Christianizing Homer: The Odyssey, Plato, and the Acts of Andrew

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDennis R. Macdonald

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This study focuses on the apocryphal Acts of Andrew (c. 200 CE), which purports to tell the story of the travels, miracles, and martyrdom of the apostle Andrew. Traditional scholarship has looked for the background of such writings in Jewish and Christian scriptures. MacDonald, however,breaks with that model and looks to classic literature for the sources of this story. Specifically, he argues that the Acts represent an attempt to transform Greco-Roman myth into Christian narrative categories by telling the story of Andrew in terms of Homeric epic, in particular the Odyssey.MacDonald presents a point-by-point comparison of the two works, finding the resemblances so strong, numerous, and tendentious that they virtually compel the reader to consider the Acts a transformative "rewriting" of the epic. This discovery not only sheds valuable light on the uses of Homer inthe early church but also significantly contributes to our understanding of the reception of Homer in the empire as a whole.

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This study focuses on the apocryphal Acts of Andrew (c. 200 CE), which purports to tell the story of the travels, miracles, and martyrdom of the apostle Andrew. Traditional scholarship has looked for the background of such writings in Jewish and Christian scriptures. MacDonald, however,breaks with that model and looks to classic liter...

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Amidst heightened scholarly interest in the extra-canonical New Testament, Dennis MacDonald presents a fresh and original study of one such apocryphal text. Christianizing Homer focuses on the Acts of Andrew (c. 200 CE), which chronicles the travels, miracles, and martyrdom of the apostle Andrew. While traditional scholarship has looke...

Dennis R. MacDonald is at Iliff School of Theology.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.57 × 6.14 × 1.22 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195087224

ISBN - 13:9780195087222

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"MacDonald offers a significant innovation."--Religious Studies Review