Becoming Christian: Essays on 1 Peter and the Making of Christian Identity

Overview

The first letter of Peter remains a relatively neglected corner of the New Testament: the number of monographs devoted to it is tiny, compared with those on the Gospels and Pauline letters. Yet it is a text — so this book argues — that offers much insight into crucial processes in the development of Christian identity. In particular, 1 Peter illustrates with particular clarity the complex ways in which Christian identity was forged from Jewish traditions and negotiated in the generally hostile Roman empire. As ...

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Overview

The first letter of Peter remains a relatively neglected corner of the New Testament: the number of monographs devoted to it is tiny, compared with those on the Gospels and Pauline letters. Yet it is a text — so this book argues — that offers much insight into crucial processes in the development of Christian identity. In particular, 1 Peter illustrates with particular clarity the complex ways in which Christian identity was forged from Jewish traditions and negotiated in the generally hostile Roman empire. As such, studies of this particular letter illuminate central themes in the making of Christianity in the earliest centuries.

"Becoming Christian" is a collection of essays that treat various facets of the first letter of Peter, in its social and historical setting, in some cases using new social-scientific and postcolonial methods to shed light on the ways in which the letter contributes to the making of Christian identity. At the heart of the book are chapters 5-7, which examine the contribution of 1 Peter to the construction of Christian identity, the persecution and suffering of Christians in Asia Minor, the significance of the name 'Christian', and the response of the letter to the hostility encountered by Christians in society.

There are no recent books which bring together such a wealth of information and analysis of this crucial early Christian text. "Becoming Christian" has developed out of Horrell's ongoing research for the International Critical Commentary on 1 Peter. Together these essays will offer a series of significant and original engagements with this letter, and a resource for studies of 1 Peter for some time to come.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David G. Horrell is Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. He is the author of several books, including An Introduction to the Study of Paul (T&T Clark, Second Edition 2006) and Solidarity and Difference (T&T Clark, 2005). He was the editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament from 2002-2007. He is an active member of the British New Testament Society, having chaired the Social World of the New Testament Seminar from 2001-2006, and is also a member of the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) and Society for New Testament Studies (SNTS). He completed his PhD at Cambridge on Paul’s Corinthian letters and the letter known as 1 Clement.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Product of a Petrine Circle? A Reassessment of the Origin and Character of 1 Peter.

Chapter 2: The Themes of 1 Peter: Insights from the Earliest Manuscripts

Chapter 3: Who are ‘the Dead’ and When was the Gospel Preached to Them? The Interpretation of 1 Peter 4.6.

Chapter 4: The socio-economic location of the addressees of 1 Peter.

Chapter 5: The “Chosen Race” (1 Pet 2.9): Ethnic Identity and the Making of the tertium genus

Chapter 6: The Label Christianos: 1 Pet 4.16 and the Formation of Christian Identity.

Chapter 7: Between Conformity and Resistance: Beyond the Balch-Elliott Debate Towards a Postcolonial Reading of 1 Peter.

Bibliography Indexes

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