Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Hellenists in Early Christianity

I'm currently reading through Todd Penner's interesting book, In Praise of Christian Origins: Stephen and the Hellenists in Lukan Apologetic Historiography for an review article which will be part of my 'triology' of articles on Luke-Acts for next year. I found one interesting quote in Penner from T.W. Martin:

‘Thus, it is now thought that it was this community of Christian Hellenists who accelerated the transferral of the Jesus tradition from Aramaic into Greek, who helped bring Christian theology fully into the realm of Greek thought from free Aramaic pre-acculturation, who were instrumental in moving Christianity from its Palestinian setting into the urban culture of the larger Empire, who first saw the implications of Jesus’ resurrection for a Law-free Gospel for the gentiles (and for Jews), and who were the bridge between Jesus and Paul. These Christian Hellenists were the founders of Christian mission outside Palestine, and a theological tradition capable of articulating a gospel for the Greco-Roman world.’

T.W. Martin, ‘Hellenists,’ ABD 3.136.

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