|Author/Contributor(s):||Sandnes, Karl Olav ; Keith, Chris|
This study attempts to trace the discourse on Homer and education among the Christians back to the New Testament. The topic does not come to the surface, but it is argued that in Paul's letters contrasting attitudes towards the propaideutic logic and the philosophical principle of usus (making right use of) are present. He opposed a logic wherein Christian faith represented the peak of education, the culmination of liberal studies. In his instruction on how to relate to the pagan world, Paul argues in accordance with the principle of usus. The New Testament is not so dependent upon the Homeric poems, as assumed by some scholars.
The first Christians faced two hermeneutical challenges of fundamental importnce: that of interpreting the Old Testament and how to cope with the Greek legacy embedded in Homer. The latter is not explicitly raised in the New Testament. But since the art of interpreting any text, presupposes reading skills, conveyed through liberal studies, the Homeric challenge must have been of outmost importance.