Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation

By Randall C. Bailey | Go to book overview

THE ROLE OF ETHNICITY IN THE SOCIAL LOCATION
OF 1 CORINTHIANS 7:17–24

Brad Ronnell Braxton Wake Forest University


A TRANSLATION1 OF I CORINTHIANS 7:17–24

17 Only, let each of you lead your life, as the Lord assigned, as God has called. Thus, in all the churches I command this.18 If anyone was circumcised when he was called, let him not remove the marks of circumcision. If anyone was called in the state of uncircumcision, let him not be circumcised.19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping (the) commandments of God.20 Let each of you remain in the calling in which you were called.21 Were you a slave when called? Let it not be a care to you. But even if you are able to become free, rather use the opportunity.22 For the slave called in the Lord is a freed person of the Lord; likewise, the free person called is a slave of Christ.23 You have been bought with a price; do not become slaves of people.24 Each in the calling in which you were called, brothers and sisters, in this let each of you remain before God.


REVISITING ETHNICITY

An overlooked feature of the social location of many New Testament writings is the concept of ethnicity. Ferdinand Christian Baur, the founder of the Tubingen School and the pioneer of [historical theology,] argued in the nineteenth century that the prime mover in the development of early Christianity was the controversy between Jews and Gentiles or, more specifically, the controversy between Jewish Christianity and Gentile Christianity. Commenting on the growing

1 I have tried to strike a balance between an accurate rendering of the Greek and the use
of gender-inclusive language where appropriate.

-19-

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