My Beloved Brothers and Sisters (Journal For The Study Of The New Testament Supplement Series)
In his letters, the apostle Paul commonly refers to his fellow believers as 'adelfoi', as his 'brothers and sisters'. Here, Reidar Aasgaard offers the first in-depth, and by far the most profound, analysis of this sibling vocabulary in the Pauline...
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In his letters, the apostle Paul commonly refers to his fellow believers as 'adelfoi', as his 'brothers and sisters'. Here, Reidar Aasgaard offers the first in-depth, and by far the most profound, analysis of this sibling vocabulary in the Pauline epistles. Aasgaard researches family and sibling relationships in the Greco-Roman and Jewish context and discusses the relevant texts on siblingship in Paul's letters. He argues that sibling terminology is both central and charged with meaning for Paul. When the apostle speaks of the Christians as siblings, he employs contemporary notions of what sibling and family relations should be about* emotional closeness, love, tolerance and forgiveness, defence of family honour, and familial harmony. Paul utilises these ideals rhetorically in various contexts in order to influence the attitudes and behaviour of the Christians, both internally and in relation to outsiders. The importance of family relations in antiquity means that Paul's use of this kind of language is significant and powerful.;Yet through his exploration of Paul's metaphor Aasgaard also shows that his language does not necessarily convey 'egalitarian' relationships, as is generally claimed in so much recent scholarship on the ethos of early Christianity. This is volume 2 in the Early Christianity in Context series and volume 265 in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series.
In his letters, the apostle Paul more than a hundred times characterizes the Christians as "adelphoi," as "brothers and sisters" (siblings). Despite this being his most common way of speaking about fellow believers, there has been little research on this topic. This book provides new research on family and sibling relations in the Greco-Roman and Jewish context and discusses the relevant texts on siblingship in the seven authentic Pauline letters. Its conclusions have important consequences for our understanding of ethics and ecclesiology not only in Paul, but also in the New Testament in general. The book combines metaphor theory, socio-historical perspectives, and exegesis of Pauline texts in ways that produce new insights both into Paul's thinking and into several passages of his letters.
r Reider Aasgaard is a New Testament/Early Christianity senior research fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway.