Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Article on Perfection in Hebrews

Timothy Luckritz Marquis. "Perfection Perfected: The Stoic 'Self-Eluding Sage' and Moral Progress in Hebrews." Novum Testamentum 57.2 (2015): 187–205.

"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."

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