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Bibil Identifier bibil:223579
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Paul's New Family in Thessalonica
Author Burke, Trevor J.
Journal Novum Testamentum. An International Quarterly for New Testament and Related Studies (Volume: 54, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2012
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2012
Year (Copyright) 2012
Year (Reference) 2012
Language English
Pages 269-287 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The ongoing debate about the structure of the earliest Christian communities—an issue of Christian origins—continues to divide Pauline interpreters. While some (e.g. E. Schüssler Fiorenza) are of the view that Paul’s communities were “egalitarian” at the outset only to become more rigid and organized with the passing of time, others ( J.H. Elliott) argue that Paul’s churches were more structured from their earliest inception. Still others have had a change of mind on this issue. In all of this, Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians has not been given due consideration. Against the social context of the period, Paul’s relationships—predominantly described in familial terms—with this community is explored. Paul’s parental (nursing-mother, 2:7; father, 2:11) relations towards his convert-children (2:7, 11) show his preference of situating himself above them. Moreover, the Thessalonians’ relations to one another as siblings, often understood as imbued with egalitarianism, also demonstrate a similar degree of differentiation (1 Thess 5:12-15) within the community—some siblings are given to lead, to be respected and to admonish the rest. It is concluded that rather than viewing the community at Thessalonica as egalitarian in composition there is evidence here, in what is regarded by many to be Paul’s earliest extant letter that some degree of structure was in place at the very beginning.
DOI 10.1163/156853612X632471
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Community (Social Group)
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Letters of Paul : Letters to the Thessalonians : 1 Thessalonians
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Family
Last modification 2017-10-27