Hans Dieter Betz

The »Mithras Liturgy«

Text, Translation, and Commentary

[Die »Mithrasliturgie«. Text, Übersetzung und Kommentar.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-148813-9
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Published in English.
Hans Dieter Betz has done a translation of and a commentary on a fascinating papyrus text from late antiquity. The so-called »Mithras Liturgy« is an esoteric magic ritual of ascension, written from the inner perspective of an initiated practitioner and showing a syncretistic form of late Egyptian religion, influenced also by Hellenistic philosophy of religion.
»Just hundred years after the first edition of Albrecht Dietrich's Eine Mithrasliturgie (Leipzig 1903; 1923), the present book offers a complete new edition of so complex a text. It provides the Greek text, an English translation, a punctual introduction, an extensive commentary, an index of Greek words and of the various voces magicae, and, finally, also an appendix, with photographic reproductions of the papyrus. ... Not only Hans Dieter Betz is one of the most gifted scholars in the domain of primeval Christianity and Hellenistic religions, but he already devoted to the Mithras Liturgy a monographic essay, which is here enriched and largely supplemented. We particularly appreciated how Betz deals with the critical debate which spread from Dietrich's book (in particular the criticism put forward by one of the most important scholars of Mithraism, the Belgian Franz Cumont) and how he sets Dietrich in the historical and cultural milieu of his age.«
Chiara O. Tommasi Moreschini auf

Hans Dieter Betz Born 1931; studied Protestant Theology in Bethel, Mainz, and Cambridge (UK); 1957 PhD; 1966 Habilitation; 1963–78 Professor of New Testament at the School of Theology in Claremont, California; since 1978 Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago; since 2000 emeritus.


The following reviews are known:

In: Verkündigung u. Forschung — 52 (2007), S. 19–30 (Christoph Auffarth)
In: New Testament Abstracts — Vol.50 (2006), H.2, S.430
In: Salesianum — 69 (2007), S. 567–568 (Rafael Vicent)