Nov 092013
 

ChristianSymbolsWhich texts refer to Catholic or Gnostics, to Christians or to Nazarenes? Which texts mention the Gospel, Knowledge, or Belief? Where do we find Synagogues and Churches mentioned? Discussion of the way, of the spiritual, or of the kingdom? Who refers to insiders as brothers, holy ones, or chosen?

Earlier I produced A Table of Christological Titles in Early Christian Writings. This table concerns the kind of references found in these texts to refer to insiders and their distinguishing characteristics. Sometimes I’ve had to note substantial differences in the reference such as, for example, when a term is mentioned in a negative context. Several of the entries involve a layer of interpretation instead of a simple word search, so please compare always against the original texts for an exact sense of what this table is supposed to represent.

The New Testament results were obtained with a search on the Greek lemma in the Bibleworks program. The other results came from a search for the English equivalent or synonyms in English translation. One desideratum, of course, is to found all the results on an original language footing. I may be able to do this when I revisit particular columns for closer examination.

As before, I welcome corrections of my errors quite eagerly, as I know there are mistakes in the table.

The order presented here is descending by the number of terms, with alphabetization of the title as a tiebreaker. It has been necessary to split the table into two parts to fit into this blog.

Text Christian? Catholic? Gnostic? Gospel? Knowledge? Believer? Kingdom?
Hippolytus of Rome Christian Catholic Gnostic (other) Gospel (book) Knowledge (other) Believer Kingdom
Tertullian Christian Catholic Gnostic (other) Gospel (book) Knowledge (other) Believer Kingdom
Clement of Alexandria Christian Catholic Gnostic Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Origen Christian Catholic Gnostic (other) Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Irenaeus of Lyons Christian Catholic Gnostic (other) Gospel (book) Knowledge (other) Believer Kingdom
Ignatius of Antioch Christian Catholic Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Justin Martyr Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Epistle of Barnabas Gospel Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Melito of Sardis Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
1 Clement Gospel Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Acts of Peter Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Gospel of Matthew Gospel Believer Kingdom
Gospel of Philip Christian Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Martyrdom of Polycarp Christian Catholic Gospel (book) Knowledge Unbeliever (other) Kingdom
Paul – Romans Gospel Knowledge Believer Kingdom (14.17)
2 Clement Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Acts of the Apostles Christian Gospel Believer Kingdom
Didache Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Kingdom
Epistula Apostolorum Christian Gospel Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Acts of Paul Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer
Gospel of Luke Knowledge (1.77) Believer Kingdom
Gospel of Mark Gospel Believer Kingdom
Paul – 1 Corinthians Gospel Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Paul – 1 Timothy Gospel Knowledge (6.20 / other) Believer Kingdom
Paul – Colossians Gospel Knowledge (2.3) Kingdom (1:13)
Paul – Ephesians Gospel Knowledge (3.19) Believer Kingdom (5.5)
1 Peter Christian (4.16) Gospel Knowledge (3.7) Believer
Acts of Andrew Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Apocryphon of James Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Diognetus Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer
Paul – 1 Thessalonians Gospel Believer Kingdom (2.12)
Polycarp Gospel (book) Believer Kingdom
Revelation Gospel (heaven) Kingdom
Shepherd of Hermas Knowledge Believer
Treatise on the Resurrection Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer
Coptic Apocalypse of Peter Knowledge Kingdom
Gospel of John Believer Kingdom
Hebrews Believer Kingdom
Paul – 2 Thessalonians Gospel Believer Kingdom (1.5)
Paul – Galatians Gospel Believer Kingdom (5.21)
Acts of John Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Acts of Peter and the Twelve Believer Kingdom
Apocryphon of John Knowledge Kingdom (aeon)
Aristides Christian Gospel (book) Knowledge Believer
Ascension of Isaiah Christian Believer
Athenagoras of Athens Christian Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Gospel of Truth Gospel Knowledge Believer (past)
James Believer (other) Kingdom (2:5)
Odes of Solomon Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Paul – 2 Corinthians Gospel Knowledge
Paul – Philippians Gospel Knowledge (3.8)
Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs Knowledge Believer
Theophilus of Antioch Christian Gospel (book) Believer
2 Peter Knowledge Kingdom (1.11)
Book of Thomas the Contender Knowledge Believer Kingdom
Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth Knowledge
First Apocalypse of James Knowledge Believer
Gospel of Thomas Knowledge Believer (other) Kingdom
Melchizedek Knowledge Unbelief (other)
Paul – Philemon Gospel
Sibylline Oracles Book VIII Knowledge Believer
Authoritative Teaching Knowledge
Dialogue of the Savior Believer (of truth)
Eugnostos the Blessed Knowledge Belief (other)
Letter of Peter to Philip Believer
Paul – 2 Timothy Gospel
Second Apocalypse of James Knowledge
Sophia of Jesus Christ Gospel (book) Knowledge Kingdom (aeons)
Trimorphic Protennoia Knowledge Kingdom
1 John Believer
3 John
Gospel of Mary Knowledge
Jude
2 John
Coptic Apocalypse of Paul
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Paul – Titus Believer
Tatian’s Address to the Greeks Knowledge
Gospel of Peter
Infancy Gospel of James
 

Here is the second part of the table.

Text Brother? Saint? Elect? Spiritual? Church? Synagogue? Way? Nazarene?
Hippolytus of Rome Brother Saint Elect Spiritual (past/other) Church Synagogue (past) Way Nazarene
Tertullian Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Synagogue (past) Way Nazarene
Clement of Alexandria Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Synagogue (past) Way
Origen Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Synagogue (past/other) Way
Irenaeus of Lyons Saint Elect Spiritual (past/other) Church Synagogue (past) Way
Ignatius of Antioch Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Way
Justin Martyr Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Synagogue Way
Epistle of Barnabas Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Synagogue (past) Way
Melito of Sardis Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Way
1 Clement Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Way
Acts of Peter Brother Church Synagogue Way Nazarene
Gospel of Matthew Brother Saint (27.52) Elect Church Synagogue Way Nazarene
Gospel of Philip Saint Elect Spiritual Church Way Nazarene
Martyrdom of Polycarp Brother Saint Elect Church
Paul – Romans Brother Saint Elect Spiritual Church Way
2 Clement Brother Elect Spiritual Church Way
Acts of the Apostles Brother Church Synagogue Way (3.17) Nazarene
Didache Brother Saint Spiritual Church Way
Epistula Apostolorum Brother Elect Church Way
Acts of Paul Brother Spiritual Church Way
Gospel of Luke Brother Elect (18.7) Synagogue Way Nazarene
Gospel of Mark Brother Elect Synagogue Way (12.14) Nazarene
Paul – 1 Corinthians Brother Saint Spiritual Church
Paul – 1 Timothy Brother Saint (5.10) Elect (2.10) Church
Paul – Colossians Brother Saint Elect (3.12) Spiritual Church
Paul – Ephesians Brother Saint Spiritual Church
1 Peter Brother (5.12) Elect Spiritual (2.5)
Acts of Andrew Brother Way
Apocryphon of James Brother Saint Elect Spiritual
Diognetus Saint Spiritual Church
Paul – 1 Thessalonians Brother Saint (3.13) Church Way (3.11)
Polycarp Brother Saint Elect Church
Revelation Brother Saint Elect (17.14) Church Synagogue
Shepherd of Hermas Brother Saint Elect Church Way
Treatise on the Resurrection Brother Elect Spiritual Way
Coptic Apocalypse of Peter Brother Elect Spiritual Way
Gospel of John Brother Synagogue Way (14.6) Nazarene
Hebrews Brother Saint Church Way
Paul – 2 Thessalonians Brother Saint (1.10) Church
Paul – Galatians Brother Spiritual (6.1) Church
Acts of John Brother Church
Acts of Peter and the Twelve Brother Church Way
Apocryphon of John Saint Way Nazarene
Aristides Brother
Ascension of Isaiah Saint Elect One (Jesus) Church
Athenagoras of Athens Brother
Gospel of Truth Brother Way
James Brother Church Synagogue
Odes of Solomon Elect Way
Paul – 2 Corinthians Brother Saint Church
Paul – Philippians Brother Saint Church
Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs Saint Elect Synagogue
Theophilus of Antioch Church Way
2 Peter Brother Way
Book of Thomas the Contender Elect
Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth Brother Spiritual Way
First Apocalypse of James Brother Way
Gospel of Thomas Elect
Melchizedek Brother Elect (Two)
Paul – Philemon Brother Saint Church
Sibylline Oracles Book VIII Saint Elect
Authoritative Teaching Spiritual Way
Dialogue of the Savior Brother Elect
Eugnostos the Blessed Spiritual
Letter of Peter to Philip Brother Synagogue
Paul – 2 Timothy Brother (4.21) Elect (1.1)
Second Apocalypse of James Brother Way
Sophia of Jesus Christ
Trimorphic Protennoia Brother
1 John Brother
3 John Brother Church
Gospel of Mary Brother
Jude Brother (1.1) Saint
2 John Elect
Coptic Apocalypse of Paul Elect (apostles)
Infancy Gospel of Thomas Brother
Paul – Titus
Tatian’s Address to the Greeks
Gospel of Peter
Infancy Gospel of James
 

I am releasing this first draft now, despite its flaws, for anyone who finds it useful.

I have yet another table in production that will bring together references to leadership roles.

Comments

comments

  4 Responses to “A Table of Self-Identifications in Early Christian Writings”

  1. Thanks, great work ! Kunigunde

  2. Dear Peter Kirby, I have a question, but my english ist not so good. Sorry for this ! I hope that you have a minute for me, to detect what i mean 😉 and can give me a little help.

    I find your tables very instructive, but it would be nice for me to have an additional table or additional informations about four, five points. First I will a little explain what I mean.

    I read the Didache several months ago and my impression was, that in the Didache is a very low christological “knowlegde” und no christological “ambition”. I would say, that for instance in the pastoral epistles is little more knowledge, but also no ambition. Than, I would further say, we have for instance 2 Corinthians and 2 Peter with broad christological knowledge and also with distinct ambition, than Hebrews with very high knowledge and distinct ambition and so on. But there are also “warnings” or “downplays” of knowledge and ambition (for instance pastorals, James, Jude, 1 Corinthians 8, 1), sometimes is the ambition and the warning in the same paper. That all is one point. I think we can try this with other points, for instance

    – collective faith vs. individual seeking (Gospel of Thomas, Gnosis ?) – with or without distinct structure of the community, local (John ?) or supraregional network or connections (Paul´s “Hauptbriefe”), relevance of “love” and help in the community, existence of opponents and so on
    – relevance of humility, piety, sexual abstinence, ritual purification or other rituals
    – personal transformation of the believers (Albert Schweitzer´s “Sein in Christo” in Paul, Gospel of Thomas and so on)
    – other points ?

    Do you know a book, which try to explain such differences between the early chrstian writings ? Or can you make me the table of my wishes 😉 ? I´m not in the position to make such greater things.

    Thank you much, Kunigunde

    • Hi Kunigunde,

      Thanks for your comment! You present a compelling set of problems and questions. I wish I had quick and easy answers! But I have not done the study needed to give a proper answer.

      I’ve been asking questions of the sources that are pretty easy to answer with searching tools. Titles for Christ, names for Christians, and terms for leadership are all easy enough searches. My next thought was actually to go for another easy answer and come up with a table of references to particular apostles as well as a few more christological titles I hadn’t included before.

      But we can’t just ask the easy questions! Your questions are excellent and well-considered, but they will require a thorough reading of the sources, with an eye to these questions, to bring out a comprehensive answer. They don’t show up very obviously with word searches; at least, the search could miss those times when the concept appears without any of the obvious associated terms.

      One of the particular tasks you mention–finding areas of relevance for “humility, piety, sexual abstinence, ritual purification, or other rituals”–was indeed where I wanted to go next, after surveying the easy-to-search stuff. This would basically come into two separate studies: a survey of the ethical teachings found in Christian writings (what they emphasized, where they disagreed) and a survey of the evidence for rituals left in Christian writings (daily ablutions, circumcision, fasting, Jewish holidays VS new holidays, sabbath VS sunday, baptism, chrism, eucharist, etc.).

      But you also bring up things I haven’t even thought much about. Which texts emphasize the role of authority or of common worship, and which are more individualistic? What styles of community can we imagine? What kind of outreach and help existed inside and outside these groups? Good questions.

      It’s also very interesting to ask where opponents are identified or implied in the texts. Basically just a catalogue of the opponents and where they appear… complicated, of course, by how many different identifications have been made of most every reference to opponents in the New Testament.

      I also appreciate the distinction you make between the “knowledge” and the “ambition” of the author in relation to the presentation of christology. An author can put a high emphasis on the subject with a relatively low opinion of the incarnation, or the author can accept the most complicated and exalted opinion while considering it scarcely a topic to discuss.

      I personally do not know any book that will explain all these things. Let me know if you find one! That would be an interesting read.

      Best wishes,
      Peter Kirby

      • Hi Peter, thank you. I will keep an eye out for these two studies. It seems to me, that many writings stressed these points and ethical teachings or the relevance of rituals were really hot topics for a lot of the early christians. Greetings, Kunigunde

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)