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By Halvor Moxnes

The kinfolk is a topical factor for experiences of the traditional international. relatives, family and kinship have diversified connotations in antiquity from their sleek ones. This quantity expands that dialogue to enquire the early Christian relatives buildings in the better Graeco-Roman context.Particular emphasis is given to how relations metaphors, comparable to 'brotherhood' functionality to explain relatives in early Christian groups. Asceticism and the rejection of sexuality are thought of within the context of Christian buildings of the relatives. Moxnes' quantity provides a entire and well timed addition to the examine of familial and social buildings within the Early Christian global, so that it will definitely stimulate additional debate.

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Extra info for Constructing Early Christian Families: Family as Social Reality and Metaphor

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In this way Paul transformed the Jewish notion of kinship by introducing a distinction between descending from Abraham and the ethnic identity associated with that descent. The relations between kinship and ethnic identity become ambivalent. In Paul’s discussion in Galatians 3 it is less ambivalent, since the descent from Abraham (and ultimately from God) is clearly established by ‘faith in Christ Jesus’, with no distinctions between Jews and Greeks (3:15–29). In this way Paul has taken a central Jewish family term and moved it into the area of ‘fictive kinship’ which also included non-Jews (Esler, this volume).

There is little said directly by New Testament authors about the role of children in the family (see Müller 1992), but the use that Jesus makes of children in his 33 HALVOR MOXNES ‘reversal’ statement about entry into the kingdom of God points to something unexpected and highly unusual. The use of children as ‘role models’ in the Gospels most likely represents a break with the traditional role of children within the family. The reverse side of the relation between parents and children is described in terms of relations between adult sons and daughters and their parents.

Another set of questions relates to the authority and privileges within Christian communities: should household heads who acted as patrons to the community house-churches enjoy a special authority? Should the social patterns of community gatherings follow the social rules based on household and distinctions between patrons and clients, or ought these to be modified? And 26 WHAT IS FAMILY? finally, we find discussions of the role of wives within the household, and also their role outside the household, in public or in the semi-public atmosphere of gatherings of Christian groups.

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