Epimenides Cretica 1


They fashioned a tomb for you, holy and high one, Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies. But you are not dead: you live and abide forever, For in you we live and move and have our being.

Acts 17:28

New Testament

26 From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill and imagination. 30 Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 Notes and References

"... One feature that has yet to receive the attention it merits is the place of the Gospel crowds in relation to the chorus in Greek tragedy. Note that in making this connection, I do not mean to imply that Jesus and the Gospel writers were necessarily acquainted with Greek tragedy. Nevertheless, the possibility cannot be ruled out of hand: it is sometimes argued that Jesus’ use of the term “hypocrite” demonstrates an acquaintance with Greek drama, picked up from visits from Nazareth to the theater in the nearby Hellenized city of Sepphoris. Nor is it unlikely that so sophisticated an author as Luke should be unfamiliar with drama, especially as he may paraphrase Euripides in Acts: “It hurts to kick against the goads” (26:14; compare Bacch. 795). (n Acts 17:28, Luke has Paul cite Aratus (Phaenomena 5) and possibly Epimenides (Cretica) and Cleanthes (Hymn to Zeus). Paul himself cites Menander’s Thais (218) at 1 Corinthians 15:33, though this passage may well have become proverbial ...) Yet, since it is difficult to establish direct influence, I will simply bracket the question, and examine whether, within the two literary genres, tragedy and Gospel, the crowds and the chorus display similarities in the way they are characterized and in the type of functions they perform ..."

Cousland, J. R. C. "The Choral Crowds in the Tragedy According to St. Matthew" in Brant, Jo-Ann A., et al., (eds.) Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative (p. 256) Society of Biblical Literature, 2005

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