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Title: The use of the Jewish Scriptures by Early Christian Greek Apologists, 140-190 CE : Justin Martyr, Tatian and Theophilus of Antioch
Author: Hudson, Jeremy
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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A striking feature of some Greek Christian apologetic works of the mid-late 2C is the extent to which they make of the Jewish scriptures in their arguments, even though the scriptures were not known to any significant extent in Graeco-Roman circles before the advent of Christianity. To explore why this should be so, this thesis examines three such works: Justin Martyr's Apologia Maior, Tatian's Oratio ad Graecos and Theophilus of Antioch's Ad Autolycum. The texts are read as they present themselves, as works addressed to Graeco-Roman audiences external to Christianity, without regard to whether they were actually aimed at, or read by, such audiences. The authors were Christian converts from Graeco-Roman backgrounds, and their works are viewed in the context of the Graeco-Roman literary culture in which they and their implied audiences were educated. The study examines each text in turn: its literary strategies, its use of quotations and allusions and its overall presentation of the Jewish scriptures. These works were all framed to appeal to Graeco-Roman audiences, although they differ in their contents and their modes of presentation; the study shows how their use of the scriptures exhibits many common features, while at the same time reflecting the argumentative context in which each of them was written. The thesis reveals how the Jewish scriptures proved to be a rich literary resource for these writers, supporting a wide range of apologetic arguments in the fields of prophecy, philosophy, ethics and history. It shows how they present the scriptures as a critically defining feature of Christianity, instrumental in shaping the way the new religion presented itself, as it strove to engage with, and challenge, the culture and traditions of the non-Jewish world.
Supervisor: Lieu, Judith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Scripture ; Justin ; Tatian ; Theophilus ; Apologists