1 Peter describes the audience with terms that evoke exilic imagery. They are parepidēmoi and paroikoi, aliens or strangers who were only visiting or permanently residing in an area. They were among the diaspora in the provinces on the Anatolian peninsula. They were suffering trials in “Babylon,” which is either a cipher for Rome as the new imperial oppressors as most commentators think or, at the very least, conjures up the traumatic experience of the exile in the Hebrew Scriptures. How do we account for this language?
- The traditional view is that Christians are temporary sojourners on earth as their real homeland is in heaven.
- John H. Elliott’s famous monograph A Home for the Homeless: A Social-Scientific Criticism of 1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2005; originally Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990) argued that the terms should be understood in the literal sense of non-citizen…
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