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Ancient Education and Early Christianity (Library of New Testament Studies | LNTS)

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What was the relationship of ancient education to early Christianity? This volume provides an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars who draw upon educational settings in the ancient world to inform their historical research in Christian origins. The book is divided into two sections: one consisting of essays on education in the ancient world, and one consisting of exegetical studies dealing with various passages where motifs emerging from ancient educational culture provide illumination.

The chapters summarize the state of the discussion on ancient education in classical and biblical studies, examine obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of early Christianity’s relationship to ancient education, compare different approaches, and compile the diverse methodologies into one comparative study. Several educational motifs are integrated in order to demonstrate the exegetical insights that they may yield when utilized in New Testament historical investigation and interpretation.

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Key Features

  • Examines backgrounds and settings for educational activity in both the Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds
  • Explores early Christian appropriations of ancient education
  • Considers the role of the Didache in early Christian catechesis


Part I: Educational Contexts and Settings

  • The Torah versus Homer: Jewish and Graeco-Roman
  • Exodus from the Cave: Moses as Platonic Educator
  • Observing a Teacher of Progymnasmata
  • The Seven Sages, The Delphic Canon and Ethical Education in Antiquity

Part II: Early Christian Appropriations

  • Fabulous Parables: The Storytelling Tradition in the Synoptic Gospels
  • The Origins of Greek Mimesis, Ancient Education, and Gospel of Mark: Genre as a Potential Constraint in Assessing Markan Imitation
  • Luke and Progymnasmata: Rhetorical Handbooks, Rhetorical Sophistication and Genre Selection
  • Luke’s Antetextuality in Light of Ancient Rhetorical Education
  • A School of Paul? The Use of Pauline Texts in Early Christian Schooltext Papyri
  • How Did the ‘Teaching’ Teach? The Didache as Catechesis


  • Matthew Ryan Hauge
  • Andrew W. Pitts
  • Catherine Hezser
  • Craig Evan Anderson
  • Ronald F. Hock
  • James R. Harrison
  • Sean A. Adams
  • Dennis R. MacDonald
  • Jennifer R. Strawbridge
  • William Varner

Praise for the Print Edition

In a welcome development, biblical scholars are increasingly devoting their attention to ancient literary education. The various essays in Ancient Education and Early Christianity contribute to this end, foregrounding topics such as the texts used for educational purposes (including the Torah, Paul’s letters, and the Didache) and the influence of the progymnasmata on the composition of early Christian narratives....Librarians should add this volume to their collections on early Christianity.

Religious Studies Review

The collection illustrates well how insights from classical studies can and arguably should be used ... by scholars of early Christianity investigating subjects ranging from NT exegesis, to reception history, to Christian material culture.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

The essays in this volume offer fresh perspectives on ancient education and the NT. They endorse a novel and promising approach to the sources of early Christianity, contributing to an understanding of its nature and course.


Product Details

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About the Editors

Matthew Ryan Hauge (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University in California, USA. A revised version of his dissertation, The Biblical Tour of Hell, is currently under review for inclusion in the Library of New Testament Studies Series (T&T Clark) and he is scheduled to contribute to the edited volume, New Testament and Empire, which is forthcoming in the SBL Resources for Biblical Studies series (Society of Biblical Literature).

Andrew W. Pitts is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Arizona Christian University, USA.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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