• Perfection Perfected

    Author(s):
    Timothy Luckritz Marquis (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Ancient philosophy, Christian origins, New Testament, Stoicism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/ehah-9193
    Abstract:
    Hebrews evinces the linked exegetical aporiae of, on the one hand, tension between the asserted perfection of the believer and exhortations to further perfection and, on the other, a similar tension between Christ’s exalted, preexistent nature and claims about his need for further perfection during his earthly life. The paper proposes the Stoic figure of the “self-eluding sage” as a helpful contextual analogue for explaining the indicative-imperative problem in Hebrews. Originally a product of early epistemological debates among Hellenistic philosophical schools, the “self-eluding sage” (διαλεληθὼς σοφός) was deployed by Philo and Plutarch in Roman-era debates on the nature of moral progress. Terminological and structural similarities between discussions of the Stoic figure and discussions of progress in Hebrews (especially 5:14-6:3) help contextualize the speech’s concern for moral insight and improvement within a general Roman-era focus on moral progress toward filling communal roles.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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