unit_1a.context.internet

unit_1a.context.internet - Christian History The Context...

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Christian History: The Context
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The Greek, Roman and Jewish backgrounds of early Christianity
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What three cultures had the greatest impact on the development of the Christian Church? Hebrew Greek Roman
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I. The Greek World A. Political History 1. Philip II of Macedon (d. 336 BC)
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I. The Greek World A. Political History 2. Alexander the Great (d. 323 BC) Who played me in the movie? A blonde Colin Farrell?!
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I. The Greek World A. Political History 3. Division of the Empire a. Wars of the Diadochi (“successors”) b. Final Division of the Empire 1) Ptolemaic Empire 2) Seleucid Empire 3) Macedonia
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I. The Greek World B. Hellenism 1. Definition: Alexander’s attempt to convey the Greek ideals – the emulation of mid- fifth century Athens under Pericles; the promotion of Greek science, math, art, literature, and philosophy.
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I. The Greek World B. Hellenism 2. Significance: Hellenism exported Greek religion, philosophy, and language throughout the region where the early church spread.
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I. The Greek World C. Religion 1. Pantheon of gods and goddesses a. anthropomorphic b. capricious c. immoral d. supernatural e. immortal
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I. The Greek World C. Religion 2. Hero worship 3. The Delphic Oracle 4. Ruler cult 5. Personification of Fortune and Fate 6. Magic 7. Mystery religions
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I. The Greek World D. Philosophy 1. Socrates (c. 469-399 BC) “Socratic method” of questioning Knowledge is chief virtue “Correct thoughts lead to correct acts” Ethical values associated with Christianity Challenged anthropomorphism of gods Raised human ethical responsibility Influenced Plato and Aristotle
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I. The Greek World D. Philosophy 2. Plato (c. 427-347) a. The doctrine of the two worlds: The material things around us are not the ultimate realities; instead they are the shadows of universals which exist before and apart from individual, physical objects. As in the parable of the people in the cave seeing shadows cast on the wall, we comprehend only shadows and echoes of reality in this world. Cf. Hebrews 9:23-24
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I. The Greek World D. Philosophy 2. Plato (c. 427-347) b. The immortality and pre-existence of the soul: Plato taught the pre-existence of souls and their transmigration, or reincarnation, after death. Furthermore, because of his belief that only the spiritual has permanence, he affirmed the eternal death of the body. These tenets of his doctrine are opposed to Christian resurrection, but early Christians pointed to Plato’s assertion of the immortality of the soul for support of their hope.
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I. The Greek World D. Philosophy 2. Plato (c. 427-347) c. Knowledge as reminiscence: The Platonic doctrine of knowledge is based on a distrust of the senses as the means of attaining true knowledge. The senses can supply infor- mation only about objects of this world, not about ideas. Since true knowledge is only the knowledge of ideas, Plato taught the theory of reminiscence whereby the individual “remembered” ideas held over by the pre-existent soul. Obviously main- stream Christianity did not accept pre-existence or reminiscence, but distrust of sensory perception lingered, especially through Augustine’s theory of knowledge.
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I. The Greek World
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