A genre of literature that have a number of characters, have a wide range of subgenres (narratives, anecdotes, etc.). They aren't necessarily objective account and carry the biases of the author
Reasoned explanation and justification of one's beliefs and/or practices. From the Greek word meaning "defense"
A (legendary) female disciple of Paul whose adventures are narrated in the novel-like work of the 2nd Century, The Acts of Thecla. In it, she renounces her wedding plans and she's put on trial and condemned to death, but escapes to proclaim the Gospel
Method used to study a text by isolating themes and seeing how they are developed in it as to understand the author's overarching emphases
Speech given by Paul on Areopagus hill to some philosophers. where he explains that the Jewish God is God of all, pagan & Jew alike, though pagans have been ignorant of Him.
A method of investigation emphasizing the need for historical context when examining a text. Words convey meaning only withing a context. You have to understand context to make sense of something. When you change the context, you change its meaning.
Literally means "turning around" - used of people who radically change their religious beliefs
A later author (or authors), heavily influenced by Paul's teachings, that wrote the epistles of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians
First-Fruit of the Resurrection
Image that Paul uses of Jesus at His resurrection, an agricultural term referring to the first part of the harvest that's celebrated before the rest of the harvest. Jesus as the "first fruit" indicates that the rest of the harvest will soon come in.
A renowned rabbi in Jerusalem that Paul studied Judaism under
Refers to the fact that Paul wrote his surviving letters for certain "occasions" (reasons), in order to deal with problems that had arisen in his churches
Letters written to the pastors Timothy (in 1st & 2nd Timothy) & Titus instructing them how to care for their churches. They weren't written by Paul
Things written under a false name, but not necessarily with malicious intent.
Road to Damascus
A phrase sometimes used to refer to the conversion of Paul who saw the resurrected Jesus on his way to the city of Damascus
A famous philosopher who supposedly corresponded with Paul via 14 letters, but they were written about 200 years after both of them had died.
According to Acts, the Greek city that Paul was from.
Undisputed Pauline Epistles
The letter written by Paul himself: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon
A genre of ancient correspondence, a letter sent to renew an acquaintance and to extend friendly good wishes, sometimes with a few requests or admonitions. 1 Thessalonians is closest to this genre.
Funeral Societies & Trade Societies
Ancient voluntary associations that met periodically for social occasions. Funeral societies' principal purpose involved providing decent burials for members. Trade societies' purpose involved those involved in the same trade/occupation.
Ancient equivalents of modern apartments in urban areas. They had a ground floor with rooms that faced the street for small businesses and the upper stories were for living quarters.
Companion of Paul who co-authored several of his letters.
Sociohistorical Method of Investigation
Method of looking at a text to find clues about various social and historical aspects to understand that text.
Stoics & Cynics
Philosophical schools that urged people to give up their attachments to the worldly things. Stoics say people attached to this world are in danger of losing it all to bad fortune. Cynics were extremists who gave up all social conventions like bathing
Major port city, the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia
The ancient believe that the entire world (our universe) consists of 3 spheres: the world below us (where the dead reside), our world here, and the world above (where God dwells).
Traveling companion or Paul, with whom he co-authored several letter and to whom the letters of 1 & 2 Timothy are supposedly directed.
Privately organized small groups that met periodically to socialize and share a good meal together. The social activities were sometimes underwritten by one or more of their wealthier members who served as patrons for the body.
An apostles not part of the original 12, but a later convert that became a leader in the church of Corinth
Acquila and Priscilla
Jewish couple in Corinth who shared in Paul's profession in leather goods & faith in Jesus.
A wealthy woman from Corinth who had slaves that reported some of the problems in the church there to Paul
The first half of 2 Corinthians (though it was written second) where Paul is very thankful for the church, overflowing with joy for them.
Corinth / "Corinthianize"
A large city south of Thessalonica. It was near two major ports. It had a very bad reputation, that may not have been deserved. Corinthianize was an invented verb that means to engage in sexually promiscuous activities
Nickname for 1 Corinthians 13, which describes "love" and its importance in the Christian community. It isn't about abstract love, but the specific use of spiritual gifts in the church, that are used to benefit others.
Meat Offered to Idols
Meat sacrificed to pagan deities and offered for sale to eat. The Corinthians debated among themselves whether Christians were allowed to eat this meat.
The 2nd half of 2 Corinthians (written first) where Paul is bitter that the church has come to question his authority and badmouth him. He warns them about the "superapostles" and that they are ministers of Satan.
Theories of literary composition that indicate a book is comprised of several sources or texts spliced together (such as 2 Corinthians)
A prominent person in the church of Corinth (according to Acts). Paul wrote the letter of 1 Corinthians with him
Stephanus, Fortunatus, and Achaicus
Three members of the church of Corinth who delivered a letter to Paul, to which he responds to in 1 Corinthians
Paul's (sarcastic) term for his opponents in Corinth who emphasized their own supernatural miracle-working powers and wisdom
Traveling and co-worker of Paul to whom the letter of Titus is allegedly directed. He was instrumental in reconciling Paul and the church in Corinth, according to 2 Corinthians
The apostle Peter. The name means "rock"
Poetic part of Philippians that may have been a hymn to Christ, that sings about his condescension (lowering himself to die on the cross) and exaltation by God. This is the passage about how Christ didn't strive to be God's equal.
The man reportedly responsible for founding the church in Colossae, and Paul conveys greetings from him to Philemon.
Member of the church of Philippi, who brought a monetary gift from the church to Paul, about whom Paul writes in Philippians to tell the church how he had been ill and recovered.
Euodia and Syntyche
Two women in the church at Philippi, who were publicly arguing, whom Paul urges to reconcile in Philippians.
Made right with God. In Paul's view, not by doing the works o the Jewish Law but by having faith in Christ
To release someone from slavery. Some scholars think that Paul wanted Philemon to manumit Onesimus.
Philemon's runaway slave, who Paul converted, and about whom Paul wrote the letter to Philemon. His name means "useful"
Greek for "disciplinarian", one who made sure the children kept on the straight and narrow until they reached maturity. Paul uses this term to explain why God gave the Law in the first place, to keep Israel in line until the arrival of Christ.
One of Paul's converts, a wealthy Christian of Colossae, owner of the slave Onesimus, to whom Paul wrote the letter of Philemon
A ritual that involved the immersion into water to demonstrate a union with Christ in his death. Paul believed in Romans that someone who is baptized shares in Christ's death but hasn't yet been raised with Christ (free from the power of death)
Greek rhetorical term, referring to a kind of writing in which an author advances his argument by stating a thesis, having an imaginary opponent raise possible objections to it, and then providing answers to those objections. Used in Romans.
Technical term for the "covering over" of people's since through a sacrifice to God.
"Faith" & "Believe"
The English noun "faith" and verb "believe" are translations of the same Greek root. For Paul, this means a trusting acceptance of God's act of salvation, not just at an intellectual level, but with a wholehearted conviction & commitment.
Judicial Model (of Salvation)
One way Paul explained the relationship between Christ's death & salvation. Salvation is used as a legal term. Sin is disobedience that brings a death penalty. Jesus' death pays the penalty. Salvation is accepting the payment through faith.
Justification by Faith
Doctrine in Paul's letters (see Judicial Model), that a person is made right (justified) with God by trusting in the effects of Christ's death, rather than by doing the works prescribed by Jewish Law.
Models of Salvation
Ways of understanding how God has brought about salvation (see Judicial Model and Participationist Model) as described in Romans.
One way Paul explained the relationship between Christ's death and salvation. Sin is a cosmic force that enslaves people. Jesus' death defeats the power of sin. Salvation is liberation, which comes by participating in Christ's death through baptism.
A female deacon, mentioned by Paul in Romans. She is the one who carried the letter to the Romans.
Literally refers to the act of "buying back" someone or something, used to refer to God's salving in Christ, whose death "bought" the salvation of others.
To Paul, it doesn't mean a good character but a "right" standing before God. Romans reveals God's "righteousness" -- He is "righteous" in the way he makes all people, Jew & Gentile, "right" with Himself.
The Greek means "overseer" - the clear leader of a Christian locality. Their main responsibility was to root out heretical teaching.
Paul's churches were these, congregations of people who had been given God's Holy Spirit and "gifts" to enable them to minister to one another as teachers, prophets, evangelists, healers, speakers in tongues, interpreters, etc.
A pseudonymous writing in which an author falsely claims to be a famous person, relatively common in antiquity and not necessarily for malicious reasons. Could be for profit, to get your own views heard, or even humility (to pay homage)
Gnosis / Gnosticism
Greek word for "knowledge" Gnosticism maintained that elements of the divine had become entrapped in this evil world of matter and could only be released with they acquired the secret gnosis of what those elements were and how to escape.
Jewish beliefs and practices that were thought to bring about a mystical union with the divine. People were encouraged to have visions of heaven and thereby transported to the divine realm. The opponents of the author of Colossians were promoting it.
Elders that served under bishops that tended to the spiritual needs of the community
A pseudepigraphic work produced after Paul's death to attack views that Christians in the mid 2nd Century considered heretical, including the docetic view that Jesus didn't have a real, fleshy body. The forger of this work was caught in the act.
For Paul, works refers to practices for Jews as part of their covenantal relationship with God. For the epistle of James, works refers to doing good deeds. In Ephesians, works refers to good deeds (why it probably wasn't written by Paul)
The recognition of one's precedence over others. Most significant virtue for ancient males, involving the proper use of power and authority and the correct conduct of those who had it (courage, manliness).
Ideology of Gender
The way that people mentally and socially constructed sexual difference, gives us a backdrop for reconsidering the oppression of women in the Pauline churches.
A woman whom Paul names in Romans as "foremost among the apostles"
Woman from the city of Magdala mentioned in all 4 Gospels as witness to Jesus' death and resurrection. She had been exorcized of 7 demons and traveled with Jesus. She was not a prostitute. She was the first to see Jesus raised from the dead.
A woman, along with her husband Aquila, who was largely responsible for the Gentile mission
Allegory of the Cave, Plato's
A famous image from a book by Plato in which he develops his notion that people here on earth typically experience the mere "shadow" of a greater "reality" until they are enlightened by the truth.
Barnabas, Letter of
Letter wrongly attributed to Paul's companion Barnabas, harshly anti-Jewish, arguing that Jews have always misunderstood their own law, which should have been interpreted symbolically rather than literally.
Catholic in this sense means "universal" or general. Catholic epistles are general epistles, meaning they address universal problems by Christians everywhere.
Jewish High Priests
They were mediators before God that offered sacrifices for the people. Christ is depicted as superior to them because he was without sin and didn't need to offer a sacrifice for himself.
Joshua gave the people of Israel peace after the Promised Land had been conquered. Christ is depicted in Hebrews as superior to him because they couldn't fully enjoy that peace because they were disobedient. Christ brings perfect peace.
A high priest from which Levi descended, who was superior to Levi. Christ is depicted in Hebrews as superior to the Levite high priests. God promised a priest from the line of Melchizedek and Christ is the one promised.
The emperor who leveled part of Rome with a fire and used Christians as his scapegoats. He publicly had them tortured and condemned them for arson.
The idea that God predicted events (prophecies) that occurred (fulfillments). Matthew and Hebrews, for example, both stress that Jesus' life was fulfillments of prophecy
A process by which a group understands itself to be distinct from other groups. All social groups define themselves by establishing what it means to be a member and how belonging to a group sets a person off from those groups to which they don't belong.
The reality of a thing is superior to its foreshadowing. In Hebrews, Christ is superior to the religion of the Jews because he is the reality that was foreshadowed in the Jewish Scriptures
The earthly tabernacle is where Jewish sacrifices were originally performed. Christ is depicted in Hebrews as superior to it because he didn't have to bring his sacrifice to it but to heaven itself, the real sanctuary, into the presence of God himself.
Acts of Peter
A pseudepigrapha that details Peter's various confrontations with the heretical magician Simon Magus. Peter outperforms him at every turn because he invokes the power of God.
Any teaching about the nature of Christ
Christian writing from the 100 Century, it's the earliest surviving church "how-to manual that contains ethical teachings, instructions, warnings, etc. The author warns that some traveling "apostles" were making a living off of gullible communities.
"Docetists" is a term from the Greek for "appear" or "seem". It's a type of Christology that denied that Jesus had come in the flesh and he was compltely divine. The author of the Johannine epistles was arguing against docetists.
Reference to a group of Christians who split from the community in the Johannine epistles over theology. They were attached by the author for refusing to acknowledge that Jesus was a flesh-and-blood human being.
"The number if the beast" in Revelation 13 - evidently a numerical value of the letter in the Antichrist's name. Some interpreters think it's a reference to Caesar Nero, whose name spelled in Hebrew adds up to 666. Some texts say 619 is the number.
Literary genre in which the author reports symbolic dreams or visions, given or interpreted though an angelic mediator, which reveal the heavenly mysteries that make sense of earthly realities
Apocalypse of Peter
Pseudonymous work that describes a guided tour of heaven and hell give by Jesus to Peter, to reveal the blessings of the saved and the eternal torments of the damned
A worldview held by many Jews and Christians maintained that the present age is controlled by forces of evil, but that these will be destroyed at the end of time when God intervenes in history to bring his kingdom, an event thought to be immanent
Book in the Old Testament which embodies an apocalyptic view of history and which may have been the source for Jesus' teaching of the coming of the "Son of Man"
2nd Century bishop who argued that the book of Revelation could not have been written by John the son of Zebedee. He believed the Greek writing style & lack of him explicitly saying he was Jesus' disciple show it wasn't authored by the apostle
Whore of Babylon
In Revelation, used to refer to the city of Rome. "Babylon" was thought to be the enemy of God's people since it was responsible for the overthrow of Judea in the Old Testament. The city is a "whore" because of its way of dealing with other countries
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