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Chapter Summary

The Shepherd of Hermas has the reputation of being "one of the most enigmatic writings to have come down to us from Christian antiquity". This chapter outlines the main areas of problems with which a student of the 11th Mandate finds himself confronted. The appearance of the commentary on Hermas by Martin Dibelius in the Handbuch zum Neuen Testament was a landmark in scholarship. Despite the fact that Peterson's articles appear in every bibliography on Hermas, he has found few imitators. This may be due to the sudden rise of interest in the Qumran texts which lessened the interest of many scholars in possible relationships between Hermas and the hellenistic world. The presence of Jewish elements in the work of Hermas has long been recognised, but the most important consensus of recent research on the Shepherd is to place the writing squarely in the milieu of Jewish Christianity.

Keywords: hellenistic world; Hermas; Jewish Christianity; Martin Dibelius; Qumran texts



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