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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Dr Jane Heath

Heath, Jane (2014). God the Father and Other Parents in the New Testament. In The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity. Albrecht, Felix & Feldmeier, Reinhard Leiden: Brill. 18: 325-344.

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter addresses the issue of 'God and other parents in the New Testament' from the other end, as it were, by asking first which other parents are important to the authors of the New Testament and why, and then investigating to what extent God the Father is implicated in discourse about them. By focusing on issues that matter to the New Testament authors in relation to specific other parents, the chapter discusses the divine Father's likeness to earthly parents and Jesus' centrality in making him known. It focuses on where the term 'father' is used, because this gives a reliable way of distinguishing nuances and varying degrees of interest in the Father in particular. In the New Testament, four sets of parents other than God the father are significant: the parents of disciples; Jesus' earthly parents; the ancestors of the Jews; and the church leaders.