Hengel - The Hellenization of Judaea in the First Century after Christ - Хенгель

The 'Hellenization' of Judaea in the First Century after Christ - Martin Hengel
В книге The 'Hellenization' of Judea in the First Century After Christ, Мартин Хенгель исследует процесс эллинизации Иудеи, классовый состав христиан Палестины в первом веке н.э., а  также рассматривает степень влияния Греков на Иудеев в письме, культуре, религии.

Martin Hengel - The 'Hellenization' of Judaea in the First Century after Christ

in collaboration with Christoph Markschies
Translated by John Bowden from the German 'Zum Problem der "Hellenisierung" Judaas im Jahrhundert nach Christus'
1989 г
ISBN 0-334-00602-3

Martin Hengel - The 'Hellenization' of Judaea in the First Century after Christ - Contents

  • 1 The Problem
  • 2 The Linguistic Question and its Cultural Background
  • 3 Greek Education and Literature in Jewish Palestine
  • 4 The Political and Social Aspects of 'Hellenization'
  • 5 'Hellenistic' Traditions in Jewish Palestine
  • 6 The Consequences: Palestinian Judaism as 'Hellenistic Judaism'
Index of Modern Scholars
Index of Names and Places from Antiquity

Martin Hengel - The 'Hellenization' of Judaea in the First Century after Christ - The Problem

Ever since the beginning of critical investigation of the New Testament in terms of the history of religion it has been customary to distinguish between 'Judaism' and 'Hellenism' (or between 'Jewish' and 'Hellenistic') as two completely different entities, to some degree capable of exact definition. Fundamental importance is often attached to this distinction, in which case it then appears as one of the most important criteria for historical interpretation in New Testament studies. Here 'Hellenism' (and the adjective formed from it) as it is now understood is a relatively recent term; the great scholar Droysen was the first to attach its present significance to it about 150 years ago in connection with II Macc.4.13 (seen. 19 below). Itis used in history and the study of antiquity to describe that new civilization furthered above all by the expedition of Alexander the Great and the Graeco-Macedonian 'colonial rule' which followed, a civilization which was shaped by the gradual spread of the Greek language and of Greek forms of life and thought. This very complex process continued under Roman rule in the east of the Empire until the fourth century CE. In Syria, including Cilicia, Commagene, northern Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Judaea-Palestine and Nabataean Arabia, this development only really came to a climax in the Roman period. In the Christian period there was then a reversal and a new penetration of the 'eastern' languages spoken by the Christianized rural population, for example Syriac and Coptic. Because of its multiplicity and complexity the process cannot be described by a single term in the religious sphere, for example by the term 'syncretism' which is so popular a watchword among Protestant theologians. However, right up to the present day New Testament scholarship has hardly been bothered by such complexity and scholars have often used this term without reflecting on it very much. Concepts, traditions, whole narratives, forms of thought and literature are examined to see whether they are of a 'Jewish' or 'Hellenistic' origin and stamp, and attempts are made to draw conclusions from the findings.
A scientific understanding of earliest Christianity, its history, its theological thought, and with it the 'historical-critical' interpretation of the New Testament now seems hardly conceivable without this distinction which we have come to take for granted - perhaps all too much for granted. The concern to attach clear labels has often given rise to polemical arguments, and still does so. We evidently cannot escape them any more than our fathers did. Scholars are still concerned yet again, and sometimes even agitated, as to whether individual concepts, complexes of ideas or even particular theologians of earliest Christianity like Paul, John or the author of Hebrews are to be understood in terms of 'Old Testament/Jewish tradition' or 'Hellenistic syncretism', 'Jewish apocalyptic' or 'Hellenistic Gnosticism' (or 'enthusiasm'), 'rabbinic legal thought' or 'Hellenistic mysticism'. The fact that here a preference for the predicate 'Old Testament/Jewish' often goes with a more 'conservative' approach and a preference for all that is 'Hellenistic' goes with a more 'liberal' or 'critical' attitude has not helped to produce an objective discussion. All too often one gets the impression that such a great and impressive label is simply meant to conceal a lack of historical understanding.


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