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This issue of Priscilla Papers includes an article by Abigail. Dolan titled Imagining a Feminine God Her article, Most people when they hear Jesus s prompted me to write here about finding God in the parable. parable of the Lost Sheep understand of the Lost Coin and to choose a picture of the seeking. the shepherd to symbolize God A woman for the cover Abby s article was among the winners. glance at one of the most influential of CBE International s 2017 student paper competition The. books on Jesus s parables by Joachim other winners also published here are Haley Gabrielle and. Jeremias supports this claim referring Nikki Holland In this issue you will also read articles on 1. to the shepherd as an image of God s Peter 3 by John Nugent and on wealthy women of the NT. activity of love Bible readers ancient and modern have era by Margaret Mowczko you are encouraged to follow her. been conditioned to make this connection for The Lord is egalitarian blog at MargMowczko com. my shepherd I shall not want Rounding out the issue are Michaela Miller s review of. Similarly with the parable of the Prodigal Son essentially Patterns of Ministry among the First Christians by Kevin. all interpreters view the father as the God figure The identity Giles Cascade 2nd ed 2017 and Jamin H bner s review of. of the parable s father as God the Father is a central feature Feminist Thought A More Comprehensive Introduction by. for example of Tim Keller s 2008 best selling book The Rosemarie Tong and Tina Fernandes Botts Westview 5th. Prodigal God which says in its introduction In this story ed 2018. the father represents the Heavenly Father On a different note though I am writing this in early. Both of these parables are in Luke 15 the Lost Sheep is June it will appear online and be mailed at about the. also in Matthew 18 And it is widely known that Luke 15 same time as CBE s conference in Helsinki Finland This. offers a triad of parables Lost Sheep Lost Coin Lost Son If international conference Created for Partnership is. these three parables are siblings the first two are twins They hosted by the Finnish organization RaTas Christians for. follow the same structure and make the same point We Equality If you are reading this in July or August of 2018. should therefore be both astonished and dismayed that it is please offer up a prayer for the conference and its attendees. so uncommon for the woman who lost her coin to be viewed. as a God figure I trust I am not the only reader of Priscilla Thanks be to the God of Jesus s parables Shepherd. Papers who can testify to never having heard this woman Woman Father for seeking and finding us. described as symbolizing God I have heard thousands of. sermons and lessons and in no setting church chapel or. class do I recall this connection being made, DISCLAIMER Final selection of all material published by CBE International in Priscilla Papers is entirely up to the discretion of the publisher editor and peer reviewers. Please note that each author is solely legally responsible for the content and the accuracy of facts citations references and quotations rendered and properly. attributed in the article appearing under his or her name Neither CBE nor the editor nor the editorial team is responsible or legally liable for any content or any. statements made by any author but the legal responsibility is solely that author s once an article appears in print in Priscilla Papers. Editor Jeff Miller,Associate Editor Graphic Designer Theresa Garbe. President Publisher Mimi Haddad,President Emerita Catherine Clark Kroeger. Consulting Editor William David Spencer, Peer Review Team Lynn H Cohick Havilah Dharamraj Tim.
Foster Susan Howell Jamin H bner Loretta Hunnicutt Adam. Omelianchuk Chuck Pitts Marion Taylor Karen Strand Winslow. On the Cover The Lost Piece of Silver John Everett Millais c 1864 Priscilla Papers issn 0898 753x is published quarterly by. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons CBE International. Priscilla Papers is indexed in the ATLA Religion Database ATLA RDB. 122 W Franklin Avenue Suite 218 Minneapolis MN 55404 2451. http www atla com in the Christian Periodical Index CPI in New www cbeinternational org 612 872 6898. Testament Abstracts NTA and in Religious and Theological Abstracts. CBE International 2018, R TA as well as by CBE itself Priscilla Papers is licensed with EBSCO s full. text informational library products Full text collections of Priscilla Papers are. available through EBSCO Host s Religion and Philosophy Collection Galaxie. Software s Theological Journals collection and Logos Bible Software Priscilla. Papers is a member publication of the American Association of Publishers. 2 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. Wealthy Women in the First Century Roman World,and in the Church. Margaret Mowczko, The setting of the NT is the first century Roman Empire an The number of high status people was small compared. ancient world alien to modern societies Not too long ago our with the rest of the population possibly only one percent 6. understanding of women in this ancient world was especially Yet from the very beginning the church attracted high status. limited It was presumed first century women were housebound women 7 By the second and third centuries the number of. with few freedoms and rights and that good women lived quiet young noblewomen converting to Christianity would create a. lives in anonymity under the authority of husbands or fathers real problem noblemen were not converting in nearly the same. This scenario was indeed the case for many women but not for all numbers As a result a number of women of noble rank could not. women If we read the NT carefully we can see this for ourselves find Christian husbands of the same rank 8 It was illegal for high. In the NT we see that women were active in public spaces status Roman women to marry outside their rank If they did. Some were artisans like Priscilla or in business like Lydia Some they could forfeit their noble status their power and even their. women were independently wealthy like Phoebe and some wealth Around AD 200 church leaders such as Tertullian and. were even of royal birth with the privileges and power that came Callistus addressed this problem 9 Church leaders wanted noble. with nobility There was not one place or one role for women as Christian women to maintain their rank because the women. though all women were the same In fact only two roles were could then use their wealth and influence to benefit the church. out of bounds for women being a Roman soldier or an imperial which they frequently did Unlike the stereotypes these were. official 1 Women filled many places and many different roles in women who controlled their own finances. society and in the church Prominent Greek Women Women of Thessalonica Berea. In this article I look at the social dynamic of class a dynamic and Athens Acts 17. that typically trumped gender 2 I also look at what the NT says. about particular women who were wealthy My hope is that What about the stereotype that ancient women were mostly. this discussion will present a broader more authentic view housebound It is true that in the Greek world of previous. beyond limited stereotypes of the place and participation centuries many women especially high status women had. of certain women in the first century church led cloistered hidden lives Yet the relative levels of restriction. While this article narrowly focuses on wealthy women who or freedom varied greatly whether a Greek woman lived for. made up a small but significant part of the early church I want example in Athens or Sparta or Macedonia In the first century. to emphasise that wealth is not and was not a prerequisite for AD high status women living in Roman cities such as Corinth. ministry Jesus and Paul welcomed the poor and marginalised as and Philippi which were Roman colonies and of course Rome. both members and ministers in the Jesus movement itself had more freedoms and more legal rights than their Greek. sisters of preceding centuries They also had more freedoms. Patriarchy and Class than women living in cities such as Athens that were still. Patriarchy3 was a prevailing dynamic of Roman society but it predominately influenced by Greek customs. was not the only dynamic at work As well as being patriarchal Nevertheless even some first century Greek women were. Roman society was utterly class conscious The two dynamics making their presence felt in society Again we only need to look. are not the same even though there is some overlap Class at the NT to see that this was the case. distinctions were observed and reinforced daily For instance In Acts 17 quite a few noblewomen literally women of the. where someone sat in the theatre was determined by class And first families in the Macedonian city of Thessalonica became. where someone sat at a dinner party if fortunate enough to be believers Acts 17 4 It was no small thing for a Greco Roman. invited was determined by class and even by relative status or woman to convert to Christianity as wives were expected to. precedence within one s class 4 worship the gods of their husbands Moreover religious activities. In the highly stratified Roman world women came from every of the household and community were interwoven with the. class Some women including Christian women were free born rhythms and activities of daily life Despite the difficulties many. Roman citizens and were independently wealthy householders honourable Greek women became believers in the Macedonian. Some even came from families of the senatorial or equestrian city of Berea also Acts 17 12 The Greek word for honourable. ranks the two upper classes of Roman society or from equally eusch m n in Acts 17 12 does not simply mean respectable in. high status families in the provinces 5 The wealth of individuals that the women had good manners and high morals it means of. and families in the upper classes was vast And with wealth came high standing or even noble 10. power Men and women who were commoners could be affluent Further on in Acts 17 an Athenian woman named Damaris. but their level of prosperity was usually not on the same level as is mentioned alongside a man named Dionysius Dionysius. that of senators and equestrians was a council member of the Areopagus the supreme judicial. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 3. court of the Athenians named for the hill on which it met and obtained concessions for them from their husbands. therefore from the upper classes Damaris Dionysius and others built temples founded cities engaged mercenaries. with them became believers The fact that Damaris is named commanded armies held fortresses and acted on. alongside Dionysius seems to indicate they are both from the occasion as regents or even co rulers 17. upper classes but the nameless Athenians are not Some of the leading women of Thessalonica Berea and Philippi. Luke the author of Acts was writing under the benefaction all Macedonian cities joined the church where their wealth. of a high status person Theophilus and probably wanted to clout and protection could be used to benefit other members of. highlight prominent high status people who were converting their churches. to Christianity These would be people Theophilus could. identify with and they would have lent respectability to the new A Powerful Jewish Princess Bernice Acts chapters 25 26. movement Nevertheless we must not forget that the number of As well as prominent Greek and Jewish women who became. elite women and men becoming Christians was small compared Christians the NT mentions other powerful women who did not. with lower class men and women who were active in church life become Christians Such women were among the celebrities of. and ministry their day and had some influence on the politics and moral tone. A Wealthy Jewish Convert Lydia of Philippi Acts 16 of society especially politics and morality regarding women. Two women of the highest class are mentioned in Acts Drusilla. Some of the high status Greek women who were becoming a Jewish princess is mentioned in Acts 24 24 Drusilla was a. believers and joining the church had previously converted to daughter of Herod Agrippa I hence a great granddaughter of Herod. Judaism For a few decades most converts to Christianity were the Great 18 She was also the wife of Felix the Roman governor of. Jewish or inclined toward Judaism in some regard This may have Judea between AD 56 and 60 Bernice or Berenice another Jewish. been the case for the Thessalonian Greek women mentioned in princess is mentioned in Acts 25 13 23ff and Acts 26 30 31 She. Acts 17 1 4 It was certainly the case for Lydia in Philippi who is was also a daughter of Herod Agrippa I In Acts she appears as the. described in Acts 16 14 as a God worshipper a term indicating consort of her brother Agrippa II when they both hear Paul defend. not merely a devout person of any sort but a Gentile who himself in Caesarea. worships the biblical God 11 Bernice became one of the most powerful women of her day. Lydia is also described as a businesswoman who dealt When she was sixteen she married her uncle Herod V king. with costly cloth dyed with Tyrian purple Because Lydia was of Chalcis and brother of Herodias 19 Bernice secured the title. a businesswoman she cannot have been of the highest class queen after her husband s death when she was just twenty years. as these people typically did not engage in business Men and old 20 Rome then gave her brother Herod Agrippa II the kingdom. women in the most elite class were like dukes and duchesses of Chalcis which he ruled together with Bernice 21 Because they. who lived exclusively from the wealth of their agricultural spent so much time together rumours of incest circulated To. estates 12 But members of the equestrian rank or the provincial quell the rumours Bernice married She chose to marry the king. equivalent could engage in business Because Lydia dealt with a of Cilicia but the marriage was not a success so she returned to. luxury item which could only be used by the upper classes 13 and live with her brother 22. because she would have required a great deal of capital to run Bernice was in Jerusalem in AD 66 as the Jewish revolt was. her business she may have belonged to a class equivalent to beginning She saw the brutality of Roman soldiers towards the. the equestrian class It is more likely however that she was a Jews and she sent frequent messages via men of the equestrian. relatively wealthy commoner 14 rank to the governor of Judea Gessius Florus concerning. Lydia had a home in Philippi that was large enough to this She even approached his tribunal seat in an attempt to. accommodate Paul and his companions and she had the diplomatically reason with him but the governor did not listen. freedom to invite them into her home without first asking a male Josephus J W 2 309 314 Bernice and her brother then tried. guardian When she and the household that is identified with her to quiet the Jewish uprising themselves with only temporary. had been baptised she said to Paul Now that you have decided success Josephus J W 2 402 406. that I am a believer in the Lord come and stay in my house When war did break out in 67 Bernice sided with the. Acts 16 15 CEB Paul accepted her hospitality Lydia opened her Romans possibly because she saw them as becoming the. home to Paul and his fellow travellers and to gatherings of the victors Furthermore she became a powerful supporter of the. first church at Philippi Acts 16 40 15 Roman general Vespasian and even became his patron Tacitus. Philippi was a Roman colony situated in Macedonia writes Queen Bernice too who was then in the prime of youth. Macedonia was one place where women had relative freedoms and beauty and who had charmed even the old Vespasian by. even when the Greeks ruled 16 the splendour of her presents promoted his cause with equal. If Macedonia produced perhaps the most competent zeal History 2 81 2 His cause was to become emperor and. group of men the world had yet seen the women he was successful Around AD 68 Bernice became the lover. were in all respects the men s counterparts they and consort of Vespasian s son Titus who was eleven years. played a large part in affairs received envoys and younger than her Titus was the general whose troops destroyed. 4 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. Jerusalem in AD 70 Probably due to anti Jewish sentiments in senator named Pudens This theory puts Claudia Rufina in the. Rome however Titus sent Bernice away around the time he highest class Another suggestion is that she was the mother of. became emperor Linus who became bishop of the church in Rome in AD 67 Still. Women such as Bernice Drusilla and Herodias were another suggestion is that she was the daughter of Caratacus a. powerful wealthy women of the highest class They were British chieftain who was captured and then freed by Emperor. accustomed to getting their way and each had a staff of servants Claudius Whatever her real identity and social status Claudia. and slaves as well as dependent clients who did their bidding and the other individuals mentioned with her in 2 Tim 4 21 were. These noblewomen were not Christians but their example may each prominent in the church at Rome. well have influenced and emboldened other women including Some Christian women mentioned in the NT were of noble. Jews and Christians in some way 23 birth But many other NT women while they appear to be. We know that some wealthy Jewish women in Asia Minor independent householders and relatively wealthy did not belong. were benefactors of synagogues and were prominent in their to one of the upper classes Roman laws first introduced in the. communities Inscriptions in Asia Minor reveal that a few of late first century BC had made it possible for some women to. these women were referred to with leadership titles such as ruler retain their own wealth and not transfer it to their husbands. of the synagogue 24 It is debated if these titles were honorary or families This meant that if a woman from a wealthy family. whether women did run at least some synagogues in antiquity outlived her husband and father she could become wealthy in. Whatever the case these women were not invisible or powerless her own right The average age of first time Roman brides was. Women of Aristocratic Households Junia Julia and fourteen and the average of first time husbands was twenty four. Claudia though husbands could be considerably older Thus it was not. unusual for a wife to outlive her husband provided she survived. We have seen that some women from the finest families in childbirth It seems from the biblical texts that Lydia in Philippi. Macedonia joined the church even if the Jewish princesses did Nympha in Laodicea Col 4 15 the chosen lady in Asia Minor. not Are there any Christian women from Roman senatorial 2 John 1 31 and others acted independently and thus may have. families mentioned in the NT been relatively wealthy widows These women hosted and cared. Three of the most powerful aristocratic families in Rome for congregations in their own homes. were the Junian Julian and Claudian families 25 The women in. these families were frequently named Junia Julia and Claudia A Patron of Many Phoebe of Cenchrea Romans 16 1 2. respectively Interestingly in the NT there is a Junia a Julia and Another woman who acted independently of a husband or father. a Claudia and they each lived in Rome Were these women from is Phoebe of Cenchrea In Rom 16 1 2 Paul identifies this woman. aristocratic families with three pieces of information that refer to her ecclesial status. There was a custom of freed slaves taking on the family name she is our sister diakonos deacon minister of the church at. of their master or mistress and this may have been the case Cenchrea and a prostatis patron of many including Paul. for Junia who is mentioned in Rom 16 7 Her husband s name A patron prostatis feminine or prostat s masculine. Andronicus was a common slave name so they may both was without exception an influential person in Roman society. have been freed slaves of the imperial household 26 This is Until recently however when translating or commenting. likely the situation for Julia and her husband Philologus who on prostatis in Rom 16 2 mundane words such as helper have. are mentioned in Rom 16 15 27 Both Junia and Julia and their typically been used Noted scholar James Dunn calls attention. husbands28 were probably attached to aristocratic households to the bias against recognising Phoebe as an influential woman. but were not themselves of the upper classes It is possible that The unwillingness of commentators to give prostatis its most. several names in Rom 16 are of Christians who belonged to natural and obvious sense of patron is most striking 32 He adds. Caesar s household 29 that unlike many modern readers Paul s original readers were. In his letter to the Philippians Paul passed on greetings unlikely to think of Phoebe as other than a figure of significance. from the Christians in Caesar s household Phil 4 22 A few whose wealth and influence had been put at the disposal of the. Christians would even gain positions of power within the church at Cenchrea 33. imperial household For example Emperor Commodus who The practice of patronage flourished in the early Roman. ruled from 180 192 had a Christian concubine named Marcia 30 Empire and was an essential part of Roman society Seneca. Through her influence many Christians who had been enslaved even described it as the chief bond of human society De. and sent to the tin mines in Sardinia were freed One of these Beneficiis 1 4 2 Having a patron was often a necessary means. slaves Callistus became bishop of Rome of gaining access to goods protection or opportunities for. In 2 Timothy greetings are sent from a Roman woman employment and advancement 34 As well as being an important. named Claudia Identifying Claudia is difficult for it was a part of Roman society at all levels patronage was also important. common name but because of the names mentioned with hers in the church Edwin Judge has remarked Christianity. in 2 Tim 4 21 especially Pudens and Linus there have been some was a movement sponsored by local patrons to their social. suggestions regarding who this woman was One suggestion dependents 35. is that she was Claudia Rufina whose husband was a Roman. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 5. Though the practice of patronage was informal and voluntary the families whose members had served or were eligible to serve in the. certain social constraints and reciprocal obligations were integral councils or senates of the provincial cities constituted a local order in. to the client patron relationship And a wealthy man or woman those places Meeks The First Urban Christians The Social World of the. who made a generous donation to his or her city community Apostle Paul New Haven Yale University Press 2003 53. guild or to an individual etc was able to exercise considerable 6 Meeks First Urban Christians 53. 7 The early church was attractive to women including women of. influence and power 36 Forbes and Harrower write, high status because within the Christian subculture women enjoyed. Because patronage was in many ways gender far higher status than did women in the Greco Roman world at large. blind women could deliberately or as a by product Rodney Stark The Rise of Christianity New York HarperOne 1996 95. of their benefaction increase their honour and 8 Peter Lampe notes that we cannot even name forty people of the. presence in the public arena Women patrons senatorial class who were Christians before the time of Constantine. thus won for themselves liberty to speak and act in who died in 337 but of these forty individuals two thirds are women. political and religious affairs 37 Lampe From Paul to Valentinus Christians at Rome in the First Two. Centuries Minneapolis Fortress 2003 119 No doubt there were still. It may be that the power of patrons was tempered in early other Christians of the senatorial class whose names we do not know. Christian communities Nevertheless wealthy women who acted 9 See for example Tertullian The Treatises on Marriage and. as patrons continued to be influential in the church even when Remarriage trans and annotated by William P Le Saint Ancient. other ministerial functions were increasingly denied to them In Christian Writers vol 13 New York Paulist 1951. many churches male ministers welcomed women as patrons and 10 See BDAG As examples Joseph of Arimathea is. even offered them roles in which they could act as collaborators described as eusch m n Mark 15 43 as are some women from Pisidian. By 200 AD the role of women as patrons and collaborators in Antioch in Asia Minor Acts 13 50 There is no doubt that wealthy. women and men played important leading roles in the church but. Christian churches was quite unmistakable 38 Like the apostle. poorer people also made vital contributions and became leaders. Paul some of the great men of early Christianity such as Clement. Moreover Paul speaks out strongly against bias towards honourable. of Alexandria b 150 Origen b 184 5 and Jerome b 347 were. and elite men and women in the churches In 1 Cor 12 Paul uses the. supported by wealthy female friends and colleagues 39 body as a metaphor for the church and includes the word eusch m n. Conclusion In fact some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important. are actually the most necessary And the parts we regard as less. The customs surrounding class distinctions and patronage. honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care So we carefully. gave high status and wealthy women power and prominence protect those parts that should not be seen while the more honorable. in society These customs also enabled high status and wealthy parts ta eusch mona from eusch m n do not require this special. women to have influence in the church they were her patrons care So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care. protectors house church leaders and ministers Unlike common are given to those parts that have less dignity This makes for harmony. stereotypes these women were not housebound and sheltered among the members so that all the members care for each other 1. quiet or anonymous However much like other Christians these Cor 12 22 25 NLT. wealthy women used their various resources and gifts to benefit 11 Ben Witherington III The Acts of the Apostles A Socio Rhetorical. their churches 40 Commentary Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1998 493 see also Luke. Timothy Johnson The Acts of the Apostles SP Collegeville Liturgical. Notes 1992 293 Luke s usage is sufficiently flexible to make it impossible. 1 Lynn H Cohick writes Two jobs were restricted to women only to know for certain whether she was a Gentile attracted to the. midwifery and wet nursing and two jobs were off limits soldiering and synagogue s teachings or whether she was in fact a pious Jew. holding an imperial office Cohick Women in the World of the Earliest 12 Families of the senatorial class needed to have a net worth of. Christians Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life Grand Rapids Baker more than 1 000 000 sestertii and they did not engage in business As. Academic 2009 31 a very rough guide one sestertius could buy two loaves of bread In. 2 Cohick Women in the World of the Earliest Christians 22 the first century some but not all of these senatorial families were of. 3 Patriarchy is the power of the fathers a familial social aristocratic descent. ideological political system in which men by force direct pressure 13 Clothes dyed with Tyrian purple also known as imperial or. or through ritual tradition law and language custom etiquette royal purple were also worn by high class prostitutes See Bruce. education and the division of labour determine what part women Winter Roman Wives Roman Widows Grand Rapids Eerdmans 2003. shall or shall not play and in which the female is everywhere subsumed 42 43 100 105. under the male Adrienne Rich Of Women Born Motherhood as 14 While it is likely Lydia ran her own business it is also possible she. Experience and Institution New York W W Norton 1976 57 was employed by someone else as a dealer of purple fabric. 4 James wrote against preferential seating in his NT letter James 15 Lydia s hospitality in Philippi somewhat fits a pattern that Ben. 2 1 9 Witherington has observed prominent women are mentioned wherever. 5 Wayne Meeks writes The orders ordines or estates of imperial house churches are mentioned in the New Testament Women converts. Roman Society were clear cut legally established categories The two of some means who were offering occasional lodging and hospitality to. most important and enduring ones were the senators and the knights fellow Christians became the Christian equivalent of a mother of the. or equestrians the ordo senatorius and the ordo equester In addition synagogue as their homes originally hostels for travelling Christians. 6 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. became regular meeting places of the converts in their area the B Lightfoot Epistle to the Philippians London and Cambridge. house was the center for the Church in which women quite naturally MacMillan 1869 175. were in the forefront of providing for Christian life and growth and 28 Slaves and freedmen could not legally marry under Roman law. the spread of the Gospel Witherington Women and the Genesis of nevertheless many couples belonging to these lower classes lived as. Christianity Cambridge Cambridge University Press 1990 212 13 husband and wife. 16 See further A da Besan on Spencer Leadership of Women in 29 Lightfoot Epistle to the Philippians 171 75 discusses Ampliatus. Crete and Macedonia as a Model for the Church Priscilla Papers 27 Urbanus Stachys Apelles and Aristobulus. no 4 Autumn 2013 5 15 Robert F Hull Jr Constructing Euodia and 30 Though they were not legally married Commodus and Marcia. Syntyche Philippians 4 2 3 and the Informed Imagination Priscilla lived as husband and wife Marcia was regarded as the consort of. Papers 30 no 2 Spring 2016 3 7 Commodus and she was known for her acts of benefaction. 17 W Tarn and G T Griffith Hellenistic Civilisation 3rd ed London 31 Scholarship is divided on whether chosen lady refers to a. Methuen 1952 98 99 woman or to a congregation For a defence of the view expressed. 18 Herod Agrippa I is mentioned in Acts 12 He had James the above see Margaret Mowczko The Elder and the Lady A Look at the. brother of John killed and Peter imprisoned Language of 2 John Mutuality 23 no 4 Winter 2016 12 13 William. 19 Herod V s sister was Herodias who was responsible for the death David Spencer Editor s Reflections Priscilla Papers 28 no 3 Summer. of John the Baptist see Matt 14 Mark 6 Luke 3 Chalcis was a small 2014 2 4. kingdom situated in Lebanon 32 James D G Dunn Romans 9 16 WBC 38B Dallas Word. 20 On a Latin inscription from Beirut she is called Queen Berenice 1988 888. daughter of the great king Agrippa Comptes rendus de l Acad mie des 33 Dunn Romans 9 16 889. Inscriptions 1927 pp 243 44 on a Greek inscription she is called Julia 34 David deSilva Patronage and Reciprocity The Context of. Berenice the great queen IG III 556 CIG 361 F F Bruce The Book of Grace in the New Testament ATJ 31 1999 32. Acts NICNT Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1988 457n27 35 Edwin A Judge The Early Christians as a Scholastic Community. 21 In parts of the ancient world it was not an oddity for a woman London Tyndale 1960 8. to be a ruler even in her own right Egypt sometimes had women 36 Jesus referred to the practice of patronage in Luke 22 24 27. rulers the most famous being Cleopatra VII the last Egyptian pharaoh using the word benefactors euergetai cf Matt 20 25 28 Jesus. And Kush called Ethiopia in the Bible sometimes had women rulers rejected this Greco Roman leadership model and the manner in. Candace mentioned in passing Acts 8 27 is one such ruler Candace which those in authority exercised power and authority over those. Greek Kandake was a dynastic name or title under them Cynthia Long Westfall Paul and Gender Reclaiming the. 22 Women who were Roman citizens could easily divorce their Apostle s Vision for Men and Women in Christ Grand Rapids Baker. husbands and divorces were common in the upper classes as new Academic 2016 244. political allegiances were formed and old ones broken 37 Greg W Forbes and Scott D Harrower Raised from Obscurity. 23 The dress and behaviour of wealthy women in the Ephesian A Narratival and Theological Study of the Characterization of Women. church addressed in 1 Tim 2 9 10 may have been influenced by the in Luke Acts Eugene Wipf and Stock 2015 32. dress and behaviour of elite women who were seen as roles models 38 Peter Brown The Body and Society Men Women and Sexual. 24 For example a second century AD inscription from Smyrna Renunciation in Early Christianity New York Columbia University. mentions a woman named Rufina who was synagogue ruler The Press 1988 144 45. inscription reads Rufina a Jewess synagogue ruler built this tomb 39 Many of these women were well educated The education of. for her freed slaves and the slaves raised in her household No one else girls in the first century is beyond the scope of this article. has a right to bury anyone here CII 741 IGR IV 1452 See Bernadette 40 In the first decades of the church spiritual giftedness was one. J Brooten Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue Inscriptional of the primary qualifications for ministry Gifted people regardless. Evidence and Background BJS 36 Atlanta Scholars 1982 of wealth and status participated in ministry in churches founded by. 25 The first five Roman emperors Augustus Tiberius Caligula Paul and others There is ample evidence that women whether rich or. Claudius and Nero belonged to the Julio Claudian dynasty That is poor were prophets in the early church For example the apocryphal 3. their lineage came from both the Julian and Claudian families Corinthians mentions Theonoe and Fragment 9 of the apocryphal Acts. 26 Amy Peeler notes Andronikos is a male Greek name often of Paul mentions Myrte both prophetesses in the Corinthian Church. given to slaves or freedman manumitted slaves Junia is a common cf 1 Cor 12 28 14 26 39 The prophesying daughters of Philip Acts. female Latin name related to the esteemed Roman family the gens 21 9 were well known in the early church and Eusebius associates. Junia which could be taken by their slaves or the descendants of their them with apostolic gifts teaching and foundational ministry Hist. slaves Peeler Junia Joanna Herald of the Good News in Vindicating Eccl 3 37 1 cf 5 17 3. the Vixens Revisiting Sexualized Vilified and Marginalized Women. of the Bible ed Sandra Glahn Grand Rapids Kregel 2017 273 85. 278 Richard Bauckham and Ben Witherington III argue instead that. Junia is one and the same as Joanna a disciple of Jesus who had been. a member of the court of Herod Antipas with her husband Chuza See. Richard J Bauckham Gospel Women Grand Rapids Eerdmans 2002 Marg Mowczko holds a BTh from the Australian College of. 109 202 and Ben Witherington III Joanna Apostle of the Lord or Ministries and an MA in early Christian and Jewish studies from. Jailbait BRev 21 no 2 Spring 2005 12 14 Macquarie University She is a prominent egalitarian blogger see. 27 Philologus may well be the same man who is mentioned MargMowczko com Marg lives near Sydney Australia with her. in several surviving inscriptions of the imperial household See J husband Peter. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 7. The Weaker Sex or a Weak Translation,Strengthening our Interpretation of 1 Peter 3 7.
John C Nugent, First Peter is a subtle and subversive letter Scholars are increasingly superiority as unfortunate but understandable cultural baggage. coming to recognize its subversive nature 1 This is especially that we are obligated to leave behind. evident in 2 13 17 where the author asks readers to submit to In this article I offer a third option Peter was not in fact. human authorities all the while referring to those authorities affirming that women are weaker Rather consistent with the. as fools insisting that believers live as free people and granting subversive nature of the wider pericope in which this verse is. the emperor only the same honor that is due everyone else but situated he was asking men to lay aside their cultural advantage. not the love he craves or the fear he expects Peter reserves such and to win over their unbelieving wives in the same Christlike. love and fear for fellow believers and God respectively This is manner that slaves women and the wider community were. not run of the mill social conservativism It is what John Howard called to non coercively welcome Gentiles into the chorus of. Yoder called revolutionary subordination 2 It is the power of God believers who will glorify God when he comes to judge 2 12. demonstrated from a posture of apparent weakness I proceed by providing an alternative translation of 1 Pet 3 7. It is increasingly common for scholars to roll this subversive that better fits its context and better reflects the nuances of the. trope forward into the following two subsections which ask Greek text In particular I examine the connective function of. slaves to submit to their masters and wives to their husbands the term likewise in the same way homoi s the ambiguous. These slaves are not asked to be doormats but Christ followers meaning of the phrase grace of life the comparative sense. who subvert injustice the way Jesus did by bearing up under of the adverb like as h s the indefinite state of the phrase. it and leveraging it for our salvation Likewise wives do not weaker vessel and the default meaning of vessel. submit to unbelieving husbands from a posture of inferiority After addressing these five textual issues I offer an. but from one of triumph that wins over their husbands by the alternative translation and submit a few important implications. superior power of godly conduct of this passage, Yet Peter s subversive engine appears to have run out of steam The Connective Function of the Term likewise in the. by 3 7 There he highlights the weakness of women referring to same way homoio s. them as weaker vessels and implores men to give them like the. emperor only the same basic honor that everyone else deserves First Peter 3 7 begins by emphasizing its connection to preceding. For God offers women the gift of life too and these men would sections Most translations make this perfectly clear The NRSV. not want anything to hinder their prayer lives says Husbands in the same way Some commentators. Fortunately Peter wakes from this apparent patriarchal minimize the importance of the connecting term homoi s. slumber in the very next verse and begins exhorting the entire saying that it only means that Paul is here rounding out his. community not to get sucked into pagan notions of power and household code by tacking on a brief address to husbands 3. retaliation but to repay evil with a blessing and so ultimately to However there are several reasons to believe that the author. triumph like Jesus did the Jesus he points out who suffered intended in the same way in a much stronger sense That is. for a little while but is now seated at God s right hand with all the same logic he uses to instruct slaves and wives also applies. angels authorities and powers made subject to him 3 22 to husbands. How odd for Peter to raise up women before their unbelieving The most obvious reason is that the immediately preceding. husbands then to shove them down beneath their believing section begins in an analogous way First Peter 3 1 begins with. husbands then partially to raise them back up by appealing homoi s thus the NRSV translation Wives in the same way. to their common lot before God and by threatening men with This section addressing wives clearly points back to the previous. ineffectual prayer and then immediately afterward to instruct section addressing slaves which begins in 2 18 The most natural. the whole community to embrace the subversive way of Jesus reading then is that the sections addressing slaves wives and. For those who see subversive strains all throughout 1 Peter the husbands belong together. brief instruction to men in 3 7 seems entirely out of place Strengthening the connection between these subsections is. The commentary tradition appears to be blissfully unaware that all three are driven by participial verbs that are set up by. of this tension Social conservatives interpret Peter as saying the imperative verb submit hupotass in 2 13 4 This rather. that even though women are subordinates in the flesh they transparent structure is lost in translation since most English. are nonetheless equals with regard to salvation and should be versions render not only the imperative in 2 13 but also the lead. honored as such To them womanly weakness is self evident participles in our three subjections as imperatives A clearer. truth even if it chafes against contemporary notions of political translation would not say submit to every human institution. correctness Social progressivists interpret Peter as saying on account of the Lord 2 13 slaves submit to your masters. much the same thing only they dismiss his nod toward male 2 18 wives submit to your husbands 3 1 and husbands. 8 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. cohabitate according to knowledge 3 7 Rather it would retain opened the door of salvation to those who would believe Slaves. the structure by saying Submit to every human institution are encouraged to walk in his train and share in his triumph. on account of the Lord slaves submitting to your masters This is not how 1 Peter exhorts fellow believers to relate to one. wives submitting to your husbands and husbands another Their relationship to each other is characterized in 3 8. cohabitating according to knowledge 5 by unity of spirit sympathy mutual love and humility in 4 8. First Peter 3 7 should be read in the context of this wider by constant love and uncomplaining hospitality and in 5 5 by. pericope following the lead imperative to submit mutual humility It is unthinkable in this context that a believer. The Ambiguous Meaning of the Phrase grace of life would be suffering at the hand of a fellow believer. The author then turns to wives whom he calls in the same way. The connectedness of the aforementioned subsections goes homoi s to submit to their husbands But here the evangelistic. a long way to help us interpret a highly ambiguous phrase in thrust is far more explicit They submit so that their husbands. 3 7 charitos z s which means grace of life An inordinate may be won over without a word by their wives conduct 3 1. number of commentators assume that the women referred to in This is the same word for conduct in 2 12 anastroph n that. this passage are believers and thus interpret this phrase as the leads Gentiles to glorify God Just like slaves are encouraged. gift of eternal life 6 Yet this phrase which appears only here in to use their freedom in a Christlike way as a witness to their. all of Scripture may just as well denote the gift of life in general masters so wives must exercise their freedom in Christ to win. Some commentators assume contra Paul in 1 Cor 7 12 that all over their husbands with pure and gentle conduct 10. first century women adopted the religion of their husbands 7 Thus when husbands in the third subsection are called to. Others assume that because inheritance language is connected behave homoi s in the same way it is most natural to assume. to salvation elsewhere in 1 Peter 1 5 and 3 9 it must be here that he is addressing husbands who are married to unbelievers. as well 8 Yet before we rush to interpret this phrase in light of Not only does it preserve the steady chain of witness to. Greco Roman convention and parallels in the wider book of 1 unbelievers going back to 2 11 but the fact that husbands are. Peter we ought to consider its place within its most immediate called to act in accordance to knowledge echoing 2 15 and. context which is 2 11 3 7 are also asked to honor their wives echoing 2 17 establishes. Although grammatically speaking the string of participles two strong verbal links to the introduction of this passage where. connecting our three subsections follows the lead imperative witness to unbelievers is explicit. in 2 13 hupotag te from hupotass submit the discourse It therefore makes the most sense to interpret the author as. as a whole begins thematically in 2 11 with the term beloved instructing husbands to win over their unbelieving wives by. agap toi This term of direct address establishes the beginning their good honoring conduct 11 Whereas wives were told not to. of a new main discourse one that continues at least through 3 7 resort to outward beauty like unbelievers often did men ought. and perhaps beyond 9 In vv 11 12 the recipients are identified not resort to the marital authority granted them by wider society. as aliens and exiles and are encouraged to exhibit such good to force their wives into faith With this in mind the grace of. conduct anastroph n among the Gentiles that they too life that husbands have inherited along with their wives may. might be drawn to glorify God when he comes to judge From this simply refer to the divine gift of life that all humans share which. evangelistic perspective the author then commands Christians obligates God s people to honor all fellow humans 12. to submit to various human institutions in v 13 He commands. them to do so not because those in power are somehow superior The Comparative Sense of the Adverb like as ho s. but according to v 15 because it is God s will that by doing good Having situated our weaker vessel passage within its immediate. they might silence the ignorance of the foolish The word for context we turn now to clause level analysis our target clause. ignorance here is agn sia or lack of knowledge gn sis in this being as weaker vessels h s asthenester skeuei The first. case the knowledge that comes with faith word in this clause begins an adverbial conjunction which. In the next two verses the author wraps up his double often functions comparatively and so is translated as or. introduction to our wider passage by instructing believers to like The same term appears in 1 14 like obedient children. live as free people and yet to honor all people including the 1 19 like that of a lamb 1 24 like grass and all its glory 2 2. emperor vv 16 17 He employs the notions of knowledge like newborn infants and 2 5 like living stones Such uses are. freedom and honor to set up all three subsections because they often metaphorical but this is not always the case Sometimes. establish believers as those who are in the know and truly free h s conveys a characteristic that is quite straightforward In. but who must use their freedom to honor all people particularly 2 11 Peter addresses the audience as aliens and exiles in 2 13. those who lack knowledge the king is identified as supreme and in 2 16 the audience is. The author then turns immediately to slaves whom he addressed both as free and as servants of God So we must. calls to submit to their masters even those who are harsh analyze the immediate context to determine how h s is being. Presumably such masters would be unbelievers For the author used and what exactly it modifies. goes on to use the example of Jesus who suffered at the hands Translators disagree widely about what h s modifies in 1 Pet. of unbelievers and in so doing triumphed over them and 3 7 It could modify the woman as in the NRSV paying honor. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 9. to the woman as the weaker sex It could define how husbands and dishonor Paul says in Rom 9 21 Has the potter no right. ought to cohabit with knowledge as in the 1995 revision of the over the clay to make out of the same lump one object skeuos. New American Standard Bible live with your wives in an for special use tim n and another for ordinary use atimian. understanding way as with someone weaker It could modify This passage and 2 Tim 2 20 testify that honor is something. how men ought to honor their wives as in the KJV giving ascribed to vessels which provides interesting context for. honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel Agreement interpreting our contested passage. upon where the implied commas should be placed would Neither the translations nor the commentaries seriously. presumably help matters Yet some of our earliest editions of the consider that the weaker vessel of 3 7 might simply be a fragile. Greek New Testaments disagree with how this sentence should piece of pottery that warrants special care like a family heirloom. be parsed Erasmus in 1516 disagrees with Stephanus in 1550 If such is the case this verse could be saying that Christian. And the text shared by the modern editions of Nestle Aland husbands ought to treat their unbelieving wives with special. and the United Bible Societies changed between their 1979 and care Rather than lord their religion over them they ought to. 2000 editions More recently OpenText org an online source woo their wives into the faith by according special dignity to. developed by Stanley Porter and his associates breaks down the them This would be analogous to how Christian wives win over. text in still a different way 13 It is therefore difficult to invoke their unbelieving husbands and how Christian slaves relate to. some sort of textual analysis trump card to settle this debate in their unbelieving masters. a definitive way It will have to do for now to note the use of the We might then offer a variety of translations of 1 Pet 3 7 each. comparative h s and to see what further information the rest of of which conveys the same basic meaning. the clause provides Following the Structure Offered on OpenText org. The Indefinite State of the Phrase weaker vessel Husbands in the same way cohabitating according. Though the definite article is conspicuously absent from our to knowledge as with a delicate vessel to the wife. target clause all throughout the manuscript tradition nearly showing honor as also to coheirs of the grace of. every English translation renders the phrase h s asthenester life so that your prayers may not be hindered. skeuei as if it were definite 14 which leads to translations like the Following the Punctuation of the 26th edition of the. weaker vessel the weaker sex or the weaker partner When Greek text by Nestle and Aland and thus the NRSV and. linked with the comparative h s the definite article carries ESV. the meaning in a specific direction If the wife in the passage. is referred to as the weaker partner this implies that she is Husbands in the same way cohabitating according. being compared to her husband who is presumably the stronger to knowledge showing honor to the wife as to a. one So no matter where one places commas in this sentence delicate vessel as also to coheirs of the grace of life. the same sense is conveyed the phrase weaker vessel refers so that your prayers may not be hindered. directly to the woman Yet the most natural rendering of this Following the punctuation of 27th edition of the Greek. phrase without the definite article would be as with a weaker text by Nestle and Aland. vessel and this opens up a different meaning for the word. vessel than is assumed by English translations and all the Husbands in the same way cohabitating with. major commentaries your wife according to knowledge as with a. delicate vessel showing honor as also to coheirs of. The Default Meaning of vessel the grace of life so that your prayers may not be. Most commentators point out that the term skeuei in its most hindered. basic sense means a material object that is used to carry out a If this basic approach to translation is correct then Peter is not. particular function often a jar or container of some sort For instructing his audience to think of women as being weaker. instance in Luke 8 16 we are told that no one lights a lamp Rather he is holding up how households treated precious vessels. only to cover it over with a jar or vessel By extension skeuei as a model for how husbands ought to treat their unbelieving. sometimes refers to a person who carries out a particular spouses He calls them to act out of faith knowledge like. function In the Greek OT this term refers to an inanimate Christian citizens slaves and wives earlier in the pericope. instrument or container over 270 times Of those instances not out of widely shared societal notions that men are stronger. less than thirty refer to humans as vessels and all such cases than women If Peter were encouraging that sort of knowledge. refer to a royal armor bearer a vessel carrier 15 In the NT this would stand against his instruction to wives in the previous. skeuei appears twenty two times and only three of them refer section where he instructs them not to use outward beauty to. to people 16 The ordinary sense of the term is therefore an win over their husbands which would have been the societal. instrument or container norm Were that the case he would not have said Husbands. In two passages moreover a distinction is made between in the same way but Husbands on the other hand and then. ordinary and special vessels The Greek terms for special and applied a different standard to them. ordinary in these passages are tim n and atimian or honor. 10 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. Implications Howard Marshall 1 Peter IVP New Testament Commentary Grand. Rapids Baker 2011 104 Scot McKnight 1 Peter NIV Application. If this alternative translation is correct four implications follow Commentary Grand Rapids Zondervan 1996 185 Michaels 1 Peter. First and most obvious we ought not appeal to 1 Pet 3 7 in order 169 70 Pheme Perkins First and Second Peter James and Jude IBC. to argue that women are weaker than men It is simply not what Louisville Westminster John Knox 2012 59 Thomas Schreiner 1 2. the passage is about Indeed it may be a subtle polemic against Peter Jude NAC Nashville Broadman Holman 2003 161 Donald. this notion P Senior 1 Peter SP Collegeville Liturgical 2008 84 Duane F. Second we should pause before applying the instruction Watson First and Second Peter Paideia Commentaries on the New. in this entire pericope whether concerning slaves wives or Testament Grand Rapids Baker 2012 76 77. husbands to relationships between fellow believers Though 7 E g Davids The First Epistle of Peter 122. 8 E g Senior 1 Peter 84, some of it may be relevant the author s concerns lie elsewhere. 9 I owe this insight to Greek scholar and colleague Ronald D Peters. Third since the women in this verse are not believers. 10 That Sarah is introduced as a role model does not mean this. Peter s rationale for showing them honor may be seen as having section is not about the relationship between believing wives and. even wider applicability Believers ought to show honor to all unbelieving husbands There is no reason to assume that behavior. unbelievers on account of their being coheirs of the grace of toward a believer cannot be used to exemplify behavior toward an. life Their lives are not a waste should they not choose to follow unbeliever Plus it is quite possible that the example of Sarah being. Jesus It is indeed a shame that they do not experience eternal appealed to is her submission to Abraham precisely when he did not. life but their present lives are just as believe in God s promise to give him a son. much a gift from God as ours This builds We ought not appeal to 1 Pet 3 7 through Sarah Cf Bott Sarah as the Weaker. upon the OT notion that all humans are in order to argue that women Vessel 243 59 Though I do not find Bott s. made in God s image and that all blood is are weaker than men It is simply interpretation of 3 7 to be persuasive he. sacred not just the blood of our family or not what the passage is about helpfully illuminates the allusion to Sarah and. Abraham in 3 6, tribe or gender Any notion of Christian Indeed it may be a subtle polemic. 11 Supporting the view that these women, superiority is refuted by this pericope against this notion are unbelievers see Carl D Gross Are the.
Finally 1 Pet 3 7 teaches us that when Wives in 1 Peter 3 7 Christians JSNT 35 Feb. society grants believers social privilege for whatever reason 1989 89 96 Karen H Jobes 1 Peter BECNT Grand Rapids Baker. whether gender ethnicity seniority or majority status we 2005 207 8 Jobes concludes the husband is to treat his wife as if. ought not wield such privilege in order to coerce unbelievers she were a sister in Christ The unbelieving wife is to be accorded the. into Christian faith and practice This passage calls upon people same respect as a fellow Christian with the hope of winning her to. of social privilege to lay aside their privilege and to extend God s authentic faith 208. gift to those below us in the social pecking order as the same gift 12 This understanding finds support in some of the most reliable. of grace that we received In order for God s gift to be received as manuscripts Codex Sinaiticus 4th cent and Codex Alexandrinus 5th. a gift it must be presented in a way that is rejectable Anything cent add the term poilik s which would lead to a translation like the. less is not God s gift of salvation but just another human rule grace of various kinds of life This suggests that even though the wife. may not yet be a coheir of new life in Jesus she is coheir of another. Notes albeit more basic kind of life that is also an invaluable gift from God. 1 E g Miroslav Volf Soft Difference Theological Reflections on On the other hand P72 is a 3rd 4th century papyrus that inserts the. the Relation between Church and Culture in 1 Peter ExAud 10 1994 word ai nou which would render the phrase eternal life. 15 30 13 Ronald Peters offered valuable assistance regarding the location. 2 John Howard Yoder The Politics of Jesus Vicit Agnus Noster 2nd of the comma in the textual tradition. ed Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1994 ch 9 14 E g KJV 1611 ASV 1901 RSV 1952 JKJ 1982 NJB 1985. 3 See J Ramsey Michaels 1 Peter WBC Waco Word 2015 167 NRSV 1989 NET 2005 NIV 2011 NAB 2011 and ESV 2016 The. John H Elliott 1 Peter AB New Haven Yale University Press 2001 574 NASB 1977 is a notable exception. 4 I am not the first to suggest this See Nicholas T Bott Sarah 15 Judg 9 54 1 Sam 14 12 21 31 4 56 2 Sam 23 27 1 Chron 10 4 5 11 39. as the Weaker Vessel Genesis 18 and 20 in 1 Peter s Instructions to 16 In Acts 9 15 Paul becomes God s instrument in 1 Thess 4 4 the. Husbands in 1 Pet 3 7 TJ 36 2015 243 human body is referred to as a vessel and in 2 Tim 2 21 people may. 5 I am not arguing that a participle cannot have an imperative serve as vessels who do good work. force or that all Greek participles must be translated as English. participles Rather my point is about the structure which is clear in. Greek but veiled in most English translations, John Nugent teaches Bible and theology at Great Lakes. 6 M Eugene Boring 1 Peter ANTC Nashville Abingdon 1999. Christian College in Lansing Michigan He holds an MDiv. 127 Edmund Clowney The Message of 1 Peter Bible Speaks Today. from Emmanuel Christian Seminary a ThM from Duke Divinity. Downers Grove InterVarsity 1989 134 Peter H Davids The First. School and a PhD from Calvin Theological Seminary He is well. Epistle of Peter NICNT Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1990 122 Elliott. published including the book Endangered Gospel How Fixing the World is. 1 Peter 579 80 Daniel Keating First and Second Peter Jude Catholic. Killing the Church Cascade 2016, Commentary on Sacred Scripture Grand Rapids Baker 2011 77 I. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 11. Philemon in Light of Galatians 3 28,Nikki Holland, Paul s letter to Philemon presents a real world example of lower status of Philemon Apphia Onesimus and the church. how Paul interacted with churches and individuals based on that meets in their home. the unity he proclaims in Gal 3 28 There is no longer Jew or No Longer Slave or Free. Greek there is no longer slave or free there is no longer male. and female for all of you are one in Christ Jesus NRSV This Does Paul a Roman citizen participate in keeping Onesimus. article addresses Paul s development of koin nia fellowship as a slave He does not directly ask Philemon to manumit. partnership sharing in the church that meets in Philemon s him4 and he does express the hope that Onesimus would be. house and how koin nia supersedes the hierarches that were able to return to him to serve him However just as Paul asks. so prevalent in the NT world 1 First I discuss how Paul uses Philemon to receive Onesimus as Paul s representative v 17. hierarchy in Philemon focusing on how Paul subverts the which effectively put s the slave Onesimus over and above. system of slavery Then I examine family relationships in his other master Philemon in the Church Paul hopes that. this letter to demonstrate how Paul subverts expected power Onesimus will be able to serve him as Philemon s representative. differentials between Gentiles and Jews and between men Onesimus in this role is not a slave but an ambassador for both. and women Next I look at the kind of power Paul exerts in of these men 5 So rather than using his power as a citizen over. his petition to Philemon since he is not using his rank as an Onesimus Paul shares that power with him It must be noted. apostle to command his dear friend and co worker vv 1 that serve here in v 13 so that he might be of service to me. 9 Finally I discuss koin nia in Paul s understanding of the NRSV is diakone rather than douleu a distinction which. church and its relationship to power structures especially the removes Paul s reference to service from the realm of slavery. hierarchy within the slave system Although Paul recognizes Paul is not the only active party in this relationship Ulrike. and potentially participates in the various power relationships Roth claims that Paul and Philemon are discussing Onesimus as. in this world he believes that hierarchies are just that of this a property asset in their koin nia agreement 6 and Botha claims. world Because his focus is on the next world Paul is concerned that although the outcome of the rhetorical act of Paul s petition. with living in the Spirit living in this world by the principles is of direct interest to Onesimus he exerts no influence nor does. of the next world He does so by superseding various kinds of he contribute any options 7 Sung Uk Lim on the other hand. earthly hierarchies with koin nia which he enacts in Philemon focuses on Onesimus s agency as the initiator of the situation that. by announcing Onesimus as an active and equal participant in requires this letter in the first place Lim suggests that Onesimus. that koin nia by calling Gentiles his family members and by is the one who finds Paul in prison and through his conversion. addressing Apphia as having at least equal influence with the and imitation of Paul 1 Cor 11 1 shows himself to be a tactful. men in her church character able to maneuver the power relations between Paul. and Philemon in order to undermine the authority of his master. Hierarchy in Philemon and by implication the imperial rule reflected in the system of. Paul asks Philemon to receive his runaway slave 2 Onesimus slavery 8 This view of Onesimus as an active participant in his. back as a beloved brother and even as Philemon would welcome relationship with Paul further blurs the lines of hierarchy as. the apostle himself Not all scholars consider Paul s request through Onesimus s initiative and Paul s response Philemon and. to be an example of egalitarian theology Pieter J J Botha for Paul become not only citizens of the same empire but brothers. example asserts that through his use of the language of slavery and father and Onesimus becomes not only a slave but a son. and kinship Paul here demonstrates his participation in and brother and as we saw earlier a representative of them both. approbation of the hierarchical systems of master over slave Paul lived in a particular context While he states that it is. in the Greco Roman world Botha believes that because Paul better to be free e g 1 Cor 7 23 he also lived in a world that. does not openly call for the end of slavery this letter is mainly could not imagine itself without slavery 9 He lived in a world. a matter of property management and we should hold Paul where he could face serious legal repercussions for not returning. accountable for not calling for an end to slavery 3 Botha believes a fugitive slave 10 He lived in a world where slaves were considered. that even the familial language Paul uses is meant to affirm things rather than people 11 Within such a world Paul was able to. Paul s superior status as an apostle over the church that met restore Onesimus s humanity by recognizing his status in Christ. in Philemon s home Paul s authority would determine who and he expected Philemon to accept that as well by recognizing. is called a brother while Paul s position as a father complete Onesimus as his beloved brother v 16. with all the rights and privileges of a paterfamilias is implicit Although Botha finds it extremely problematic that Paul. throughout the letter does not acknowledge the violence inherent in slavery and call. Does Paul use his status as a citizen to manage Onesimus to an end of the suffering 12 I submit that Paul wrote this letter. as property Does Paul use his status as a father to affirm the to acknowledge that very point He recognizes that Onesimus. 12 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. is vulnerable to serious repercussions upon his return to Gentiles and in Acts 15 we read that some Jewish Christians. Philemon 13 and probably in response to Onesimus s request believed that Gentiles were not Christians unless they had also. Paul is doing everything in his power to prevent that suffering become Jews but Paul tells the council at Jerusalem that God. For Paul and the early church this world is passing away 1 has made no distinction between them Gentiles and us Jews. John 2 17 The new world the kingdom of heaven is coming Acts 15 9 In Philemon Paul is going beyond seeing Gentile. soon Jesus says it is even already here 14 Paul s entire focus is Christians as saved he is calling them his own family There is. on pressing forward into the next life Phil 3 13 14 His vision no difference between Greeks and Jews in Paul s churches. is to bring kingdom concepts into the structures of this world The Greco Roman family was governed by strictly tiered. So yes Paul recognizes the institution of slavery and uses that hierarchy with the father on top then the mother then sons. language But for Paul slavery among Christians is the outer then daughters But we do not see these lines of power reflected. shell of social hierarchy filled with the Spirit of the kingdom in the letter to Philemon Rather Paul is simultaneously a father. of heaven Onesimus once converted remains a slave under and a brother and he makes an appeal rather than a mandate. the rules of the old world whilst becoming an equal under to his brother Philemon who as a brother also to Onesimus. the rules of the new world 15 And he can be these things and a man who owes himself to Paul is also Paul s son He. simultaneously just as the kingdom of heaven is simultaneously asks Philemon to welcome his brother Onesimus as if he were. here and coming Paul knows he cannot eliminate slavery But he their father Paul Apphia a sister a woman is listed before. does everything he can to eliminate the violence and suffering of Archippus a man in Paul s greeting a feature so peculiar in. slavery within his churches by presenting Christian slaves like that time period that even hundreds of years later scholars were. Onesimus as brothers with their masters Paul asks Philemon to still trying to explain it For example Jerome AD 342 420. welcome Onesimus the slave the same way he would welcome explained Apphia s precedence in Paul s list by saying This. Paul the apostle their spiritual father Paul completely upsets is what the apostle says when writing to the Galatians that in. the ranks of the hierarchy of slavery the faith of Christ it makes no difference whether someone is. No Longer Greek or Jew No Longer Male and Female a Gentile or a Jew man or woman slave or free Likewise this. becomes clear in this passage Apphia does not seem to be. This letter is like a modern birth announcement Paul has given ranked by her sex but by her merit 19. birth to a son 16 and he is introducing Onesimus to Philemon Not much is known about Apphia Scholars suggest she. and the church in his home as a new member of the family could be the wife of Philemon or Archippus or Philemon s. Paul calls Timothy Onesimus and Philemon brothers he calls sister or even daughter 20 It is possible that she is a partner in. Onesimus his child he calls himself a father and he calls Apphia a missionary team21 or perhaps she is simply a leader in the. a sister He is speaking about this church as if it were a family church that meets in Philemon s home What we do know is that. It is commonly thought that this church was in Asia Minor 17 she is greeted before Archippus whom Paul had given a special. and that the people who comprised the church were Gentiles job to do Col 4 17 This positioning mirrors the precedence that. including Philemon Apphia and Onesimus 18 We first learn in Priscilla had before Aquila four out of the six times the couple. Acts 10 that Jewish Christians are now able to share meals with are mentioned in the NT though such ordering is quite rare 22. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 13. In the letter s ancient context that Apphia preceded Archippus sort of relationship Paul is calling Philemon into Paul is not. probably meant that she had greater influence in the church looking to establish new patron client relations between himself. leadership Ross S Kraemer even argues That Paul explicitly and Philemon but is seeking to establish a new criterion that. names Apphia suggests that he seeks her consent to his request transcends the Greco Roman patronage system with entirely. concerning Onesimus and therefore acknowledges her new relations made possible through Christ 27 Paul is leaving. influential role in this church 23 So we see that in Paul s family behind the patterns of this world and pressing forward toward. a sister is given at least equal influence with her brothers and by the patterns of the world to come. extension her father What are these new relations that the church can experience. There is additional evidence that Paul is reimagining the in Christ Koin nia. family as having a flat power structure in the Greek word Paul Koin nia in Philemon. uses when he calls Onesimus his child rather than his son. in v 10 Philemon is structured as a chiasm a literary device featuring. inverted parallelism Thus many of the concepts Paul introduces. The notion of rank is completely absent here in the first half of the book lay the foundation for the points he. Onesimus is Paul s child teknon he is not his son makes in the second half of the book 28 The letter s main point. huios The former connotes relationship intimacy Paul s petition appears as a chiastic pair Near the beginning of. and minority without the authoritarian dimension the letter Paul writes I pray that the sharing of your faith may. of the father son relationship associated with the become effective when you perceive all the good that we may. latter especially as it was defined in Roman family do for Christ v 6 NRSV Then later in the letter Paul makes. life under the law and custom of the principate 24 his request So if you consider me your partner welcome him. This church is indeed a family but it is certainly not one that Onesimus as you would welcome me v 17 NRSV Though. adheres to any identifiable hierarchy Paul is not using the these two sentences do not seem like a close pair in English. language of family to remind Philemon of his power as a father the word that is translated sharing is koin nia and the word. He is using the language of family to remind Philemon that they translated partner is its cognate koin non. are equal in Christ and united in love Greek and Jew male and The root of these words is koin which means common. female and that Onesimus has joined the family as a brother for example the NT is written in Koin Greek a language. even as Paul s own heart v 12 common to various cultures Words from this root can. You are all One in Christ Jesus for example refer to business partnerships farm tax sharing. marriage relationships civic associations collegial associations. Paul s Power to Influence cultic associations community and shared tombs 29 Koin nia. We have seen that Paul subverts expectations of hierarchical the most common noun form of this word family is an action. power within this letter to Philemon Let us now consider what noun consider for example the English word handoff 30. power Paul is using in his appeal to Philemon According to Koin nia is the manifestation of the relationships that exist. Timothy A Brookins Paul is making use of the ancient notion between people who share together in a common thing 31. of auctoritas power 25 In the time of the NT church there were Of the twenty one times that koin nia is used in the NT. two concepts of power potestas which is the right to command Paul accounts for thirteen of those instances 32 and he develops. which Paul would have had as an apostle and auctoritas which an understanding of Christian koin nia that expresses our. is the desire to influence and call to participation The first is a unity with one another and with God in Christ33 and the. power which is taken by leaders the second is a power which identification and solidarity of God with us The koin nia we. is ascribed to leaders by their followers Paul s persuasive tactic have with Christ is mutual We are in him and he is in us 34 But. is an excellent example of auctoritas power he renounces his this is not an ethereal concept that has no bearing on everyday. right to command as an apostle and he instead emphasizes his life Rather it is in the nature of the koin nia God gives us. age imprisonment for the sake of Christ and role as a spiritual that the most profound dimensions of koin nia are to be found. father By doing so Paul hopes to increase Philemon s desire to in the utterly ordinary exercise of it 35 and that expression of. obey his brother Paul spiritual koin nia within the use of the ordinary structures of. In vv 5 7 and 9 Paul goes beyond the standard boundaries the world is exactly what we see in Philemon It is koin nia that. of auctoritas and invokes love as a reason for Philemon to grant allows Paul to call Gentiles his family It is koin nia that allows. his request on Onesimus s behalf 26 much as Jesus does If you Apphia to participate fully in the leadership of her church It. love me you will keep my commandments John 14 15 NRSV is koin nia that allows Onesimus to reestablish his relationship. Jesus is not interested in forcing us to obey his commands to with Philemon. love God and love each other Rather he renounced his rights In v 6 Paul prays that Philemon s koin nia in his faith will. and glory and descended to earth where he suffered even to become effective when he perceives all the good that might be. death on our behalf Phil 2 5 11 Because of his love for us and done The word translated as effective emphasizes activity. our love for him we desire to obey his commands This is the and productivity 36 It can also be translated as active. 14 Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 cbeinternational org. powerful or productive Paul is praying that Philemon s gender hierarchy Paul removes the power differential from. koin nia his sharing together with others in the faith of Jesus Philemon and Onesimus s relationship in their church and. Christ will produce action when he hears all the good that can he replaces that differential with koin nia by asking Philemon. be done for Christ Then in v 17 Paul reminds Philemon about to receive Onesimus as if he were Paul Within the koin nia of. this concept of active participation in his faith by calling him their faith slaves and masters Greeks and Jews men and women. koin non partner co sharer in the faith Paul is suggesting beloved brothers and sisters in Christ equal heirs in the gifts of. that Philemon s participation together in the faith with Paul salvation can enjoy equal status together within the church 39. Apphia and now Onesimus might be actively demonstrated by. accepting his slave not only as a beloved brother v 16 but as Notes. Paul s very representative 1 Koin nia and Onesimus s role in that koin nia is a concept. Not only is Paul reminding Philemon that he is a koin non developed below. this letter is his announcement that Onesimus is a koin non 2 Some scholars posit that Onesimus was not a runaway slave but. as well Onesimus is now an active participant in the sharing that he had sought Paul out to address a grievance against Philemon. together in a common faith with Philemon and the church e g Bernardo Cho Subverting Slavery Philemon Onesimus and. that meets in their home Roth claims that Paul is writing Paul s Gospel of Reconciliation EvQ 86 no 2 April 2014 101 Some. to Philemon in order to manage Onesimus as an asset that scholars even consider that Onesimus was not a slave but Philemon s. estranged brother and that this letter is Paul s attempt to encourage. Philemon is contributing to their shared faith community But. solidarity between Onesimus and Philemon and the church that met in. Onesimus is not an asset He is a brother a son an ambassador. his home e g Allen Dwight Callahan The Letter to Philemon in A. of Paul who has even helped Tychicus Col 4 7 9 carry news Postcolonial Commentary on the New Testament Writings ed Fernando. and a letter to the church in Colossae which is likely the same F Segovia and R S Sugirtharajah London T T Clark 2009. church that meets in Philemon s home 37 Paul has effectively 3 Pieter J J Botha Hierarchy and Obedience The Legacy of the. obliterated any sense of hierarchy within the church s experience Letter to Philemon in Philemon in Perspective ed D Francois Tolmie. of koin nia He has filled in the valleys and made the mountains Berlin Boston De Gruyter 2010 260. low Isa 40 4 Luke 3 5 In Paul s church Jesus has brought 4 There were sometimes restrictions regarding whether a slave. slaves Gentiles and women from the margins into the center of could be manumitted at all Alan Watson Roman Slave Law Baltimore. the church to take their place next to the free Jewish men Johns Hopkins University Press 1987 23 34 52 66. 5 Ulrike Roth Paul Philemon and Onesimus a Christian Design. Conclusion for Mastery ZNW 105 no 1 2014 124, Although Paul uses the language of worldly hierarchies he 6 Roth Paul Philemon and Onesimus 106 9. follows the example of Jesus Christ Paul lays down his authority 7 Botha Hierarchy and Obedience 261. just as Jesus laid down his glory Like Jesus Paul humbles 8 Sung Uk Lim The Otherness of Onesimus Re reading Paul s. himself before Philemon and appeals to him on the basis of Letter to Philemon from the Margins ThTo 73 no 3 2016 225. 9 To expect that Paul would request Philemon to pioneer an. love And he is asking Philemon to do the same thing to lay. abolition of slavery of sorts seems quite anachronistic neither the. down his authority as a Roman slave owner and consider the. slave revolts of the second century BCE nor the Stoics envisaged. interests of his slave above his own Phil 2 3 4 Paul transcends the termination of the institution of slavery Cho Subverting. the hierarchy and instead reminds Philemon that as Christians Slavery 110. all three men as well as Apphia and the church that meets in 10 Cho Subverting Slavery 106. their home are mutual participants in the love of Christ and 11 See Watson Roman Slave Law. Philemon can take faithful action by acting like Jesus Christ and 12 Botha Hierarchy and Obedience 283. treating his slave as he would treat his spiritual father to whom 13 Cho Subverting Slavery 105. he owes his very self v 19 Paul ignores the earthly demands 14 2 Thess 3 6 13 suggests that the church in Thessalonica was so. of hierarchy in order to press into the spiritual koin nia of the looking forward to the return of Jesus that they had even stopped working. kingdom of heaven 15 Roth Paul Philemon and Onesimus 126. While Paul does believe it is better to be free and affirms 16 Paul speaks of his churches and the people in them as his. children and compares himself to a woman in labor in Gal 4 19. Christian slaves as freed men and women belonging to the. 17 Ross S Kraemer Apphia in Women in Scripture a Dictionary. Lord 1 Cor 7 22 24 Paul does not directly ask for Onesimus s. of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible the Apocryphal. manumission 38 However Paul has superseded the hierarchies of Deuterocanonical Books and the New Testament ed Toni Craven Ross. this world with the koin nia of the next world to such a degree S Kraemer and Carol L Meyers Boston Houghton Mifflin 2000 53. that Onesimus is a full and equal partner with his master like 18 Most Roman slaves were thought of as property See Bonnie. Philemon with Paul and Apphia with Archippus Although Bowman Thurston Judith Ryan and Daniel J Harrington Philippians. the people living in the Greco Roman world might not have and Philemon Collegeville Liturgical 2005 170. been able to imagine a world in which slavery does not exist 19 Jerome St Jerome s Commentaries on Galatians Titus and. Paul s churches leave the hierarchy of slavery behind as part of Philemon ed Thomas P Scheck Notre Dame University of Notre. the world that is passing away along with ethnic division and Dame Press 2010 363 Note also that Jerome thought it possible that. cbeinternational org Priscilla Papers Vol 32 No 3 Summer 2018 15.


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