Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis

By Hans-Josef Klauck; Daniel P. Bailey | Go to book overview

6
Letters in Early Judaism

Outside a few cross-references we have so far passed over not only early Christianity but also Judaism. Christianity originated as a reform movement within Judaism, and its letter writers wrote against a Jewish background. Greek and Roman literary forms and thought patterns were mediated to the early Christian writers to a great extent through their reception in Judaism. Some peculiarities of early Christian letters can also be traced to Jewish roots. We must therefore turn our attention to the Jewish letter tradition.

The format of this chapter resembles that of chapter 4 on the Greek and Roman literary letters. We begin with a non-exhaustive overview of the relevant material and then proceed to analyze several case studies in more detail.


A. Overview

Bibliography 31: P. S. Alexander, “Epistolary Literature” (Bib. 3). – D. E. Aune, Literary Environment (Bib. 4) 174–80. – G. Beer, “Zur israelitisch-jüdischen Briefliteratur,” in A. Alt et al., Alttestamentliche Studien, FS R. Kittel, BWANT 13 (Leipzig 1913) 20–41. – K. Berger, “Apostelbrief” (Bib. 4). – P. E. Dion, “Les types épistolaires hébréoaraméens jusqu’au temps de Bar-Kokhbah,” RB 86 (1979) 544–79. – J. A. Fitzmyer, “Aramaic Epistolography” (Bib. 3). – J.-D. Gauger, Authenti- zität (Bib. 2) 103–6, 205–10. – M. Karrer, Johannesoffenbarung (Bib. 4) 48–83. – J. M. Lindenberger, Ancient Aramaic and Hebrew Letters, SBLWAW 4 (Atlanta 22003). – D. Pardee, Handbook (Bib. 3). – D. Schwiderski, Handbuch des nordwestsemitischen Briefformulars (Bib. 3). – I. Taatz, Frühjüdische Briefe (Bib. 3). – A. Wagner, ed., Bote und Brief: Sprachliche Systeme der Informationsübermittlung im Spannungsfeld von Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit, Nordostafrikanisch/Westasiatische

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Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • General Bibliographies xix
  • List of Bibliographies xxix
  • List of Exercises xxxiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Foundations—Two Letters of Apion and Two Letters of the [Elder] 9
  • 2 - Practical Realities— Paper and Postal Systems 43
  • 3 - Nonliterary and Diplomatic Correspondence 67
  • 4 - Poetry and Philosophy—Literary Letters 103
  • 5 - Epistolary and Rhetorical Theory 183
  • 6 - Letters in Early Judaism 229
  • 7 - New Testament Letters I: Overview 299
  • 8 - New Testament Letters Ii: Selected Texts 355
  • Epilogue 435
  • Answer Key 445
  • Index of Ancient Sources 471
  • Index of Authors 481
  • Index of Subjects 495
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