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Paul between Synagogue and State : Christians, Jews, and Civic Authorities in 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians

Tellbe, Mikael LU (2001) In Coniectanea Biblica, New Testament Series 34.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Kristna, speciellt de av icke-judisk ursprung, som under det första århundradet drog sig undan aktiv medverkan i de traditionella grekisk-romerska kulterna och som i grekisk-romersk kontext kom att identifieras som utövare av något annat än traditionell judendom hamnade snart i ett socio-politisk dilemma. Å ena sidan skapade de tidiga kristnas fria hållning till den judiska lagen reaktion och motstånd hos judar som inte ville identifieras med en rörelse som i romerska ögon kunde uppfattas som statsfientlig och på så sätt sätta deras egna social och politiska privilegier på spel. Å andra sidan var de romerska myndigheter kända för sin misstänksamhet mot nya framväxande religiösa rörelser och... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Kristna, speciellt de av icke-judisk ursprung, som under det första århundradet drog sig undan aktiv medverkan i de traditionella grekisk-romerska kulterna och som i grekisk-romersk kontext kom att identifieras som utövare av något annat än traditionell judendom hamnade snart i ett socio-politisk dilemma. Å ena sidan skapade de tidiga kristnas fria hållning till den judiska lagen reaktion och motstånd hos judar som inte ville identifieras med en rörelse som i romerska ögon kunde uppfattas som statsfientlig och på så sätt sätta deras egna social och politiska privilegier på spel. Å andra sidan var de romerska myndigheter kända för sin misstänksamhet mot nya framväxande religiösa rörelser och grupperingar som kunde uppfattas som ett hot mot pax deorum och pax Romana. Hur handlade tidiga kristna i detta dilemma? Sökte de hednakristna skydd under judisk identitet och judiska rättigheter och privilegier för att undvika konflikter med omgivningen och myndigheterna? Hur adresserade aposteln Paulus -- själv jude, kristen och romersk medborgare -- denna situation?



Med utgångspunkt från dessa och liknande frågor, försöker avhandlingen att rekonstruera interaktioner mellan kristna, judar och romerska myndigheter i Thessaloniki, Rom och Filippi i mitten av det första århundradet e Kr med syfte att undersöka hur dessa interaktioner bidrog till att forma de kristna församlingarnas självförståelse och identitet i 1 Thessalonikerbrevet, Romarbrevet och Filipperbrevet. Författaren hävdar att behovet av en socio-politisk legitimitet i det grekisk-romerska samhället var påtaglig i den tidiga kyrkans historia och att interaktioner mellan kristna, judar och romerska myndigheter spelade en central roll i formandet av en specifikt kristen självförståelse i de paulinska församlingarna. Efter att ha analyserat den socio-politiska kontexten för respektive brev i fråga, drar författaren slutsatsen att Paulus explicit och implicit adresserar frågor som är relaterade till dessa interaktioner och att Paulus sätt att forma kristen självförståelse bidrog i ett tidigt skede till brytningen mellan judar och kristna (den s k "parting of the ways"). (Less)
Abstract
When first-century gentile Christians withdrew from the traditional and civic Graeco-Roman cults and increasingly began to be identified by the Romans as not belonging to mainstream or common Judaism, they soon found themselves pressed "between synagogue and state." On the one side, the fact that they did not observe the Torah elicited hostility from Jews who did not want to be identified with a movement that in Roman eyes could be interpreted as seditious and thus jeopardize their own political and religious privileges. On the other side, the Roman authorities were well known for their suspicion of upstart religious movements and potentially subversive organizations. Did Christians in this situation make any attempt to claim Jewish... (More)
When first-century gentile Christians withdrew from the traditional and civic Graeco-Roman cults and increasingly began to be identified by the Romans as not belonging to mainstream or common Judaism, they soon found themselves pressed "between synagogue and state." On the one side, the fact that they did not observe the Torah elicited hostility from Jews who did not want to be identified with a movement that in Roman eyes could be interpreted as seditious and thus jeopardize their own political and religious privileges. On the other side, the Roman authorities were well known for their suspicion of upstart religious movements and potentially subversive organizations. Did Christians in this situation make any attempt to claim Jewish identity and rights in order to operate under the privileges of the Jews and to avoid potential conflicts with the wider civic community and the governing authorities? And how did the apostle Paul respond to this socio-political dilemma of the early first-century Christian movement?



Building on these and related questions, this study attempts to reconstruct the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities in Thessalonica, Rome, and Philippi in the middle of the first century CE and investigates how interactions in this tripartite relation shaped the self-understanding and identity of the Christian communities of 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians. It is argued that the need for socio-political legitimacy in the Graeco-Roman society was a pressing need for the Christian movement not only from the late first century and onward but already in the middle of the first century, and that the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities played a vital role in forming a specific Christian self-understanding in the Pauline churches.



After having identified the socio-political settings implicit in these three letters, it is concluded that Paul addresses issues relating to the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities in 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians, and that his response and theology fomented the process of the "parting of the ways"—that is, the emergence of Christian distinctiveness and the pulling apart of Christianity and Judaism—in its early stages. However, it is also concluded that when they were in conflict with the wider civic community and the governing authorities early Christians did in some places claim Jewish social and political rights for themselves. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Sandnes, Karl Olav, Menighetsfakulteten, Oslo
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
History of the Christian church, hono, " honor discourse, "parting of the ways, imperial cult, imperial ideology, Rome, civic authorities, synagogue, Josephus, Jewish rights, Diaspora Judaism, Jews, Christians, early church, Philippians, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, Paul, Bible, New Testament, Kristna kyrkans historia, Non-Christian religions, Världsreligioner (ej kristendom), Bibelvetenskap
in
Coniectanea Biblica, New Testament Series
volume
34
pages
340 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Hörsalen Samarkand, Akademiska Föreningen, Sandgatan 2
defense date
2001-03-08 13:15
ISSN
0069-8946
ISBN
91-22-01908-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4b931d25-5c81-462c-81eb-6cf1f6ed56f0 (old id 20020)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 12:09:22
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:18:58
@phdthesis{4b931d25-5c81-462c-81eb-6cf1f6ed56f0,
  abstract     = {When first-century gentile Christians withdrew from the traditional and civic Graeco-Roman cults and increasingly began to be identified by the Romans as not belonging to mainstream or common Judaism, they soon found themselves pressed "between synagogue and state." On the one side, the fact that they did not observe the Torah elicited hostility from Jews who did not want to be identified with a movement that in Roman eyes could be interpreted as seditious and thus jeopardize their own political and religious privileges. On the other side, the Roman authorities were well known for their suspicion of upstart religious movements and potentially subversive organizations. Did Christians in this situation make any attempt to claim Jewish identity and rights in order to operate under the privileges of the Jews and to avoid potential conflicts with the wider civic community and the governing authorities? And how did the apostle Paul respond to this socio-political dilemma of the early first-century Christian movement?<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Building on these and related questions, this study attempts to reconstruct the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities in Thessalonica, Rome, and Philippi in the middle of the first century CE and investigates how interactions in this tripartite relation shaped the self-understanding and identity of the Christian communities of 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians. It is argued that the need for socio-political legitimacy in the Graeco-Roman society was a pressing need for the Christian movement not only from the late first century and onward but already in the middle of the first century, and that the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities played a vital role in forming a specific Christian self-understanding in the Pauline churches.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
After having identified the socio-political settings implicit in these three letters, it is concluded that Paul addresses issues relating to the interactions between Christians, Jews, and civic authorities in 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians, and that his response and theology fomented the process of the "parting of the ways"—that is, the emergence of Christian distinctiveness and the pulling apart of Christianity and Judaism—in its early stages. However, it is also concluded that when they were in conflict with the wider civic community and the governing authorities early Christians did in some places claim Jewish social and political rights for themselves.},
  author       = {Tellbe, Mikael},
  isbn         = {91-22-01908-1},
  issn         = {0069-8946},
  keyword      = {History of the Christian church,hono," honor discourse,"parting of the ways,imperial cult,imperial ideology,Rome,civic authorities,synagogue,Josephus,Jewish rights,Diaspora Judaism,Jews,Christians,early church,Philippians,Romans,1 Thessalonians,Paul,Bible,New Testament,Kristna kyrkans historia,Non-Christian religions,Världsreligioner (ej kristendom),Bibelvetenskap},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {340},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Coniectanea Biblica, New Testament Series},
  title        = {Paul between Synagogue and State : Christians, Jews, and Civic Authorities in 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Philippians},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2001},
}