Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom by Demetrios E. Tonias

By Demetrios E. Tonias

All through its first 3 centuries of lifestyles, the Christian group, whereas new to the Roman world's pluralistic non secular scene, portrayed itself as an ancient faith. The early church neighborhood claimed the Jewish Bible as their very own and appeared to it to safeguard their claims to historicity. whereas Jews regarded to Moses and the Sinai covenant because the concentration in their ancient dating 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 success of God's announcement that Abraham will be "a father of many countries" (Gen 17:5).

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

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

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As much as church leaders sought to define boundaries separating Christians from Greco-Roman and Jewish institutions, both traditions had a profound influence on Christian religious thought. Greek philosophical thought, in particular, affected the manner in which Christian theologians formed their members into faithful Christian believers. The homily and the catechetical discourse were powerful tools that priests and hierarchs such as Chrysostom used to mold their flocks into Christian congregations.

23. 405). Literary, Rhetorical, and Exegetical Influences | 19 instructing his congregation to “read, if you will, both our own (books), and those without: for they also abound in such examples. If you despise ours, and this from pride; if you admire the works of philosophers, go even to them. They will instruct you, relating ancient calamities, as will poets, and orators, and sophists, and all historians. ”25 The lessons to be gleaned from these quotes are twofold. First, although Chrysostom railed against Greek philosophers and their methods, he was more than willing to play the part of Basil’s bee and make use of those aspects of philosophical thought and oratory that suited his needs.

36 | Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom virtuous, for the Stoics, made someone a good Roman, and it was the virtue of the great patriarchs and prophets of Israel, for the church fathers, that made them good Israelites. In surveying the personages of the Hebrew scripture, and desiring to present these figures as models to be emulated, Philo and later, Christians, naturally associated the idea of virtue with many of the prominent figures of their respective faiths. ”85 Reference to the prominent figures of the Jewish Bible as models of virtue was a point of intersection for both the Jewish philosopher Philo and the early church fathers who read and drew upon his works.

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