All of you are one: The Social Vision of Gal 3:28, 1 Cor by Bruce Hansen

By Bruce Hansen

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Additional info for All of you are one: The Social Vision of Gal 3:28, 1 Cor 12:13 and Col 3:11

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But before elaborating a theory of ethnicity, a brief survey of several other attempts to characterize Paul’s social vision will further establish the need for such an approach. For the time being, I will presume a common sense definition of ethnicity as a presumption of extended kinship together with the social expectations deriving from that identity. Social Unity in Paul’s Churches Apart from concern for interpreting the baptismal unity formula that is the topic of this study, there is ample evidence that ethnicity is an important part of how Paul conceived of his churches.

Douglas’ grid-group model of culture was designed to negotiate this impasse. Atkins notes that reducing ethnocentrism in interpretation is a concern shared by ethnographers and biblical scholars. The primary purpose of his study is to demonstrate that anthropological methods developed to resolve these difficulties are transferable to biblical interpretation. 80 First, explicating one’s understanding of how a society functions allows one to assess the adequacy of one’s assumptions against what is known about the culture in which the text was produced, as well as against the text’s own presentation.

70 But were one to consider households as subunits of an extended kinship or ethnic network, these problems diminish. An ethnic identity, like that of the Jews in antiquity, provides a close parallel for the citywide, regional, and empire-wide networked identity. In fact, Meeks all but identifies the ethnic group in general and Israel in particular as the best fit. ”75 He argues that family is the controlling metaphor 70 Meeks, First Urban, 75-77. Cf. Karl Olav Sandnes, A New Family: Conversion and Ecclesiology in the Early Church with Cross-Cultural Comparisons (Studies in the Intercultural History of Christianity 91; Bern: Peter Lang, 1994), 98-99.

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