Wilson, J. Christian

Five Problems in the Interpretation of the Shepherd of Hermas Authorship, Genre, Canonicity, Apocalyptic and the Absence of the Name
1995 0-7734-2392-3
This study contains five essays concerning the Shepherd of Hermas and an introduction which spells out the author's views on the major critical issues involved in the study of this early Christian document. The first essay examines remarkable similarities in genre between the Mandates of the Shepherd and 1QS, similarities too complex to be coincidental. The second examines the canonical history of the Shepherd, which was widely accepted as a book of the New Testament in the second and third centuries, offering possible explanations for its canonical demise in the fourth and fifth centuries. The third essay offers possible explanations for the fact that, while clearly a Christian writing, the Shepherd over its entire 114 chapters never mentions the name Jesus nor the title Christ. In "The Twilight of Apocalyptic", Wilson notes the apocalyptic form of the Shepherd in comparison with its minimal apocalyptic content, and that it is a prime example of how ecclesiology took the place of apocalypticism in second century Christianity. The final essay examines the legacy of the Shepherd of Hermas for our understanding of early Christianity.

Toward a Reassessment of the Shepherd of Hermas. Its Date and Its Pneumatology
1993 0-7734-2382-6
This study contends that the Shepherd of Hermas, a non-canonical early Christian document generally classified among the writings called the Apostolic Fathers, has been wrongly understood by most scholars as typifying the traits of "early Catholicism." The document is more accurately understood as being Jewish Christian. The study deals first with the authorship and date of the Shepherd of Hermas, concluding that it was written by a single author in the last two decades of the first century. The greater part of the book deals with Hermas's pneumatology, that is, his understanding of the Holy Spirit. It shows that it is derived from Judaism, specifically from the type of Judaism evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Leaves much to be debated.