The Use of Testimonia in Early Christian Apologetics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Use of Testimonia in Early Christian Apologetics

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  1. The Use of Testimonia inEarly Christian Apologetics Why the Need? Key Topoi Patterns of Development

  2. Why the Need for Apologetics? The Problem of “Christ Crucified”: Folly to Gentiles Stumbling Block to Jews

  3. The Need for Apologia in Defense of the Crucified Messiah contra Gentiles “FOLLY” TO GENTILES PREMISES • A “Divine-Man” chooses his own end • The Gods punish evildoers and protect the innocent • A “Savior” must be powerful to help others OBJECTIONS • Jesus was arrested, taken by force; he died by crucifixion • Jesus was a convicted criminal, publicly chastised, condemned, and executed • Jesus could not even prevent his own death, no less save others ERGO • Jesus cannot be the Redeemer Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  4. The Need for Apologia in Defense of the Crucified Messiah contra Judaioi A “STUMBLING BLOCK” FOR JEWS PREMISE • The Messiah must win • Israel is God’s Chosen People • Israel owes God single-minded devotion • Oppressed Israel is put in untenable position of being required to “serve two masters,” God and the Romans • Thus, God’s Will is to redeem the Chosen People (i.e., liberate them, rescue them from Roman dominion) • The Messiah is God’s Chosen Instrument for Israel’s redemption • God is Ruler of the Universe (omnipotent) • God’s Will to save cannot be thwarted • Thus, the Messiah must vanquish Rome and liberate Israel OBJECTION • Rome vanquished Jesus, executing him by crucifixion ERGO • Jesus cannot be the Messiah Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  5. Key Topoi in Early Christian Apologetics Defending “Christ Crucified”

  6. Apologetic Topoi contra Gentiles • Jesus did choose his end • Jesus’ death was voluntary • John 18:4–11 • GJudas • Jesus’ death fulfilled prophecy/Divine will • John 18:37; 19:10f, 30 Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  7. Apologetic Topoi contra Gentiles • Jesus’ death was not Divine punishment of an evildoer; Jesus was guiltless • Others were culpable in Jesus’ death • Invincible ignorance — John 15:18–25; 16:1–4, 8–11 • Jealousy — Mark 15: 9–11; Matt 27:18f; John 12:9–11 • Jesus was framed • Betrayal — Mark 14:10f, 18–21, 30, 41–50, 66–72 & // • Conspiracy — Mark 14:1f, 55–59 & //; John 11:45–53; Matt 28:11–15 • Innocence — Mark 15:14 & //; Luke 23:13–16, 20–22, 41, 47; GJudas Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  8. Apologetic Topoi contra Gentiles • Jesus did/does have Divine power • Jesus chose not to use it on his own behalf — John 18:36 • The Resurrection “proved” this Divine power — John 20:17, 30f • Jesus’ power [i.e., the Spirit] is active among his disciples after his death — John 21:6, 11; Acts 1:1–11; 2:1–5:16, etc. Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  9. Apologetic Topoi contraJudaioi • Jesus did “win” • In spite of his death • Divine Vindication — Mark 16 & // • Because of his death • Cosmic Victory— John 16:28–33 • Human Repentance — Matt 27:50–56; Luke 23:27, 48 • In spite of appearances, Rome has been vanquished • Conversion of Gentiles— Acts 8:9–13, 26–49; 10:1–11:26; 13:48 • Conversion of Roman officials • Actual — Phil 1:12–14 • Potential — Acts 24:22–27 (Felix); 26:28–32 (Agrippa); Acts of Pilate Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.

  10. Apocryphal Testimonia as Apologia Christ Jesus Victor

  11. Rome Is Vanquished • Imperial reprisals against enemies of Christ • Punishment of Jesus’ executioner • Acts of Pilate • Death of Pilate • others • Against those who disturb Jesus’ disciples • Letter of Adrian (Hadrianus) • Letter of Marcus Aurelius Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.