About the Author
Patrick Gray, Ph.D. (2002), Emory University, is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Note on Texts and Translations
Introduction The Question: “Superstition” or “Godly Fear”?
Self-Definition in the Early Church: Christianity as Superstition Plutarch and the Epistle to the Hebrews: A Common Milieu New Testament Studies and the History-of-Religions School Contextualization, Comparison, and“Parallelomania”
Plutarch and the New Testament The Greco-Roman Background of Hebrews: The State of the Question Approach
Plutarch and Superstition Introduction Terminology Latin Greek Plutarch on Superstition in the Moralia and the Lives: Typical or Atypical?
The Role of Fear in Plutarch’s Religious Thought Hellenistic Analyses of the Emotions Platonic Antecedents Aristotle Stoicism Epicureanism Summary Plutarch on Superstition as Inappropriate Fear The Question of Authenticity Plutarch’s Argument: Summary and Analysis Superstition and the Emotions Positive and Negative Fear Fear of Death Atheism and Superstition Compared: Theological and Practical Aspects Piety as a Mean Conclusion
Freedom from Fear as a Christian Ideal in Hebrews Introduction Fear of Death (Heb 2:15)
Sources of Fear of Death Subjective Quality of Fear of Death Scope: Whom Does Fear of Death Affect?
Assessment: Is Fear of Death Morally Culpable?
Prescription: How to Be Free From Fear of Death
“Help in Time of Need”: Jesus the Great High Priest Priesthood as Fraternity: Brotherly Love and “The Order of Melchizedek”
“Confidence” before God: ΠΑΡΡΗΣΙΑ in Hebrews Confidence as Members of God’s Household (Heb 3:6)
Confidence Before the Throne of Grace (Heb 4:16)
Confidence in the Heavenly Sanctuary (Heb 10:19-31)
The Clean Conscience (Heb 10:19-25)
Apostasy and the Forfeiture of Confidence (Heb 10:26-31)
The Reward of Confidence (Heb 10:35)
Fearlessness in the Face of Earthly Dangers Withstanding Persecution Heb 10:32-39
Defiance of Human Authorities: Moses’ Fearlessness (Heb 11:23-28)
Reinterpreting Adversity as God’s Education (Heb 12:5-11)
Reverence and Awe: Fear as an Appropriate Response to God in Hebrews Introduction Jesus’ “Godly Fear” (Heb 5:7)
What Does Jesus Pray For and How Is He “Heard”?
The Exemplary Function of Jesus’ Submission Fear as a Concomitant of Revelation and Worship (Heb 12:18-29)
Moses’ “Fear and Trembling” at Sinai (Heb 12:21)
Worship in the Last Days: “Reverence and Awe” (Heb 12:28-29)
Conclusions Bibliography Index of Modern Authors Index of Ancient Authors Index of Biblical Texts