Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity: Unlocking New Testament CultureDavid A Desilva
For contemporary Western readers, it can be easy to miss or misread cultural nuances in the New Testament. To hear the text correctly we must be attuned to its original context. As David deSilva demonstrates, keys to interpretation are found in paying attention to four essential cultural themes: honor and shame, patronage and reciprocity, kinship and family, and purity and pollution. Through our understanding of honor and shame in the Mediterranean world, we gain new appreciation for how early Christians sustained commitment to a distinctive Christian identity and practice. By examining the protocols of patronage and reciprocity, we grasp more firmly the connections between God's grace and our response. In exploring kinship and household relations, we grasp more fully the ethos of the early Christian communities as a new family brought together by God. And by investigating the notions of purity and pollution along with their associated practices, we realize how the ancient map of society and the world was revised by the power of the gospel. This new edition is thoroughly revised and expanded with up-to-date scholarship. A milestone work in the study of New Testament cultural backgrounds, Honor, Patronage, Kinship, and Purity offers a deeper appreciation of the New Testament, the gospel, and Christian discipleship.