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Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?Four Cases from the Acts of the Apostles$
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Dennis R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300097702

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300097702.001.0001

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Hellenistic Legend or Homeric Imitation?

Hellenistic Legend or Homeric Imitation?

(p.141) 15 Hellenistic Legend or Homeric Imitation?
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the greatest desideratum for determining whether parallels between two texts are generic or mimetic—the existence of shared features that bind two texts together, traits not found in the genre as a collectivity. To his credit, Reinhard Kratz recognized that one major aspect of Peter's escape is entirely foreign to escape miracles generically: Peter's reception at the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark. Like Weinreich before him, Kratz avoids discussing Acts 12:12–17, and commentators usually ascribe the genesis of the tale to Jerusalem traditions preserved by Luke independent of Peter's escape. It is the peculiarity of this tale that points directly to the Iliad. The stone rejected by form critics has become the mimetic cornerstone.

Keywords:   greatest desideratum, generic, mimetic, parallels, shared features, Reinhard Kratz, Weinreich

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