Back in print are Hatch's classic Hibbert Lectures in which he calls into question the influence that Greek ideas had on the historical development of Christian theology.
"The earliest forms of Christianity were not only outside the sphere of Greek philosophy, but they also appealed, on the one hand, mainly to the classes which philosophy did not reach, and, on the other hand, to a standard which philosophy did not recognize."
Here Edwin Hatch presents his idea that the historic episcopate was a late development with its origin in pagan society. These lectures provoked a conversation that lasted almost a century regarding the nature of the episcopacy. Hatch argued that Christian congregations were shaped according to patterns already present in voluntary associations of Graeco-Roman society. Within these voluntary associations, administrative officers emerged whose role was primarily financial. Hatch claimed that these episkopoi are of the same type that developed in early Christianity, in time developing into Bishops as we know them.
This work is an endeavor to give answers to questions which are asked in regard to the apparently wide differences between the primitive and modern forms of some Christian institutions. The book is designed for the general reader and can be considered a popularized form of his Bampton Lectures, 'The Organization of the Early Christian Churches'.
While Hatch is most often recognized for his meticulous work on the 'Concordance to the Septuagint', these important essays also serve to reinforce his reputation as a careful Greek scholar. Included are essays "On the Value and Use of the Septuagint "and "Short Studies of the Meanings of Words in Biblical Greek."
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