Saturday, 11 April 2015

Jeremy Hundson: Tatian and the Jewish Scriptures

It is now sixty years since the late Robert Grant's paper on "Tatian and the Bible" was presented to the Second Oxford Patristics Conference in 1955.The theme remains one that does not receive a great deal of attention in scholarly work on Tatian, so that a reconsideration of the subject is timely.
The Oratio contains an apparent paradox in mhat Tatian claims in Chapter 29 that what he calls the 'barbarian writings' are of crucial importance for him, but then barely seems to refer to them in the remainder of the work.
This paper will consider the nature of the texts which Tatian refers to as 'barbarian writings' and what we can learn from the Oratio about the way in which he views them. It will consider how he uses the texts in developing his own theological arguments, and will show that references to the scriptures actually play a more significant role in the Oratio than is normally recognized.
It will also consider the wider implications of these findings for an understanding of how the Jewish scriptures were regarded by Christian apologists in the second century, and how they made use of these texts in their own works.

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