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  • Author: Wilhelm Pratscher x
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Abstract

It goes without saying that speaking of God is of wide consensus in early Christian literature. But this is only partly true concerning the relation between the Kerygma Petri and the Letters of Ignatius. This does not seem unusual, if we keep the different circumstances of the origin of these two documents in mind. Although there are some basic topics, which can be found in both documents, the texts show severe differences concerning the vocabulary. In the letters of Ignatius hardly any parallels can be found for the verbal adjectives of KerPe 2a, although Ignatius does not deny these ideas. As the Letters of Ignatius are considerably longer than the Kerygma Petri, it can easily be understood, that Ignatius says way more about God. Furthermore, we have to keep in mind, that the Kerygma Petri has only come to us in fragments; these are the only source from which we learn about the speaking of God in the Kerygma Petri, not knowing whether there might have been different wordings in the whole text. According to the mainstream of the Kerygma Petri research we have only 10 fragments (partly in various versions), which were mostly passed on to us in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria thanks to the contexts in this book. Based on the theory that the Kerygma Petri fragments can be seen as a unity, the two texts appear as highly independent. It is not possible to verify a close relationship: none of the two texts appears as depending on the other in the sense of using a literary source; not even a tradition-historical relationship can be identified in the sense of certain common traditions; but the texts show some consensus in certain motifs based on common early Christian ideas. In this sense the comparison of how the two groups of texts of the second century deal with a certain topic - in this case the speaking of God - is highly interesting, in order to identify common features and differences concerning this topic. Their different orientation characterizes the respective speaking of God. Concerning the question when the Letters of Ignatius were written, the comparison with the Kerygma Petri does not bring forward substantial findings.

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