“Christians: Siblings, Not ‘Friends’?”: Wesley Hill


…In the New Testament, familial language far outweighs the language of friendship when it comes to describing Christian community. Believers are one another’s “brothers and sisters in Christ,” not (primarily) one another’s “friends.” It’s true, as Stephen Fowl and others have shown, that some of the Greco-Roman language of friendship is reappropriated in the New Testament as descriptive for the church. But by relocating that language into a context of spiritual kinship, the New Testament reconfigures it. “Friendship” is elevated to something more than simply the sort of relationship that leads to a night at the pub; it becomes, instead, a way of speaking about the bonds between Christian siblings.


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