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Engaging the Christian Scripture ch. 8: The General Letters and Revelation
Terms in this set (16)
A type of literature, influenced primarily by the prophetic tradition, that is characterized by elaborate visions/dreams, symbols, numerology, angels, cosmic upheavals, and an emphasis on the end times, including the final judgment, resurrection, and eternal salvation. The term comes from the Greek word apokalypsis, which means "revelation." This revelatory literature, with its visions and related symbols, purports to reveal the future and/or heavenly realm in order to interpret the circumstances of its readers. The books of Daniel and Revelation are the two biblical books that represent the apocalypse genre.
An end-time perspective that sees reality in terms of two ages: the present evil age, which is dominated by sin and death and hostile to God's ways and God's people; and the age to come, which is a new heaven and a new earth where sin and death no longer exist. The transition from the present evil age to the age to come is facilitated by God's grand intervention (for early Christians this is Christ's return), which includes judgment of the wicked and vindication of the righteous.
The normative list of authoritative or scriptural texts. The term comes from the Greek word for a measuring rod.
A canonical collection that coalesced in the late third century and included James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. The modern category "General Letters" is based on the Catholic Epistles, though the General Letters adds the book of Hebrews.
Theological reflection that explores the significance and identity of Jesus of Nazareth.
The procedure of removing the foreskin from male genitals. Circumcision was a sign of God's covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17) and became a major Jewish identity marker.
A letter constructed by bringing together multiple smaller letters or fragments of letters and editing them into a unified letter.
A Christian heresy that emerged in the late first or early second century CE and denied the humanity of Jesus Christ. The word "Docetism" derives from the Greek dokein, "to seem." Docetists believed that Jesus only "seemed" to be human. Some adherents distinguished between the spiritual Christ and the human Jesus.
A modern designation for a group of New Testament writings comprising Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. These writings tend to address a general Christian audience. This collection is based on the ancient collection known as the "Catholic Epistles," which did not include Hebrews.
A term for a sermon.
Instructions addressing relationships within the Greco-Roman household such as those between husbands and wives, servants and masters, and parents and children. Biblical examples of household codes appear in Ephesians 5:22-6:9, Colossians 3:18-4:1, and 1 Peter 2:18-3:7 and inform material in 1 Timothy 3:1-8, 5:1-6:2, and Titus 2:1-10.
The worship of idols, which were material figures or images that represented deities. Idolatry was widespread in the ancient world, and is strictly prohibited in the biblical tradition. In addition, the biblical tradition forbids the fashioning of any kind of image representing YHWH.
A style of rhetoric in which familiar, traditional moral instructions are grouped together in order to encourage audiences to continue living in a particular way.
Speech on behalf of a deity. Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament can involve speech about the future acts of God, but more often is preaching about God's will for the present. Prophecy often uses shocking language to get the attention of a crowd.
Messengers from a deity who speak on behalf of the deity. Israelite prophets bring ancient Israel's faith traditions to bear in interpreting life for the people of faith and apply these traditions to the present relationship of the community with YHWH.
The ancient civilization that at its height held territories in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Roman imperial period began in 27 BCE when the Roman Senate made Octavian Caesar emperor and gave him the title "Augustus." The western half of the Roman Empire fell in the late fifth century CE, and the eastern half fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
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