Diet of John the Baptist
"Locusts and Wild Honey" in
Synoptic & Patristic Interpretation

By James A. Kelhoffer
June 2005
Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 3161484606
288 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$135.00 Hardcover

The author offers a comprehensive analysis of Mark 1:6c par. Matt 3:4c in its socio-historical context, the Synoptic gospels and subsequent Christian interpretation. He surveys various anecdotes about John's food in the Synoptic gospels and notes that there has never been a consensus in scholarship concerning John's "locusts and wild honey." In chapters 2 and 3 he addresses locusts as human food and assorted kinds of "wild honey" in antiquity.

The author then considers the different meanings of this diet for the historical Baptist, Mark and Matthew. The last chapter demonstrates that the most prevalent interpretation of the Baptist's diet, from the third through the sixtieth centuries hails from John's simple wilderness provisions as a model for believers to emulate.

Contents include: Introduction and the status quaestionis concerning the Diet of John the Baptist, Locust/Grasshopper Eating in Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman Antiquity, The Baptist's "Wild Honey," "Locusts and Wild Honey" in the Synoptic Interpretation: the Historical Baptist, Mark Matthew (and Luke), John's Diet as 'Vegetarian' and a model of Asceticism: 'Locusts,' Wild Honey and the imitatio iohannis in Patristic and Subsequent Christian Interpretation, Epilogue: "Locusts and Wild Honey" in Retrospect.

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, No. 176

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