The Bible in Athanasius of Alexandria

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"Athanasius of Alexandria was the fourth-century bishop famous for his role in the establishment of Nicene orthodoxy. For centuries he was regarded with reverence as the man "who almost single-handedly turned back the Arian threat of the fourth century," but at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, this reverence gave way to demonization as critics began to doubt the authenticity and originality of his writings and painted him personally as ruthless, lying, and domineering. Interest in his theological writings waned as they were increasingly perceived as propaganda supporting a quest for political power." Modern scholars of Athanasius of Alexandria have considered the dissonance of these disparate views and tread the balance in between. They acknowledge both the positive contributions and flaws of the bishop's writings and take into account the social and political framework of Athanasius's time and its influences on his work. Building upon the foundations laid by modern scholars such as Charles Kannengiesser and David Brakke, James D. Ernest's study of the famous bishop examines rhetorical and exegetical appropriations of Scripture especially in the Greek corpus of Athanasius's writings. An introductory chapter surveys earlier scholarship on Athanasian exegesis and on intertextual usage in related literatures. Subsequent chapters examine Athanasius's practice in his apologetic, dogmatic-polemical, dogmatic-historical, and pastoral writings. Ernest shows how Athanasius's writings interpret the Bible as a unified account that explains salvation in terms of the incarnation of the uncreated Word of God and models it through the positive and negative examples of various biblical characters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780391041769
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Series: Bible in Ancient Christianity Series, #2
  • Pages: 486
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

James D. Ernest, Ph.D. (2000) in history of Christian life and thought (Theology), Boston College, is an editor at Baker Academic. He edited and translated C. Spicq, Theological Lexicon of the New Testament (Hendrickson, 1994).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The earth full of the knowledge of the Lord : the Bible in the apologetic writings 43
3 The word enfleshed : the Bible in the dogmatic-polemical writings 105
4 Conflict and imitation : the Bible in the historical-polemical writings 183
5 The word lives : the Bible in the pastoral writings 269
6 Conclusion : Athanasius in light of his use of scripture 353
App. A Works of Athanasius 375
App. B Scripture index to selected Greek writings of Athanasius 380
App. C Terms used in the tables 419
App. D The date of Against the pagans and On the incarnation 423
App. E Kehrhahn's description of Athanasius's working method in Against the Pagans and On the incarnation 425
App. F The influence of Eusebius's Theophany on Athanasius 427
App. G The authenticity of Against the Arians 3 429
App. H Exegetical teaching and learning in the Homily on Luke 12:10 431
App. I Athanasius and the antichrist tradition 433
App. J The authenticity of the Life of Antony 435
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