from the Ancient East
Author: Deissmann, Adolf
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 1910
Light from the Ancient East uses nonbilical, nonliterary Greek and
Latin ancient texts to shed light on the social, cultural and religious
setting in which the NT was written. The work is intended for the general
reader or non-specialist; Greek and Latin texts have been translated and
technical discussions reserved for the footnotes.
Adolf Deissmann's work with papyri revolutionized NT lexicography and helped
to establish the idea that the NT was written neither in classical Greek nor
"Holy Ghost Greek" but rather was composed in the popular or common (κοίνή)
Greek of the first century AD. His work is quoted today in all of the
top-rate lexicons (nearly 1,000 times in BDAG and TDNT alone) and his name
is often mentioned in the same breath as James H. Moulton, George Milligan,
A. T. Robertson, and Frederick W. Danker.
The electronic edition allows the user to quickly see whether Deissmann
takes up a particular passage or word. It also includes the 60+ plates of
the papyri, monuments, and ostraca that Deissmann discusses.
All in all, Light from the Ancient East is an excellent supplement not only
for information about some infrequently-used New Testament words, but also a
treasure-trove of information regarding the culture and social practices of
- Title: Light from the Ancient East: The New Testament Illustrated by
Recently Discovered Texts of the Graeco-Roman World
- Author: Adolf Deissmann; translated by Lionel R. M. Strachan
- Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
- Date: 1911 (second edition)
- Pages: 514
"The New Testament is in exile here in the West, and we do well to
restore it to its home in Anatolia. It is right to set it once more in the
company of the unlearned, after it has made so long a stay amid the
surroundings of modern culture. We have had hundreds of university chairs
for the exact, scientific interpretation of the little Book - let us now
listen while the homeland of the New Testament yields up its own authentic
witness to the inquiring scholar."
"At the desire of my publisher...I have written the main text of the book
(as distinct from the footnotes) in a manner to be understood in all
essentials by the general reader without specialist knowledge. For the same
reason the Greek and Latin texts have been furnished with
translations...[And] a large number of the more important texts [are] shown
in facsimile." —Adolf Deissmann
About the Author
Excerpted from Nelson's New Christian Dictionary
Deissman, Adolf (1866–1937) German New Testament scholar. His studies showed
that the New Testament was written in popular rather than classical Greek
and described the evolution of Christian doctrine in terms of a popular
cult. Deissman wrote a life of the apostle Paul and other biblical studies.
The more important of his books were Light from the Ancient East
(1910) and The Religion of Jesus and the Faith of Paul (1923).
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