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The Christian two ways Tradition: Its Antiquity, Form, and Function

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Chapter Summary

This chapter relies so heavily upon the critical judgments of others that, so far from being a finished product, there is a certain sense in which it is hardly begun. Nevertheless, the probability that the Two Ways tradition deserves to be treated as evidence bearing on primitive Christian history continues to meet scholarly resistance. For that reason, one is willing to venture the following essay as a tentative probing of one aspect of that history. The Two Ways tradition might have been taken as evidence of strains in primitive Christianity which was not congenial to the prevailing views of the apostolic age. In form as well as content the Two Ways is characterized by more than a metaphor of contrast. The following pattern is apparent in the earliest representatives of the genre: sharply dualistic introduction; lists of "virtues" and "vices"; and concluding eschatological admonition.

Keywords: apostolic age; Christian Two Ways Tradition



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