Article

New Testament Narrative and Greco-Roman Literature

Austin Busch

in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Narrative

ISBN: 9780199967728
Published online March 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199967728.013.4
New Testament Narrative and Greco-Roman Literature

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This article discusses Greek literature’s influence on the Gospels and Acts by exploring quotations of and allusions to Aratus and Euripides in Luke-Acts, and Homer in Mark. In particular, it considers the citation of Aratus’ Phaenomena in Paul’s Areopagus Discourse (Acts 17:22–31), of Euripides’s Bacchae in Acts 26:14, and a number of Luke’s more oblique literary engagements with those two works. It also analyzes the subtle allusion to the Odyssey’s Eurycleia episode (19.353–507) in Mark 14:3–9, situating all these representative examples of New Testament narrative’s intertextual engagement with pagan Greek literature in a Greco-Roman rhetorical context with reference to ancient illustrations and discussions of literary influence and adaptation from Virgil (vis-à-vis Homer), Theon, Quintilian, Pliny, and Seneca.

Keywords: Gospels; Acts; Euripides; Aratus; Homer; intertextuality; Greco-Roman rhetoric

Article.  6295 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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