Lecture Eighteen Access to Power Visions and Prayer

Scope In all ancient religions, visions (and auditions) and prayer represent the two-way traffic between humans and the divine. Prayer is the enacted conviction that there is a power greater than the human at work in the world, access to which can be attained through human effort. Visions (and auditions) are the immediate experience of that greater power and, when reported to others through writing, offer testimony to a larger reality than that of the empirical world. The prayer of Jesus and...

Luke Timothy Johnson PhD

Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Emory University Luke Timothy Johnson is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. Born in 1943 and from the age of 19 to 28 a Benedictine monk, he received a B.A. in philosophy from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, an M.Div. in theology from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana, and an M.A. in religious studies from Indiana University,...

Outline

The Greco-Roman world saw as wide a range of religious attitudes and responses as any other. A. At one extreme are the people who seem to have virtually no religious instinct, operating completely in a secular perspective, such as the characters in Petronius's novel, Satyricon. B. At the other extreme are the hyper-religious whose fearful patterns of observance earned them the designation of the superstitious, a type included in the character sketches of Theophrastus in the fourth century...

Essential Reading

The most frequently cited primary sources in this course are the writings of the New Testament. Any modern translation is acceptable. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is available in several formats, among them The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha edited by B. M. Metzger and R. E. Murphy (New York Oxford University Press, 1991). The NRSV has the advantage of using the best available manuscript evidence and of being gender-inclusive. I tend to prefer its predecessor, the Revised...

Supplementary Reading

The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses. Translated by Robert Graves. New York Farrer, Strauss and Giroux, 1951. Banks, R. Paul's Idea of Community The Early House Churches in Their Historical Setting. Grand Rapids Eerdmans, 1994. A nontechnical and accessible treatment of Paul as a builder of communities, with a great deal of useful information. Barclay, J. M. G. Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora from Alexander to Trajan (323 B.C.E.-117 C.E.). Edinburgh T & T Clark, 1996. A well-informed...

Healing and Salvation

Scope Healing the sick is a manifestation of divine power in both Greco-Roman and Jewish religious traditions. Physical healing and exorcism are major components of Jesus's ministry in the Gospels and play a large role in the Acts of the Apostles (both canonical and apocryphal). The letters of Paul and James attest that a healing ministry continued in established Christian communities. As a visible sign of divine presence, healing tends to validate the healer as a divine agent and the movement...

Ce common era

of John the Baptist of Jesus (probable) of Saul Paul (probable) ministry and letters of Paul other epistolary literature burns Rome, punishes Christians of Jewish War against Rome of Paul (and probably also of Peter) of Jerusalem Temple by Romans Gospel of Mark Birkat Ha Minim Gospels of Matthew and Luke of John Letter of Clement of Ignatius of Antioch Jewish revolt against Rome of Jerusalem by Romans in Rome of Polycarp of Marcion of Justin of Montanus (approximate) of Irenaeus of Perpetua...