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Bibil Identifier bibil:250733
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) ‘Love Covers a Multitude of Sins’: Redemptive Almsgiving in 1 Peter 4:8 and its Early Christian Reception
Author Downs, David J.
Journal The Journal of Theological Studies (Volume: 65, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2014
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2014
Year (Copyright) 2014
Year (Reference) 2014
Language English
Pages 489–514 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract When the author of 1 Peter declares that ‘love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Pet. 4:8), this affirmation does not clearly name the actor(s) and/or the recipient(s) of such love, nor does the statement indicate whether it is the subject(s) or object(s) of love whose sins are covered. Among early Christian and patristic advocates of redemptive almsgiving, however, 1 Pet. 4:8 is frequently cited to support the notion that providing material assistance to the poor covers (or in some way alleviates) the sins of donors. This essay explores 1 Pet. 4:8 in the light of its early Christian reception, focusing particularly on the identity of the actor who displays love and the relationship between the removal of sins through the death of Christ and the alleviation of sins through human love in early appropriations of 1 Pet. 4:8. The study shows that early Christian advocates of redemptive almsgiving employ this text in documents that emphasize both the unique, atoning significance of the cross and the possibility of sin remission through the practice of almsgiving. This exercise in Wirkungsgeschichte, therefore, has the potential to reshape interpretative traditions that would sever any connection between human love and atonement in the reading of 1 Pet. 4:8.
DOI 10.1093/jts/flu116
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : History of Interpretation and Reception : Important Persons : Antiquity (-> 7th cent.)
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Love
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Alms-giving
Pericopes 1 Peter 4,8
Links Online document (HTML, English)
Last modification 2018-09-03