(2) As to the speculation of the errorists, it is replied that it is explicable in the lifetime of Paul, that some of the elements of it may have their source in pre-Christian Jewish theories, and that recourse to the developed gnosticism of the 2nd century is unnecessary.
In the east Syrian, the Armenian and the Georgian churches, respectively Nestorian, Monophysite and Greek Orthodox in their tenets, the agape was from the first a survival, under Christian and Jewish forms, of the old sacrificial systems of a pre-Christian age.
Such systems have been elaborated chiefly by modern thinkers, but the germs of the ideas are found widely spread in the older Oriental philosophies and in pre-Christian European thought.
The Pythagorean theory of numbers, Neoplatonic ideas of emanation, the Logos, the personified Wisdom, Gnosticism - these and many other features combine to show the antiquity of tendencies which, clad in other shapes, are already found in the old pre-Christian Oriental religions.
Liber sapientiae), an apocryphal book of the "Wisdom Literature" (q.v.), the most brilliant production of pre-Christian Hebrew philosophical thought, remarkable both for the elevation of its ideas and for the splendour of its diction.
WISDOM LITERATURE, the name applied to the body of Old Testament and Apocryphal writings that contain the philosophical thought of the later pre-Christian Judaism.
The extant writings of the Jewish sages are contained in the books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ben-Sira, Tobit, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, 4th Maccabees, to which may be added the first chapter of Pirke Aboth (a Talmudic tract giving, probably, pre-Christian material).
preserved in its entirety only in Ethiopic. Jubilees is the most advanced pre-Christian representative of the midrashic tendency, which was already at work in the Old Testament 1 and 2 Chronicles.
The book, therefore, may go back to pre-Christian times.
founded on a Jewish and probably pre-Christian document, which forms the basis also of the Epistle of Barnabas.
In Palestine and western Syria, the home of pre-Christian Aramaic dialects, the vernacular Semitic speech had under Roman dominion been replaced by Greek for official and literary purposes.
It is probable that the glass drinking-vessels, which have been found in pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon tombs, were introduced from Germany.
Kohler (Kohut Memorial Volume, 18 97, pp. 264-338) has given good grounds for regarding the whole work, with the exception of some interpolations, as "one of the most remarkable productions of the pre-Christian era, explicable only when viewed in the light of Hasidean practice."
At the same time the facts that the inscriptions are undated until a late period, that few are historical in their contents, and for the most part yield only names of gods and rulers and domestic and religious details, and that our collection is still very incomplete, have led to much serious disagreement among scholars as to the reconstruction of the history of Arabia in the pre-Christian centuries.
Gawain, however, belonged to the pre-Christian stage of Grail tradition, and it is not surprising that writers, bent on spiritual edification, found him somewhat of a stumbling-block.
It also supplies a reason for including in our survey of creeds some reference to pre-Christian hymns and beliefs.
The creed in all its forms lies behind worship, which it preserves from idolatry, and behind ethics, to which it supplies a motive power which the pre-Christian system so manifestly lacked.
Three pre-Christian or extra-ecclesiastical usages are recorded by a half-heretical churchman, Marcellus of Ancyra (in Eusebius of Caesarea, Contra Marcellum, i.
Later Judaism emphasized the idea of vicarious atonement for Israel through the sufferings of the righteous, especially the martyrs; but it is very doubtful whether the idea of the atonement through the death of the Messiah is a pre-Christian Jewish doctrine."
But in the English Bible the presbyters of the New Testament are called " elders," not " priests "; the latter name is reserved for ministers of pre-Christian religions, the Semitic a '?"
The reason of this will appear more clearly in the sequel; it is enough to observe at present that, before our English word was formed, the original idea of a presbyter had been overlaid with others derived from pre-Christian priesthoods, so that it is from these and not from the etymological force of the word that we must start in considering historically what a priest is.
It is clear that in many respects fairyland corresponds to the pre-Christian abode of the dead.
2 Unfortunately there are no native documents from the pre-Christian Hellenistic period.
In the rock beneath the city there are some remarkable catacombs in part of pre-Christian origin, but containing evidence of early Christian burial; and a grotto, reputed to have given shelter to the apostle, is pointed out below the church of San Paolo.
The word is not found in pre-Christian writings except in the Septuagint, though as Deissmann has shown it is found on the Papyri as an official title for the village magistrates of Egypt and the members of the yEpovoia, or senate, of many towns in Asia Minor.
A general sketch of pre-Christian asceticism and monasticism, with indication of the chief authorities, is given in O.
Hannay, Spirit and Origin of Christian Monasticism (1903), app. i: the view now common among scholars is there maintained, that these pre-Christian realizations of the monastic idea had little, and indeed no, influence on the rise and development of Christian monasticism.
The standpoint is that of the peculiar Judaizing or Ebonite Christianity due to persistence among Christians of the tendencies known among pre-Christian Jews as Essene.
The Pilgrimage in pre-Christian and non-Christian Religions.
Here again, in some instances the pre-Christian elements so asserted themselves as to obscure the new and distinctive teaching.
Irenaeus regards as heretical the opinion that the souls of the departed pass immediately into glory; Tertullian, Cyprian, the Acts of St Perpetua, Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Basil, Gregory of Nyassa, Ambrose, Chrysostom and Jerome, all speak of prayer for the dead and seem to imply belief in a purgatory, but their view seems to have been affected by the pre-Christian doctrine of Hades or Sheol.
If this reasoning is correct, the Iranian immigration must be assigned to the first half of the second pre-Christian millennium.
There Persian and Attic money was widely distributed, and imitations of it struck, in the fifth and fourth pre-Christian centuries.
The Book of Jubilees is the most advanced pre-Christian representative of the Midrashic tendency, which had already been at work in the Old Testament Chronicles.
Portable altars and tables of offerings were used in pre-Christian as well as in Christian ritual.
persecutions to which we find no parallel in the pre-Christian civilization of Europe.
The attempt to Christianize the old Platonic list of virtues, which we have noticed in Augustine's system, was probably due to the influence of his master Ambrose, in whose treatise De officiis ministrorum we find for the first time an exposition of Christian duty systematized on a plan borrowed from a pre-Christian moralist.
(See the articles on Brahmanism; Buddhism; and Lhasa.) Pre-Christian Monasticism.
Several of various species in the Glastonbury area are of impressive age, rooted in pre-Christian days of the Druid religion.
Ulster journal of archeology Volume 20 (1957) - Table of Contents Scott, J H Analysis of Pre-Christian Irish Skeletal Material.
The hip movements and hand motions worked in conjunction to tell a story or to ask for favors, such as good harvest or fertility, from pre-Christian gods.
Pre-Christian pagan cultures held a belief in a female deity, drawn from Norse culture, that represented fertility and marriage.
The women of Crete in the pre-Christian days apparently had no time for a slow tease -- they went for a full-blown frontal assault!
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