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Paul And The Pagans

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Chapter Summary

Commentators have identified in Pauls letters a great number of quotations of, allusions to, and parallels with pagan writings. There is no question that Jewish sources are for Paul his primary source material. This chapter lists more than two hundred parallels with pagan literature. In a few cases we have formal quotations. In other cases we have allusions and in most cases we have at most parallels that probably reflect no more than the way educated people spoke Greek. Some of the parallels are not literary at all, but concern geographical or scientific matters. Several of the cities visited by Paul boasted facilities for public athletic events. These cities included, among others, Caesarea Maritima, Philippi, Athens, Ephesus, and Corinth. The engagement of early Christian writers with major Greco-Roman philosophers and ethicists in large measure continues a tradition developed in the earliest apostolic writers and apologists, preeminent among whom is Paul.

Keywords: Caesarea Maritima; Christian writers; Greek; pagan literature; parallels; Paul

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