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Outsider Designations and Boundary Construction in the New Testament
Early Christian Communities and the Formation of Group Identity

  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108418799


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About the Authors
  • What terms did early Christians use for outsiders? How did they refer to non-members? In this book-length investigation of these questions, Paul Trebilco explores the outsider designations that the early Christians used in the New Testament. He examines a range of terms, including unbelievers, 'outsiders', sinners, Gentiles, Jews, among others. Drawing on insights from social identity theory, sociolinguistics, and the sociology of deviance, he investigates the usage and development of these terms across the New Testament, and also examines how these outsider designations function in boundary construction across several texts. Trebilco's analysis leads to new conclusions about the identity and character of the early Christian movement, the range of relations between early Christians and outsiders, and the theology of particular New Testament authors.

    • This is the first book-length study which offers a detailed and comprehensive discussion of the most significant outsider designations used in the New Testament
    • Gives a detailed account of the usage and function of key outsider designations used by particular New Testament authors
    • The study draws on insights from social identity theory, sociolinguistics and the sociology of deviance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Scholars, pastors, and students interested in the social context and identity formation of the early church will certainly benefit from Trebilco's labors.' David M. Shaw, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108418799
    • length: 366 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Methodology: insights and perspectives from other areas of study
    3. The broad concept of 'the outsiders' and its lexicalisation using a range of different terms
    4. Unbelievers: ïἱ ἄðéóôïé and other terms
    5. 'The outsiders': ïἱ ἔîù, ïἱ ἔîùèåí and ἰäéῶôáé
    6. The sinners: ïἱ ἁìáñôùëïί
    7. The Gentiles: ôὰ ἔèíç
    8. The Jews: ïἱ Ἰïõäáῖïé
    9. The functions of outsider designations in 1 Corinthians, Romans and 1 Thessalonians
    10. The functions of outsider designations in the Pastoral Epistles and 1 Peter
    11. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Paul Raymond Trebilco, University of Otago, New Zealand
    Paul Trebilco is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Otago. He is the author of five books on topics in New Testament and Early Christian studies, most recently Self-Designations and Group Identity in the New Testament (Cambridge, 2014).

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