Hermogenes the smith and narrative characterisation in the acts of Paul: A note on the reception of 2 Timothy

Journal article


Edsall, Ben. (2018). Hermogenes the smith and narrative characterisation in the acts of Paul: A note on the reception of 2 Timothy. New Testament Studies. 64(1), pp. 108 - 121. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0028688517000248
AuthorsEdsall, Ben
Abstract

The figures of Demas and Hermogenes in the Acts of Paul are puzzling for their ambiguous relation with figures by the same name in 2 Timothy (and, for Demas, in Philemon and Colossians). The purpose of the present article is to question what personal biographical details present in the Thecla narrative contribute to larger issues of literary dependence, focusing in particular on the notice that Hermogenes is a ‘coppersmith’. Although several scholars explain this passing reference in terms of a confused literary dependence on previous Pauline traditions, it is rarely approached as a meaningful narrative feature. This personal detail, however, should be read for its contribution to the Thecla narrative in light of the wider early Christian view of ‘smiths’, running from the New Testament texts into the third century and later. When these elements are taken into account, the smith-notice is highlighted as characterising Hermogenes (and, by extension, Demas) negatively.

KeywordsActs of Paul; Timothy; smiths; reception history; early Christian interpretation
Year2018
JournalNew Testament Studies
Journal citation64 (1), pp. 108 - 121
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN0028-6885
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0028688517000248
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85038924216
Page range108 - 121
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
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File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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