Reading Acts

When Peter begins to address wives in the congregation, his focus is on how the outsiders understand the Christian wife. The situation in view in 3:1 is of a wife who has come to Christ, but her husband is not a Christian. While there are many examples of this sort of thing in our modern experience.

In the Roman world, the wife is expected to adopt the gods of her husbandโ€™s family when she marries. The same would be true of a Jewish family, although it is less likely that a Jewish man would marry a Gentile woman. In either case, the ancient world did not really have religiously โ€œmixed marriages.โ€ If a husband became a believer, then the Roman world would have expected the wife to also convert. It is possible that a husband converting was not as socially disruptive as a wife.

Messalina, Roman Empress, Wife of Claudius Messalina, Roman Empress, Wife of Claudius

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