The Atonement: The Origins of the Doctrine in the New Testament

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Overview

In the wake of suggestions that the doctrine of the atoning death of Christ did not come into being in the earliest stages of Christianity, Martin Hengel forcefully argues with impeccable scholarship that the doctrine can be traced back to the earliest church, indeed to the sayings of Jesus himself. In the first part of this examination, Hengel explores a wide area of classical antiquity. Would it have made sense to Greeks and Romans of the first century to say that Jesus had died for them? Were there points of contact in their traditions? Surveying Greek and Latin literature, Hengel shows just how widespread the theme "dying for" actually was, from Homer, through the Greek tragedians and orators, to Plutarch, Livy, and Caesar. The second part of the book is devoted to tracing the doctrine of atonement, moving back from the letters of Paul, through the pre-Pauline tradition, to Jesus.

About the Author:
Martin Hengel is Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism at the University of Tubingen, Germany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556352317
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 132

Meet the Author

Martin Hengel is Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He is the author of many books including 'Victory Over Violence & Was Jesus a Revolutionist?', 'Between Jesus and Paul', 'Judaism and Hellenism', 'Studies in the Gospel of Mark', and 'The "Hellenization" of Judaea in the First Century' after Christ. Hengel's most recent books include 'Studies in Early Christology' and 'The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ'.This book is translated by John Bowden.

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations     ix
Introduction     xi
Preliminary Questions     1
The problem     1
The apotheosis of the dying hero     4
Dying for the city and for friends     6
Dying for the law and for truth     15
Atoning sacrifice     19
The atoning death of Christ and the Graeco-Roman world     28
The Origin of the Soteriological Interpretation of the Death of Jesus     33
Pauline formulae and pre-Pauline tradition     34
The crucified Messiah     39
The atoning death of Jesus in the earliest community     47
Historical and traditio-historical objections     55
The origin of the message of the atoning death of the Messiah Jesus     65
Notes     76
Bibliography     97
Index of Biblical References     105
Index of Ancient Authors     108
Index of Modern Scholars     110
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