Saturday, 7 February 2015

Fabian Sieber: Home to the Homeless, not Aliens to the World: People of God in 1 Peter 2,4-10 and in Patristic Exegesis

The 1 Letter of Peter sometimes was said to be „an exegetical stepchild" in new testamental research. (Elliott, 1975) In recent years the situation changed remarkably, due to several monographic contributions. At the same moment however, the text itself is as enigmatic as ever. Some scholars even came to the conclusion to characterize 1 Peter as ambiguous on purpose. (Thurén) In my presentation I want to deal with one of those more obscure passages, namely with 1 Peter 2,4-10, of crucial importance for the doctrine of common priesthood of all believers. My approach will be threefold: In a first step I will give a brief account of the major exegetical questions connected to the passage. It is namely the λίθος-complex in it's inter-textual dimensions and the question if οἰκοδομεῖσθε (1 Pet 2,5) should be read as an indicative or an imperative form which has to be taken into account. Second, I want to contextualize the text, within the framework of patristic exegesis and patristic thought. At this point it is not only Philo, but Alexandrian theology as represented by Origen, Didymus and Cyril of Alexandria that is to be taken into account. At the same moment however classical allusions have to be taken into account as well, namely Ovid. Finally, I will provide a synthesizing conclusion. I will argue 1 Peter 2,4-10 should not be read as an example of mimesis (MacDonald), but it could be understood as an example of theologia mythica.

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