado shows in Destroyer of the gods, Christianity thrived despite its new and distinctive features and opposition to them. Unlike nearly all other religious groups, Christianity utterly rejected the traditional gods of the Roman world. Christianity also offered a new and different kind of religious identity, one not based on ethnicity. Christianity was distinctively a “bookish” religion, with the production, copying, distribution, and reading of texts as central to its faith, even preferring a distinctive book-form, the codex. Christianity insisted that its adherents behave differently: unlike the simple ritual observances characteristic of the pagan religious environment, embracing Christian faith meant a behavioral transformation, with particular and novel ethical demands for men. Unquestionably, to the Roman world, Christianity was both new and different, and, to a good many, it threatened social and religious conventions of the day.”

You can read more and order the book here.