New Testament 102: A list of scholars to quote

Well kidlets (and others), it’s just under 10 hours until exam time. Here are some names who have come up (and some who haven’t) in my batch of New Testament Study notes – so that you can say “x says” and appear to be interacting with other scholars.


  • Gallio was a skilled jurist who established the legality of Christianity throughout the province of Achaea
  • Mars Hill didn’t host the Areopagus
  • Paul’s appearance at the Areopagus was a triumph of philosophical apologetics engaging with Stoic and Epicurean thought.
  • Paul’s appearance at the Areopagus took place in the appropriate forum for introducing new gods to Athens, and he demonstrated that the God of Christianity was a legitimate God for an Athenian to worship.
  • Paul was deliberately anti-sophistic in his approach in 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians
  • Paul was urging people to act as civic benefactors in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2.
  • Paul was urging people to act as personal benefactors to the poor, not to the lazy, in 2 Thessalonians – and also trying to stamp out harmful pagan client relationships in the church.
  • The issue in Galatia was that a bunch of Gentiles saw circumcision as an opportunity to pretend to be Jewish, and thus to avoid persecution for not participating in the Imperial Cult.
  • Some of the court proceedings in Acts appear to be reported in the style of court documents, or to contain accounts taken from court documents – they follow the pattern exordium (including a captatio benevolentiae  – saying nice things about the person hearing the trial), narratio, confirmatio (where you address the matter of the charges), the refutatio (where you refute the charges), the peroratio (the plea for help).

F.F Bruce

  • The style and theology of the Areopagus address is very similar to Romans 1
  • The speech is a Hellenistic version of the gospel
  • The God Apollo’s sentiments, previously expressed before the council were “once a man dies and the earth drinks up his blood, there is no resurrection.”

J.D Charles

  • The Areopagus speech was a successful foray into philosophical apologetics.

Ramsay (1895)

  • Paul abandoned philosophical apologetics after the Acts 17 attempt and “resolved to know nothing.”


  • Paul was on trial before the Areopagus for potential sedition charges


  • Jews in Galatia often participated fully in the imperial cult anyway.


  • Religio Licita was a phrase cooked up by Tertullian, but the Jews did enjoy protections and exemptions because of the Mos Maiorum and because they made regular sacrifices for the emperor.


  • Established the criteria by which new Gods could be introduced to Athens and showed (with others) that that was the role of the Areopagus.
  • Argued that the marketplace was the best place to introduce Gods.


  • The Areopagus decides what Gods are in or out.


  • Paul was on trial before the Areopagus

Raymond Collins

  • Paul was an orator, and 1 Thessalonians 2 was Paul recounting his method as an orator.


  • The Erastus inscription may refer to Erastus from Romans 16 because Aedile is the kind of title that could describe the role he performed because Corinth didn’t have their Aedile control the city’s games.

Ernst von Dob­schutz

  • Suggested Paul was depressed when he wrote 1 Thessalonians


  • Suggested Paul used forms of parousia (written, promises of visits, and mentions of messengers) to boost his authority with readers.


  • Talks about when it is appropriate to employ the “mirror method” for figuring out the opposition behind a text (and advocates skepticism where the mirror seems to increase conjecture).


  • Thinks Paul is facing some opposition from non-converted citizens of Thessalonica who resent Christianity’s approach to the Roman religion.

L. Alexander

  • Luke-Acts is similar in form to a first century philosopher’s biography (with some differences)


  • The way Luke records speeches is similar to the way Roman historians dealt with speeches, it was an oral, not a written, culture – so if speeches were written down they were often abridged – the ancients were more interested in “form than accuracy” – his recordings of speeches may not be word for word transcripts, but they are records of historical events.
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