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Pagan angels in Roman Asia Minor

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:21 pm
by MrMacSon
Horsley, GHR and Luxford, Jean M (2016) Pagan angels in Roman Asia Minor: revisiting the epigraphic evidence. Anatolian Studies Vol 66; pp 141-183

Franz Cumont's influential article on pagan angels in Revue de l’histoire des religions, published just over a century ago in 1915, remains the point de départ for work on that subject. The present essay offers a brief evaluation of some of its features, and then concentrates on Greek epigraphic evidence from Asia Minor in the Roman imperial period. Most of these texts were not published when Cumont wrote, or else he treated them briefly since his focus lay largely on ancient philosophical discussions about angeloi by both insiders and outsiders to the Christian movement; and geographically he ranged more widely than we have chosen to do. The main aim of the present essay, however, is to test the widely-accepted hypothesis of A.R.R. Sheppard (1980/1981) that Jewish influence on pagan notions of angeloi is visible in these inscriptions even though that influence was applied by non-Jews in a confused manner.

Re: Pagan angels in Roman Asia Minor

Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:24 pm
by MrMacSon
Larry Hurtado has written about the article -

"One of the broad purposes of the article is to “push back” against some earlier tendencies to posit Jewish and/or Christian influence on inscriptions that appeal to or mention “angels”. Of course, the Greek term didn’t originate with Jews or Christians, but in ordinary Greek usage, in which it can designate either a human messenger or a heavenly “divine” one. The term was adopted in the Greek OT as a good translation-equivalent for the Hebrew “malach,” and thereby became part of ancient Jewish and then ancient Christian parlance too. As the authors contend, unless you’re predisposed to seeing Jewish or Christian influences, there’s little reason to do so.' ... christian/