Re: Greek Anthropology

From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Mon Mar 02 1998 - 22:27:06 EST

On Mon, 2 Mar 1998, Edgar Foster wrote:

> I would probably have to disagree with your classification of the early
>Grecian culture as "driven by honour/shame." While this statement may be
>in essentia true, it is by no means all inclusive. In the book _The Greeks
>and the Irrational_ by ER Dodds, the author presents compelling evidence
>that the Greeks also experienced not only a shame culture, but a guilt
>culture as well. I say this not to argue. I may even be mistaken in
>following this thesis. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would like
>to have it e mailed to me.

One might consult with profit on this Bruce Malina's _The New Testament
World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology_, as well as K. Stendhal's
"Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West" with regard to
whether guilt played much of a role in Paul's soteriology and hence his

But I suspect that the debate about whether first century Mediterranian
culture was an honour/shame or guilt culture or was moving from one to
the other, as Dodds argues, let alone whether Heidegger was an
accurate intepreter of Paul, takes us beyond the bounds of B-Greek. Of
course those here who are adding these points are only following leads I
suggested. So I apologize for taking us off track.

Other works which discuss Biblical anthropological terms are George
Caird's _Language and Imagery of the Bible_, Ludwig Kohler's _Hebrew Man_
and (I believe) W. Zimmerli, _the Anthropology of the Old Testament_.

There is also a Dictionary of Greek Philosophical Terms which surely
would include such words as NOUS and PNEUMA. Also see C.A. Pierce,
_Conscience in the New Testament_.

Jeffrey Gibson


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