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Early Christianity and Classical Culture: Comparative Studies in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe
John T. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Olbricht, L. Michael White
Publication Date
December 2005


This volume, edited by John T. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Olbricht, and L. Michael White, contains twenty-eight essays honoring Abraham J. Malherbe, whose work has been especially influential in exploring modes of cultural interaction between early Jews and Christians and their Greco-Roman neighbors. Following an introductory essay on the problems inherent to such comparative studies in the history of New Testament scholarship, the essays are grouped into five topic areas: Graphos (semantics and writing), Ethos (ethics and moral characterization), Logos (rhetoric and literary expression), Ethnos (self-definition and acculturation), and Nomos (law and normative values). Some key examples are studies dealing with The Greek Idea of “divine nature” and its relation to the “divine man” tradition; the compilation of letters in Cicero’s collection; radical altruism in Paul; Greek ideas of concord and cosmic harmony in 1 Clement; the rhetorical use of friendship motifs in Galatians in comparison with Second Sophistic orators; and wills and testaments in Greco-Roman perspective.


—Thomas H. Olbricht

Quod est comparandum: The Problem of Parallels
—L. Michael White and John T. Fitzgerald

A Bibliography of the Writings of Abraham J. Malherbe

Part I. Graphos

The [theia physis] of Hippocrates and of Other “Divine Men”
—Dieter Zeller

Making Scents of Paul: The Background and Sense of 2 Cor 2:14–17
—Harold W. Attridge

“In Those Days”: Some Remarks on the Use of “Days” in Matthew 2:1, 3:1, and Luke 2:1
—Gerard Mussies

Distinct Lexical Meanings of [aparche] in Hellenism, Judaism, and Early Christianity
—David E. Aune

Compilation of Letters in Cicero’s Correspondence
—Hans-Josef Klauck

A Reexamination of the Epistolary Analysis Underpinning the Arguments for the Composite Nature of Philippians
—Duane F. Watson

Part II. Ethos

The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man (Luke 12:16–20) and Graeco-Roman Conventions of Thought and Behavior
—Ronald F. Hock

Radical Altruism in Philippians 2:4
—Troels Engberg-Pedersen

Transformation of the Mind and Moral Discernment in Paul
—Luke Timothy Johnson

Creation, Shame and Nature in 1 Cor 11:2–16: The Background and Coherence of Paul’s Argument
—James W. Thompson

Civic Concord and Cosmic Harmony: Sources of Metaphoric Mapping in 1 Clement 20.3
—Cilliers Breytenbach

Part III. Logos

Logos or Sophia: The Pauline Use of the Ancient Dispute between Rhetoric and Philosophy
—Edgar Krentz

The Toppling of Favorinus and Paul by the Corinthians
—Bruce W. Winter

Rhetoric and Reality in Galatians: Framing the Social Demands of Friendship
—L. Michael White

Apostrophe, [Prosopopoiia] and Paul’s Rhetorical Education
—Stanley K. Stowers

Analogy and Allegory in Classical Rhetoric
—Thomas H. Olbricht

The Art of Praise: Philo and Philodemus on Music
—Everett Ferguson

Part IV. Ethnos

Paul and His Predecessors in the Diaspora: Some Reflections on Ethnic Identity in the Fragmentary Hellenistic Jewish
—Carl R. Holladay

The Jewish Paul among the Gentiles: Two Portrayals
—Leander E. Keck

The Cultural Origin of “Receiving All Nations” in Luke-Acts: Alexander the Great or Roman Social Policy?
—David L. Balch

Did the Churches Compete with Cult Groups?
—E. A. Judge

Men, Women and Marital Chastity: Public Preaching and Popular Piety at Rome
—Hanne Sigismund Nielsen

Part V. Nomos

“The Mind Is Its Own Place:” Defining the Topos
—Johan C. Thom

Nomos Plus Genitive Noun in Paul: The History of God’s Law
—J. Louis Martyn

Household Rules at Ephesus: Good News, Bad News, No News
—Benjamin J. Fiore

The Washing of Adam in the Acherusian Lake (Greek Life of Adam and Eve 37.3) in the Context of Early Christian Notions of Afterlife
—Marinus de Jonge and L. Michael White

Last Wills and Testaments in Graeco-Roman Perspective
—John T. Fitzgerald