1. Torah - (in Judaism) the law of God as revealed to Moses and recorded in the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures (the Pentateuch). The Torah is significant to the study of early Christian literature because the books detail the creation story as well as history on the Jewish Patriarchs and tell about the exodus from Egypt. The Torah was the authoritative scripture for early Jews and was what Jesus and his disciples followed. The commandments in the Torah are helpful for understanding the belief system and daily practices of ancient Jews The Torah is now partially incorporated into the bible as the old testament which provides history and background information when reading early christian literature.
2. Septuagint - a Greek version of the Jewish Scriptures redacted in the third and second centuries BC. by Jewish scholars and adopted by Greek-speaking Christians. The Septuagint is significant to the study of early christian literature because most Jews at the time did not read Hebrew so Greek speaking Jews translated the Jewish scriptures. The Septuagint is the most widely circulated translation and the one modern historians are most informed about. It is said that the Septuagint was translated by seventy different scribes held in isolation and all of them had the exact same translation. The Septuagint was also an authoritative text for early questions and it is quoted in the new testament by authors who did not know Hebrew.
3. Council of Hippo - At the Synod of Hippo (393), and again at the Synod of 397 at Carthage, a list of the books of Holy Scripture was drawn up, and these books (including some considered apocryphal by Protestants) are still regarded as the constituents of the Catholic canon. Th...
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... was the first of the gospels to be written and it is heavily used by Matthew and Luke. Mark is a biography of Jesus in a Greco Roman style. Mark is heavily rooted in Jewish tradition and he focuses on showing how Jesus is the messiah and how he will fulfill the Jewish scripture.
10. Messianic Secret - a motif primarily in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus is portrayed as commanding his followers to silence about his Messianic mission. The messianic secret is significant to early christian literature because it is a reoccurring theme that begs the question of why Jesus would not want his mission to be publicized. William Wrede a famous German scholar wrote a book about the riddle and how perhaps Jesus urged secrecy because he did not believe he was the messiah and that the early christian community had created that idea to maintain the idea of Jesus being the messiah.
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