Not God's People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World
In the Bible, there is a drama of defining who are truly God's peopleand who are not. Using an array of biblical texts from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, Not God's People explores how ancient Jews and Christians created their own identity in relation to others. The book analyzes how biblical texts define 'us' and 'them,' how these texts differ in the way they define group identity, and how this process continues to be re-created by Jews and Christians today. Not God's People asks questions such as: How is the outsider defined? Is the ideal insider defined as the opposite of the outsider? It follows up with related questions such as: How were these definitions of 'we' and 'other' in the ancient communities used by later Jews and Christians? Are the processes of community and enemy formation found in the Bible exhibited in most other cultures as well? Not God's People ultimately shows that though the Bible's definitions of the insider and outsider changes dramatically over time, the process are enduring, and eternally true.
Lawrence M. Wills is professor of Biblical studies at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Among his books are Jewish Novels: An Anthology and The Quest of the Historical Gospel: Mark, John, and the Origins of the Gospel Genre.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Chapter One: Introduction Chapter 3 Chapter Two: The Beginning of Difference and the Origin of Others in the Hebrew Bible Chapter 4 Chapter Three: The Redefinition of We and Other in Ezra-Nehemiah Chapter 5 Chapter Four: Judaism and Hellenism in 1 and 2 Maccabees Chapter 6 Chapter Five: "Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites!" in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 7 Chapter Six: The Jews in the Gospel of John Chapter 8 Chapter Seven: Jew and Gentile as Other in Paul Chapter 9 Chapter Eight: The Other in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 10 Chapter Nine: Conclusion Chapter 11 Appendix: Theorems for the Analysis of the Other