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date: 14 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses Greek literature’s influence on the Gospels and Acts by exploring quotations of and allusions to Aratus and Euripides in Luke-Acts, and Homer in Mark. In particular, it considers the citation of Aratus’ Phaenomena in Paul’s Areopagus Discourse (Acts 17:22–31), of Euripides’s Bacchae in Acts 26:14, and a number of Luke’s more oblique literary engagements with those two works. It also analyzes the subtle allusion to the Odyssey’s Eurycleia episode (19.353–507) in Mark 14:3–9, situating all these representative examples of New Testament narrative’s intertextual engagement with pagan Greek literature in a Greco-Roman rhetorical context with reference to ancient illustrations and discussions of literary influence and adaptation from Virgil (vis-à-vis Homer), Theon, Quintilian, Pliny, and Seneca.

Keywords: Gospels, Acts, Euripides, Aratus, Homer, intertextuality, Greco-Roman rhetoric

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