n Neotestamentica - Remembering the “oldest creed,” overcoming the age-old anomaly - research

Volume 53 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0254-8356
  • E-ISSN: 2518-4628


This article is an exploration of the insights of Stephen Patterson in his 2018 book, The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery and Sexism. He calls value distinctions on the grounds of ethnicity, class and gender “the clichés of ancient bigotries” and makes a case for Galatians 3:28 being “the oldest Christian creed.” This creed turns the human mentality of division into the confession that “we are all one.” The article traces the development of a credo in the process of institutionalisation. The question is whether the love patriarchalism of early Christianity, which went hand in hand with institutionalisation, was the reason for the oldest creed being forgotten. This is an anomaly that continues today. If Christianity today remembered the oldest creed, the church could become a “third space” where the freedom of all is celebrated.

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