n Acta Patristica et Byzantina - "?" The social location of new testament households and Christian claims on "traditional family values"

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1022-6486



Investigations into "the family" in New Testament texts require attention for its social location. The family as household was related to the particular ways in which male and female were constructed according to hierarchical notions and gendered distinctions, considered to provide (among others) the framework for procreation. Moreover, marriage and family (in the sense of household) were perceived to provide continuity and stability in the social order. New Testament texts dealing with the household relate to such considerations, and therefore require attention as to how issues ranging from body through sex and "sexuality", children, slaves to "family", were understood in ancient times, deriving their content from, but also informing the construction of first-century households. The nature and role of these households, in a Graeco-Roman environment with its imperial tentacles, complicates the use of New Testament texts for supporting contemporary appeals to "traditional family values".

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