By Bruce J. Malina
This most modern addition to the castle Social-Science Commentaries on New testomony writings illuminates the values, perceptions, and social codes of the Mediterranean tradition that formed Paul and his interactions -both harmonious and conflicted - with others. Malina and Pilch upload new dimensions to our realizing of the apostle as a social swap agent, his coworkers as innovators, and his gospel as an statement of the glory of the God of Israel.
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Extra info for Social-science commentary on the Letters of Paul
I'he message was a solution to an Israelite problem. T h e problem was Israel's situation both in Judea as well as outside Judea. Paul was one nl those w h o believed G o d ' s raising Jesus signaled Israel's f o r t h c o m i n g redemption. icl had d a w n e d by means o f Israel's Messiah raised by G o d . T h e Israelites w h o lound lliis message a solution to their problem w o u l d fit this information into their traditional ancestral kinship religion. Paul (and others 111 Jesus groups) helped llicin make sense o f how this experience or this event c o u l d fit into their ancestral I uisliip religion a n d its expanded political religion.
The Attitude of Paul and His Associates 2:1-12 2:1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coining to you was not in vain, 2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we bad courage in our G o d to dec lare to you the gospel of Clod in spite of great opposition. is God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or vv ill) a pretext for greed: (i nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from yon or from others, 7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.
T h e harbinger of this event was the act by which this G o d raised a person n a m e d Jesus from the dead, thus constituting h i m Lord a n d Messiah—all with a view to the f o r t h c o m i n g theocracy. l irst-century Mediterraneans were collectivistic persons. C o l l e c t i v i s t i c P e r s o n ality. G r o u p integrity was far more important than individual self-reliance. W h e n collectivistic persons a n d their c o m m u n i t i e s adopt an innovation, research indicates that adopting the innovation (the decision to accept an innovation) is far less significant than actually p u t t i n g the innovation to use, that is, implementation.
Social-science commentary on the Letters of Paul by Bruce J. Malina