This title offers a presentation of education in the ancient world, and the role of Homer's poetic works in this culture. Homer was the gateway to education, to the skills of reading and writing. These skills were necessary for the nascent Church. Knowledge of Homer's writings was a sign of Greekness, of at-homeness in the society. Education was embedded in the mythology, immorality and idolatry of these writings. This challenged the Christians. This study presents how Christians responded to this. The opinions varied from rejection of Homer and all pagan literature, considering them works of the Devil, to critical involvement with this literature. This study attempts to trace the discourse on Homer and education among the Christians back to the New Testament. The topic does not come to the surface, but it is argued that in Paul's letters contrasting attitudes towards the propaideutic logic and the philosophical principle of usus (making right use of) are present.He opposed a logic wherein Christian faith represented the peak of education, the culmination of liberal studies.In his instruction on how to relate to the pagan world, Paul argues in accordance with the principle of usus. The New Testament is not so dependent upon the Homeric poems, as assumed by some scholars. The first Christians faced two hermeneutical challenges of fundamental importance: that of interpreting the Old Testament and how to cope with the Greek legacy embedded in Homer. The latter is not explicitly raised in the New Testament. But since the art of interpreting any text, presupposes reading skills, conveyed through liberal studies, the Homeric challenge must have been of utmost importance.Formerly the "Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement", a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. "The Early Christianity in Context" series, a part of JSNTS, examines the birth and development of early Christianity up to the end of the third century CE. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context."European Seminar on Christian Origins" and "Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Supplement" are also part of JSNTS.
The Challenge of Homer by Karl Olav Sandnes was published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC in March 2009 and is our 65493rd best seller. The ISBN for The Challenge of Homer is 9780567426642.