Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Testament (continued) to A.D. 50.

New Testament (continued)

Paul to the Thessalonians. Founding of the church in Thessalonica. Jesus' second coming. Description of the Antichrist.

Paul to Timothy. Theme: care of the Church. Written by someone else? Outlines course of Church action, guidelines for Christians. Administrative functions; selection of Bishops and ministers. Theme: Gnosticism. Matter is evil; spirit is good. Gnosticism said that Christ allowed men to escape the prison of the flesh, leading to asceticism and licentiousness. Problems with Gnosticism: How could a good God create an evil world? If matter is evil, and Christ was both flesh and God, then Christ could not be truly human.

Paul to Titus. The same as Timothy.

Paul to Philemon. The only personal letter in the New Testament. To the master of a runaway slave asking him to forgive the slave. Christian social order: harmoniously includes slaves, rabbis and pagans.

Paul to the Hebrews. Who actually wrote this letter? The role of Jesus as the highest priest of God. Christ's personal sacrifice made for all.

The Epistle of James. Who was the author? Moral obligation of Christians; Christian acts.

The Epistles of Peter. Who was the author? Encourages Christians who suffered persecution. Suffering will be rewarded with salvation. Moral and ethical responsibilities as a means to holiness. Denounces moral laxity and false teachers. Knowledge of Jesus is most important.

The Epistles of John. Warn against false teachings, especially Gnosticism. Adherence to the 10 Commandments and brotherly love. Concern about an arrogant, ambitious young Church official. Also the author of the Gospel?

Jude. Crisis. Defends the Christian faith against corrupt doctrines and practices. Antinomianism: person with faith is free from observing the law. "Once saved, always saved." Also concerned with gnosticism.

Revelation. Only pure apocalyptic book in the New Testament. Unknown author, a prisoner. Vision of the end of the world and the triumph of Jesus. Symbolic Mystic numbers. Antichrist precedes the second coming of Christ. Beast with 7 heads, 10 horns and the number 666 are associated with Antichrist.

London (Londinium) is founded by the Romans.

A.D. 50. On the Sublime. Anon. Greek. Treatise. Five sources of the sublime in literature: significant thought; intense emotion; powerful figures of speech; excellence in choice of language; effective organization. Passion for novelty converts the sublime to the ridiculous.

A.D. 50. Kama-sutra. Vatsyayana. India. Nonfiction. Kama = love. sutra = science. The art, techniques of Indian erotics.

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