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In Christian fiction from late antiquity, Christ’s apostles are given bread by angels, provide an inexhaustible food source, part the waters, and raise a widow’s son from the dead right before challenging their opponent to a duel of miracles. Even though Elijah’s name is never mentioned, the insightful reader may recognize the allusions to 1–2 Kings, and the miracles performed by the old Tishbite. Elijah was a well-known figure in early Christian literature – enough so that the authors of the Gospel of Mark, the Epistle of James, and the Life of Antony could trust their readers to recognize veiled allusions to the prophet even without the aid of his name. This paper argues that the Elijah cycle also functions as a subtext in the early Christian stories of Andrew and the cannibals (Acts Andr. Mth.) and Peter’s confrontation with the magician Simon (Acts Pet.), suggesting to the insightful reader that these two apostles are as powerful wonderworkers as the prophet Elijah.
8 juni 2022
Depictions of the Prophet Elijah in Jewish and Christian Contexts : Literary and Visual Sources