n HTS : Theological Studies - We and they in Romans

Volume 58, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



According to cultural anthropologists ingroup/outgroup divisions are fundamental to Mediterranean views of the world. This essay considers Paul's in-group/outgroup, or "we/they" perceptions. The ethnocentrism revealed in this dichotomy indicates that Paul, like other Mediterraneans of his time, showed little interest in the outgroup. Not surprisingly, neither was the God of Israel. Non-Israelites simply did not fit into the divine plan of things until non-Israelites, some centuries later, began to identify with Paul's "we" - something Paul did not foresee.

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