Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards– The Dialogue Part Seven

Scot McKnight’s Reading Romans Backwards– The Dialogue Part Seven October 20, 2019

BEN: I think you are correct that the ethnic tensions are at the root of the divisions in Roman Christianity, but it’s not clear to me this is about higher and lower status issues. After all, Priscilla and Aquila are the one’s said to have a house, and Herodion and Aristobolus were higher status Jews, as was Paul the Roman citizen. Say more as to why you think an underlying issue here is status and the power that comes with it, or the lack thereof.

SCOT: Status ruled Rome (and Corinth, and Athens, and probably everywhere else). It is for me nearly impossible to think of anyone in a Roman house church who was not thinking in terms of status of everyone he or she met. The sort of multi level forms of status has been explored by Wayne Meeks, and the volume that updated his volume extended this even further. So, when I see Dunatoi and Adunatoi in Romans I can’t not think of status. Many tensions in the church and in society at that time were shaped by these status issues. With that, I have big doubts that “weak” can be used and not be a kind of status degradation; “strong” has to be some kind of status elevation.


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