NOAH, THE ARK, AND THE FLOOD IN EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
AbstractThis article surveys the literary traditions related to Noah, the ark, and the flood in early Christian literature. Mention of Noah, the ark, and the flood is found in five New Testament books – Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter – as well as in two documents in the Apostolic Fathers – 1 Clement and 2 Clement. The relevant passages in these books will be discussed seriatim. Significant historical and grammatical issues related to the texts will also be noted. Finally, the rhetorical functions – moral, homiletic, eschatological, and ecological – will be discussed. Early Christian literature depended on the Jewish Scriptures, particularly the LXX, and Intertestamental literature for the motifs and allegorisation found its own interpretations. The traditions related to Noah, the ark, and the flood were important for Jesus and the early church, and an attempt will be made to elucidate their significance for each author.
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