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“Come Out Of Your Country And Your Kinsfolk”

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Chapter Summary


This chapter presents the three thematic strands that the author encountered in reading early Christian texts about Hagar. First, it explains some texts that pursue the line of interpretation advanced by Philo. Then, the chapter demonstrates how the Hagar/Sarah-typology as developed by Paul and styled by him as an allegorical interpretation, played a crucial role in the discussions about the lawfulness of such an allegorical approach to the text of the Scriptures. Finally, the chapter demonstrates how the duality between Hagar and Sara, inter alia in Gal 4, gave rise to a host of very diverse interpretations according to which Hagar and Sarah are presented as two options in the field of religion. The chapter shows how the church fathers labour in the shadow of Philo and Paul respectively and how they bring in their own insights into the basic framework developed by their predecessors of the first century CE.

Keywords:Christian texts; Church Fathers; Hagar; PauL; Philo


This chapter studies about Abraham and the nations, and particularly focuses on the relationship between Spartans and Jews. The connections between the two peoples, authentic or not, have often been analysed. The author focuses on these connections but limits himself to most recent literature, in particular the studies by Momigliano, Gruen and Jones. Source for a Jewish-Spartan relationship can be found in Hecataeus of Abdera's treatise On Egypt. This is also the oldest surviving work on the Jews in Greek literature, even though knowledge about them was already available in Peripatetic circles. Hecataeus probably wrote his work on Egypt around 315 BCE. The chapter discusses three letters in chronological order, from Maccabees, a book dated to the decades around 100 BCE. The oldest two letters consist of Numenius and Antipater (12:16), sent by Jonathan (161–143 BCE) around 143 BCE to the Romans and Spartans.

Keywords:Abraham; Antipater; Egypt; Hecataeus; Jews; Maccabees; Numenius; Spartans




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