By Demetrios E. Tonias

All through its first 3 centuries of lifestyles, the Christian neighborhood, whereas new to the Roman world's pluralistic non secular scene, portrayed itself as an old faith. The early church group claimed the Jewish Bible as their very own and seemed to it to protect their claims to historicity. whereas Jews appeared to Moses and the Sinai covenant because the concentration in their old courting with God, the early church fathers and apologists pointed out themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and observed their undertaking to the Gentiles because the achievement of God's statement that Abraham will be "a father of many countries" (Gen 17:5).

It is in gentle of this historical past that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the 1st, finished exam of John Chrysostom's view of the patriarch Abraham.

By reading the entire diversity of references to Abraham in Chrysostom's paintings, Tonias unearths the ways that Chrysostom used Abraham as a version of philosophical and Christian advantage, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient religion.

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78 J. de Waal Dryden explains that “paraenesis seeks to facilitate progress [προκοπή] in moral virtue. ”79 Thus, early church homilists and catechists used philosophical modes of speech to establish the practical and livable aspects of virtuous Christian behavior for the members of their flock, not as a theoretical goal but as something entirely achievable in this life. One of the most common methods of defining Christian behavior was to set forth virtuous figures as models worthy of emulation, which was most certainly one aspect of Greek philosophical thought that was profoundly influential on the early church fathers.

In her analysis of Chrysostom’s exegetical view of Noah, Hagit Amirav describes why Chrysostom was attracted to the Stoic model, noting that the “Stoic-like emotional control of the virtuous man and his detachment from the multitude’s usual preference and goals are eulogized . . ”9 Chrysostom projected Stoic attributes onto the figures Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others in an effort to communicate to his flock the virtue he saw in these scriptural personages and which he desired his congregation to emulate.

One example is Chrysostom mistaking the transliteration of the Hebrew zo’em (God is angry) for the Greek word for life (ζωήν). John Chrysostom, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, trans. Robert C. Hill, 2 vols. (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), 1:26–27. 53. 421. 54. 429. Literary, Rhetorical, and Exegetical Influences | 27 Hexapla) with the Greek to help resolve difficult passages. Chrysostom comments on Gen. ”56 The implication for Chrysostom was that the Hebrew “under my loins” more directly referred to the procreative aspect of the Abrahamic promise that he would be the father of many nations.

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