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|Title:||The Social Situation in 1 Peter|
|Keywords:||Biblical Studies;Biblical Studies|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis argues that 1 Peter dealt with and responded to the social situation of Christian communities in the provinces of Asia Minor. Having used terms familiar to a Gentile audience with a strong Jewish background, the author described the readers using metaphors of separation and solidarity. He understood his readers to have been a people alienated within their society.</p> <p>Analysis of ancient Mediterranean societies reveals that alienation would have been the experience of early Christian communities. Though social status within the Christian communities varied, social class was that of a predominately low level. Those who joined the Christian communities were among the masses of the "marginalized" in Roman society. The idea of conversion, prominent among such minority movements as Christianity, ran contrary to the popular religions of the state. As in similar communities, conversion into the Christian community resulted in a high level of social anxiety and rootlessness among the recent converts.</p> <p>Understanding the perceptions of ancient Mediterranean societies helps to explain the turmoil of such conversions. The group and its honour predominated over the individual; individuals, therefore, discovered identity and experienced honour through their group associations. Movement, then, to a minority group such as Christianity produced severe social distress. The individual could well be ostracized by his or her previous associations (especially the family) and be the object of social hostilities. Further, minority religious groups, such as Christianity, were disdained by the elite of society. Social pressure against the Christian communities came from all sides.</p> <p>1 Peter confirms that the persecution suffered by the community was indeed of a social nature. The Christian community was persecuted as a result of the perceived foreignness of their beliefs and practices. Recognizing that society had developed false notions about the Christian community attempting to undermine society, the author appealed to his readers to accept their persecution in the same manner that Christ had accepted his suffering and to behave in a manner that would eliminate these false notions; he urged them to imitate the behaviour of Christ. He also invoked portions of the household code to ensure his readers behaved in a manner acceptable to society and in keeping with his view of the nature of Christianity.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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