By Demetrios E. Tonias
All through its first 3 centuries of lifestyles, the Christian neighborhood, whereas new to the Roman world's pluralistic non secular scene, portrayed itself as an historical faith. The early church group claimed the Jewish Bible as their very own and appeared to it to protect their claims to historicity. whereas Jews seemed to Moses and the Sinai covenant because the concentration in their ancient dating with God, the early church fathers and apologists pointed out themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and observed their challenge to the Gentiles because the achievement of God's statement that Abraham will be "a father of many countries" (Gen 17:5).
It is in gentle of this heritage that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the 1st, finished exam of John Chrysostom's view of the patriarch Abraham.
By examining the entire variety of references to Abraham in Chrysostom's paintings, Tonias finds the ways that Chrysostom used Abraham as a version of philosophical and Christian advantage, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient religion.
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Extra resources for Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom
23. 405). Literary, Rhetorical, and Exegetical Influences | 19 instructing his congregation to “read, if you will, both our own (books), and those without: for they also abound in such examples. If you despise ours, and this from pride; if you admire the works of philosophers, go even to them. They will instruct you, relating ancient calamities, as will poets, and orators, and sophists, and all historians. ”25 The lessons to be gleaned from these quotes are twofold. First, although Chrysostom railed against Greek philosophers and their methods, he was more than willing to play the part of Basil’s bee and make use of those aspects of philosophical thought and oratory that suited his needs.
Harry Hubbell succinctly describes the application of encomiastic language in the rhetorical tradition Chrysostom inherited from Libanius. “The virtues of the body are health, strength, and beauty. ”37 Consider, for example, Chrysostom’s vivid association of hard labor with Abraham to his congregation in one of his homilies on Acts: “But think now what a thing it would be to see a presbyter, the moving picture of Abraham, gray-headed, girded up, digging and working with his own hands? What more pleasant than such a field!
36 Libanius, like Chrysostom, was engaged in the art of persuasion and used a variety of rhetorical techniques that were part and parcel of the sophistic method. These techniques included hyperbole [ὑπερβολή], ekphrastic rhetoric [ἔκφρασις], and psogos [ψόγος]. For Chrysostom, the techniques he learned from Libanius (and mastered) were one thing, and the application of those techniques was something entirely different. Chrysostom applied the techniques he learned as a student under Libanius to promote his vision of a virtuous Christian life for the citizens of Antioch.