Biografia antiga ou na língua Grega Βιοι, Bioi ; "Vidas" foi—por antigos como Plutarco, Tácito e Luciano—vista como uma literatura muito importante durante os tempos antigos. Ela é tratada hoje dentro dos domínios do Novo Testamento e da crítica literária greco-romana como um gênero literário abrangente. Bioi foi baseado em um indivíduo em particular, mas não como um meio para um ser individual, mas contra o pano de fundo social da família e da comunidade. O resultado final é que o escritor propositadamente apresenta um tipo de pessoa anti-psicológica. O que é destacado é o seu, "caráter, realizações e importância duradoura" enquanto ao mesmo tempo deliberadamente definindo-se como um exemplo público. Bios, ou Βιος (Grego para "vida"), como literatura é realmente um canal que transmite, dentro de uma cultura; herança social, religiosa e política mostrando individuos como, "tipos representativos, em vez de como indivíduos únicos."
A Biografia como literatura desenvolveu-se pela mistura com outros gêneros literários, em primeiro lugar. O que são os "genera proxima" da biografia antiga consistem de, "polêmica política, discurso religioso, mas principalmente a história e o encômio". Bioi, devido à sua flexibilidade inerente, torna-se uma estrutura onde os autores usam vários tipos de formas literárias curtas e longas. As formas literárias, porém, não devem ser consideradas gêneros independentes em si mesmas, nem o aparecimento de uma forma literária demonstra plenamente a biografia grega real. As formas literárias curtas prestam-se a definir o gênero literário de forma que, quando comparadas com as formas mais longas, tendem a ter interações complexas mais imediatamente visíveis em-entre si e com outros gêneros literários. A biografia antiga geralmente consiste de; anedotas, máximas, memórias de um ato distante e, finalmente, há declarações de um indivíduo. As anedotas são um tipo de memória ou reminiscência, capturadas dentro de uma narrativa de um evento interessante ou divertido. Elas não são irredutivelmente complexos para a biografia, e a presença de anedotas não é necessária para a biografia. No entanto anedotas são conhecidos como o "argumento ou ingredientes" da biografia grega e romana. Máximas ou o que são geralmente reconhecidas verdades sobre formas de conduta são, dentro do mundo grego da antiguidade clássica chamadas ginomai (γίνομαι). As ginomai genéricas não são atribuídas à uma pessoa determinada e, portanto, carecem de estrutura narrativa, sendo consideradas ditos proverbiais. Reminiscências (Ἀπομνημονεύματα, Apomnemoneumata) estão lembrando de um provérbio distante, ato ou experiência. Elas são constituídas pela chreia (χρεία; singular, soa como "be-a"), e são como anedotas uma vez que também são um tipo de reminiscência (apomnemoneumata). Diferenciando-se essencialmente no comprimento. A chreia é uma pequena unidade, independente da retórica utilizada dentro da literatura antiga, como os Evangelhos do Novo Testamento que permitem que os leitores, remetam facilmente as palavras de Jesus a memória para a repetição oral, mais tarde.
Chreiai (χρεῖαι, plural e soa como "posso eu") na maioria das vezes são encontradas nos livros didáticos antigos chamados Progymnasmata (Προγυμνασματα) ou Exercícios preliminares no período compreendido entre o 1º e o 5º século dC. Havia métodos rigorosos para determinar o que era para ser considerado chreia. Ele tem de satisfazer os critérios essenciais, que são; (1) É certeiro ou apto, (2) expresso de forma concisa, (3) atribuído a uma pessoa, e (4) útil para a vida. Um exemplo clássico de um chreia que satisfaz todos os quatro critérios é; "Diógenes, o filósofo, ao ser questionado por alguém como ele poderia se tornar famoso, respondeu: 'Se preocupando o mínimo possível sobre a fama." Chreias são, embora expressas principalmente na forma mais curta podendo realmente ser, "formuladas em vários comprimentos e formas para funcionar bem em uma variedade de configurações no discurso." Chreiai pode ter objeções ou comentários anexados que iriam expandir a sua forma original. As narrativas são mais longas, porém, que qualquer chreia extensa e assim os leitores antigos iriam reconhecer a diferença. Aplicação adequada dos ditos e ação dos chreiai, "revela as pessoas a quem são atribuídos e concentra o pensamento da pessoa sobre aspectos particulares da vida." Há também mais formas de narrativas como novelas (contos românticos), palestras e diálogos. Diálogos ocorrem geralmente dentro de um cenário de um professor dirigindo um estudante.
|“||Seria difícil exagerar a atribuição dos chreiai a uma pessoa particular, porque este é o aspecto que o distingue de outras formas. Um ditado não atribuído ou um evento interessante pode ser "bem direcionado"; em outras palavras, a sua importação pode ser bem-humorada, virtuosa, religiosa ou filosófica. Mas a atribuição de um provérbio ou ato de uma pessoa em particular mostra aspectos da vida, pensamento e ação em um modo que integra atitudes, valores e conceitos com realidades pessoais, sociais e culturais. As pessoas caracterizados na chreiai se tornam mídia autorizadas das verdades positivas e negativas sobre a vida.||”|
|“||... Charles Talbert propôs uma tipologia baseada exclusivamente em cinco possíveis funções da biografia: (1) proporcionar um padrão para copiar, (2) substituir uma imagem falsa com a verdadeira imagem do professor digno de ser imitado, (3) desacreditar um professor, (4) indicar onde a tradição autêntica pode ser encontrada, e (5) validar ou fornecer uma chave interpretativa para uma doutrina de professores.||”|
David Aune aceita a visão que Charles Talbert alcançou em seu trabalho de 1977 intitulado What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels (em português: O que é um Evangelho? O gênero dos Evangelhos canônicos). Talbert pioneered the work of taking on Bultmann to get back to the traditional view. Talbert produced not only scholarship that advances past that of his predecessor Friedrich Leo (with his simplistic yet helpful two-fold typology), but also Fritz Wehrli in 1973 and Klaus Berger in 1984. A substantive foundation also resulted from which to draw on for an informed view on not just Greco-Roman biography as a literary genre, but also the literary environment of the gospels. There however still remains something missing according to David Aune. A correct analysis of Greco-Roman biography is achieved when, "many examples of this literary type have undergone detailed literary analysis..." Something which as of the time of the work of David Aune on the topic in 1988 "has yet to be achieved."
It was in the nineteenth century that biographies began to be changed away from public career and focused more on the personal interior of the subject. The subjects "upbringing, formative years, schooling, psychological development and so on" were the focus and so made the gospels look less like ancient biography (bioi). The gospels began to be seen against the backdrop of modern biography and so were dismissed as biography. What resulted in the 20th century was the form critical view that the gospels are, "popular folk literature, collections of stories handed down orally over time" rather than the traditional view of bioi of Jesus. This began the view describing the gospels as "sui generis" or unique literature, especially by Rudolf Bultmann within his work of 1972. Rudolf Bultmann is perhaps best known as a critic of the gospels as bioi. Instead opting to categorize them as basically fictional myth. The fatal flaw however within the work of Bultmann in the area of the gospels as myth was his comparison to modern biography as opposed to ancient biography. Charles H. Talbert with his work of 1977 then pioneered the sway in proper thought away from myth to the comparison of the gospels to bios as a genre (ancient biography).
Contemporary and Later
Ancient readers (of the first and second centuries AD especially) would have high esteem for contemporary biography, namely a biography written during the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses to the sayings and events of an individual. Contemporary biography is opposed to later biography which was not favored nor revered as much for its substance within the literate and learned culture of the time. Reading a text written during the lifetime of eyewitnesses meant that facts could be checked, and stories followed up. Thus contemporary biography was favored because of its ability to cohere historically with reality. Later biography was and is still seen within the academic world as being composed hundreds of years after the life of the individual. While there can be bits and pieces of actual history about the person being covered, favor still goes with contemporary biography. This favoritism however does not remain in regard to the ways of ordering events for ancient biographies. Ancient biographers handled the recording of events as strictly chronological or linear, and thematically or topically.
Peripatetic and Alexandrian
During especially the fourth century BC different schools of thought formed about how to write about the lives of certain people who deserved so. There are two major types. First is the Peripatetic or what can be called chronological biography. This is so, but to a degree in Lives by Plutarch. Second is the Alexandrian way of writing biography, also referred to as a topical or thematic arrangement of events for biographical material. Alexandrian biography originated from within the, "grammarians at the Museum at Alexandria who were also under the influence of Aristotle." This particular two-fold typology of ancient biographical literary composition is traced originally to the work exceptional work, Die griechisch-romische Biographie nach ihrer litterarischen Form (Greco-Roman Biography According to Its Literary Form) by Friedrich Leo (1851 to 1914). A German classical philologist. Leo however did not take into account a single biography in which incorporated both Peripatetic and Alexandrian.
The more written about an event (duration), and the amount of times the same event is mentioned (frequency) help identify narrative structure. Narrative structure is determined then by the; order of events (chronological or topical), duration and frequency. Within the Peripatetic school of biographical writing the narrative structure is chronologically arranged by a predictive first to last order of events.
Representative types, the character of an individual, selectivity of the arrangement of events and sayings of the individual are all utilized to help build thematic or Alexandrian structure of bioi. Plutarch implies just as much within the introduction of his biography on Alexander the Great. Although Plutarch practiced history throughout his bioi, he famously juxtaposes Peripatetic and Alexandrian biography and underscores exactly which would be at the forefront in his Life of Alexander. Plutarch demonstrates naturally what happens in the construction of ancient biography. The author begins outlining a case, or an argument for or against the way life was lived by that person. This in of itself is encomium. Encomium is a very important type of rhetoric in praise of a person or thing. At the very least rhetoric in this narrow sense, influenced by encomium, allowed the systematic topical arrangement and style of bioi. Biographers and the ancient pedagogy of Greco-Roman culture more generally, was very conscious of the effect that encomium had on readers and students, for learning and teaching. Ancient biographers always wrote, "in the light of the influence of encomium ..." Rhetoric and topical arrangement of biography were not the same genre during classical antiquity, and neither was history and biography. Rhetoric was used, influenced by the effects of encomium, within bioi in order to illustrate, "the particular situation of each Life." Fluid interaction of this type is characteristic of bioi as an ancient literary genre.
A New Atmosphere
Arnaldo Momigliano, a notable and influential scholar of ancient biography and historiography during the 20th century laid out all relevant texts and reasoned that the appearance of the gospels coincide with a "new atmosphere" in writing. The new atmosphere managed to carry into the second century evidenced by several writings such as Agricola by Tacitus, and even Lucian's Demonax.
Lucian a traveling sophist (or philosopher) wrote with rhetoric mostly for entertainment rather than for persuasion. Among the chief characteristics noting the change from first to second century AD biographical writings Momigliano points to the concentration of connection between the living and the dead. It seems the life of Jesus Christ, couched within eccentric religious-theological context, could fit nicely in this ancient literary niche.
|“||The wise man, the martyr, and the saint became central subjects of biography in addition to the king, the writer, and the philosopher.||”|
Loveday Alexander considers the position of Momigliano and agrees. Agricola reflects this concentration on death and life quite well as it is generally focused on elegy. It is then maintained through expression under the genre of ancient biography (Greek: biographia). The new atmosphere of ancient biographical writing however changed into conscious hagiography, not biography, in the second century. The "philosophical-religious interest" guided the transition. Founded in writings by Lucius Flavius Philostratus (172 to 247AD). Philostratus' writings were in the third century, about Apollonius of Tyana of the second century who was a Pythagorean and supposed wonder-worker, called the Bios or Life of Apollonius of Tyana. This bios by Philostratus contained, "historiography, romance, travelogue and the novel, as well as rhetoric." The supposed works of wonder performed by Apollonius of Tyana are claimed to be based on his disciple Damis’ reminiscences (apomnemoneumata), but may be in fact purely fiction.
|“||Damis’ reminiscences, on which it claims to be based, may be no more than an elaborate fiction; and, by the third century, when Philostratus is writing, we have to reckon with the real possibility that the story of Apollonius is being consciously marketed as a pagan rival to the gospels.||”|
Drawing also on the work of the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher named Philo of Alexandria (20BC to 50AD) and his allegorical biographies like On Abraham it is hard to find parallels. However it is Philo's other works, like the Life of Moses that offer parallel. The Life of Moses is Philo's most Greek and allegorical works. It is similar to the biographical works of Isocrates and Xenophon. According to Loveday Alexander this particular work of Philo not only defines contours of the precise narrative structure used by the gospel writers, but also bridges cross-cultural contact. Philo employed the Greco-Roman literary genre because of the framework of flexibility allowed. Within "biographical narrative" as a way of writing in the first century AD, cross-cultural contact and impact occurs between Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures.
|“||It suggests at the very least that biographical narrative provided a point of cultural contact between Greek and Jew, a flexible and readily comprehensible framework that could be moulded without difficulty to reflect the ideology and cultural values of a particular ethical tradition.||”|
The Gospels as Bioi of Jesus
In the 21st century there is widespread recognition, among critical scholars who actively research, write and debate in the field of ancient biography studies, that the canonical gospels fit within and are understood by realizing that they are ancient Greco-Roman biography. A literary genre called lives (Greek: bioi; Latin: vitae). Greco-Roman culture of the first century AD is understood to have influenced the gospel writers, giving a realm of literary freedom of expression necessary for their goals pertaining to their subject of interest. Therefore, in accord with scholarship the gospels should not be read with skepticism, nor with kerygma as the linchpin of all criticism, but rather with the assumption that each authors intent was to convey the life or bios of Jesus Christ.
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 107.
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 109.
- Stanley E. Porter, Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 (Brill Academic Publishers 2001), pg. 374
- Arnaldo Momigliano, The Development of Greek Biography (Harvard University Press, Expanded Edition 1993), pg. 68.
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 2
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 3
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 111
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 4
- Charles H. Talbert, What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels (Fortress Press 1977), pg. 92-93; Isto é especialmente onde a tipologia Talbert de cinco características, ou "cinco funções possíveis da biografia" que Aune, refere-se que pode ser encontrada. Eles são o que é referenciado e citado em David E. Aune dentro; Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 109.
- Fritz Wehrli, "Gnome, Anekdote und Biographie," Museum Helveticum, 30 (1973)
- Klaus Berger, "Hellenistische Gattungen im Neuen Testament," Aufstieg und Niedergang der romischen Welt, Part II, Vol. 25/2 (1984)
- Stanley E. Porter, Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 (Brill Academic Publishers 2001), pg. 507
- Rudolf Bultmann, The History of the Synoptic Tradition (1972), pg. 369-374
- Stanley E. Porter, Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 (Brill Academic Publishers 2001), pg. 508
- Charles H. Talbert, What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels (Fortress Press 1977)
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 108
- Plutarch, Life of Alexander;"IT being my purpose to write the lives of Alexander the king, and of Caesar, by whom Pompey was destroyed, the multitude of their great actions affords so large a field that I were to blame if I should not by way of apology forewarn my reader that I have chosen rather to epitomize the most celebrated parts of their story, than to insist at large on every particular circumstance of it."
- Stanley E. Porter, Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 (Brill Academic Publishers 2001), pg. 373
- Stanley E. Porter, Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 (Brill Academic Publishers 2001), pg. 377
- Arnaldo Momigliano, The Development of Greek Biography (Harvard University Press 1993), 104
- Stephen C. Barton, The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels (Cambridge University Press 2006), pg. 26-27
- Stephen C. Barton, The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels (Cambridge University Press 2006), pg. 28
- Charles H. Talbert, What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels (Fortress Press 1977), pg. 193
- David E. Aune, Greco-Roman Literature and The New Testament: Selected Forms and Genres (Society of Biblical Literature 1988), pg. 121
- Subject: Establishing the Gospels’ Reliability By William Lane Craig; "Something of a consensus has developed within New Testament scholarship that the Gospels are closest in genre to ancient biographies ( "Lives," as they are called, as in Plutarch’s Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans)."
- J. W. Rogerson and Judith M. Lieu, Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies (Oxford University Press 2008), pg. 437
- Mark Allan Powell, Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey (Baker Academic 2009), pg. 82
- Michael R. Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic 2010), pg. 127
- The Gospels as Historical Biography By Dr. Richard Bauckham. February 15, 2011.
- Craig S. Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Baker Academic 2011), pg. 35; Keener states; "The Gospels and Acts belong to the biographic and historical genres, respectively, with the Gospel of Luke possibly straddling both."
- Chreia, plural Chreiai Por Mahlon H. Smith
- Questions, Chreiai, and Honor Challenges: The Interface of Rhetoric and Culture in Mark's Gospel Por Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J. University of Notre Dame
- Ancient and Modern Historiography: What Are The Gospels? Postado em 26 de janeiro de 2012