The Dual Inheritance Within Christianity Of Greek And Jewish Thought

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(1) Describe the dual inheritance within Christianity of Greek and Jewish thought. How were these traditions similar? How were they distinct? How did each contribute to the formation of Christian life and belief? Cite MacCulloch in your answer. Christianity has been heavily influenced by both Greek and Judaic traditions. As we said in class, “the first generations of Christians were Jews who lived in a world shaped by Greek elite culture” (Christianity The First Three Thousand Years MacCulloch 2). The Greeks and the Jews have many similarities. For example, both the Greeks and the Jewish peoples had their own sense of uniqueness, the Greeks with their tradition and culture being spread and adopted throughout the Eurasian and African continents, and the Jews believed they were an elect group of people chosen by God and having a special relationship with him. Both the Greeks and the Jews were also alphabetic cultures, something not common in that time. This allowed the two cultures to easily convey complex thoughts and ideas through a set of symbols rather than with pictograms that were popular with other cultures in that time period. And the final similarity between the Greek and Jewish traditions is how each culture was anchored in a text specific to them. The Greeks had The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, two books that became defining texts in the Greek tradition as well as a focal point of classic Greek ideals and values. However, the Judaic tradition focused on the

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