The New Testament Concept of Witness

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 23, 2004 - Religion - 308 pages
Terms like 'witness' and 'testimony' occur frequently in religious contexts and have special significance there, culminating in the development of the Greek martus (witness) into the English 'martyr'. They also have a legal context, and Professor Trites examines their use in the New Testament in the light of ancient legal practice. The author argues that the idea of witness is a live metaphor in the New Testament, to be understood in terms of the Old Testament legal assembly, though the Greek lawcourts are also relevant. The witness theme is developed in a sustained way in John, Acts and Revelation, and is also used in the Synoptic Gospels, the Pastoral and General Epistles, and Hebrews. In contexts of persecution and suffering the forensic metaphors tend to be identified with military ones, but in principle they are quite distinct. Professor Trites contends that the idea of witness in relation to Christ and his gospel plays an essential part in the New Testament and in Christian faith and life generally.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The witness terminology of secular Greek
4
The witness terminology of the Septuagint
16
The use of controversy in the Old Testament
20
The controversy in Isaiah 4055
40
The idea of witness in other Jewish writings
48
The witness terminology of the New Testament
66
The concept of witness in the Fourth Gospel
78
The concept of witness in the Book of Acts
128
The concept of witness in the Book of Revelation
154
The idea of witness elsewhere in the New Testament
175
Conclusion
222
The use of witnesses and evidence in rabbinical literature
231
Bibliography
240
Index of references
255
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