'As a Beloved Brother': The Function of Family Language in the Letters of Paul. Lewis & Alexander, L. Ph.D. Thesis, Yale University, United States -- Connecticut, 1985.
abstract   bibtex   
The family metaphor as a description of the church is the one most frequently used by Paul in his writings. Previous studies have approached this metaphor as a theological construct or as evidence of Paul's use of legal conventions from his Jewish or Graeco-Roman environment. This study analyses Paul's use of pseudo-family language with the tools provided by both exegesis and anthropological theory to show how the language of family determines the nature of several Pauline churches. , A consideration of the meaning of kinship in anthropological theory provides a background for the analysis of ritually constituted groups which self-consciously use kinship language to define themselves. Then, to set Paul's letters in a Jewish context (since we know that Judaism also used the metaphor of the pseudo-family to define itself), Old Testament texts, the writings of Philo and Josephus, and the Qumran writings are analyzed to show how pseudo-family language was understood by more or less restrictive groups within Judaism. Exegesis of the major Pauline "adoption" texts (Gal 3 and 4; Rom 8) shows how Paul applies the metaphor to Christians, who are in his thought the true children of God and brothers of one another. Finally, two test cases are presented. An exegesis of I Cor 6:1-11 shows that the pseudo-familial ideal that all are of the same status demands that peers (fellow Christians) are the only qualified judges in suits among Christians. An exegesis of Philemon shows that Paul expects the equality in status between himself, Philemon, and Onesimus in baptism to resolve the issue of the slave's defection.
@phdthesis{ lewis_as_1985,
  address = {United States -- Connecticut},
  type = {{Ph.D.}},
  title = {{'As} a Beloved Brother': The Function of Family Language in the Letters of Paul},
  copyright = {Copyright {UMI} - Dissertations Publishing 1985},
  shorttitle = {'as a Beloved Brother'},
  abstract = {The family metaphor as a description of the church is the one most frequently used by Paul in his writings. Previous studies have approached this metaphor as a theological construct or as evidence of Paul's use of legal conventions from his Jewish or Graeco-Roman environment. This study analyses Paul's use of pseudo-family language with the tools provided by both exegesis and anthropological theory to show how the language of family determines the nature of several Pauline churches. ,  A consideration of the meaning of kinship in anthropological theory provides a background for the analysis of ritually constituted groups which self-consciously use kinship language to define themselves. Then, to set Paul's letters in a Jewish context (since we know that Judaism also used the metaphor of the pseudo-family to define itself), Old Testament texts, the writings of Philo and Josephus, and the Qumran writings are analyzed to show how pseudo-family language was understood by more or less restrictive groups within Judaism. Exegesis of the major Pauline "adoption" texts (Gal 3 and 4; Rom 8) shows how Paul applies the metaphor to Christians, who are in his thought the true children of God and brothers of one another. Finally, two test cases are presented. An exegesis of I Cor 6:1-11 shows that the pseudo-familial ideal that all are of the same status demands that peers (fellow Christians) are the only qualified judges in suits among Christians. An exegesis of Philemon shows that Paul expects the equality in status between himself, Philemon, and Onesimus in baptism to resolve the issue of the slave's defection.},
  school = {Yale University},
  author = {Lewis, Lloyd Alexander},
  year = {1985},
  keywords = {Corinthians, Kinship, Philemon, Philosophy, Slavery in the Bible, religion and theology}
}
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