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Traveling Ethics: The Case of the Household Codes in Ephesians 5:21–6:9 in Cross-Cultural Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter identifies one area which, previously and frequently explained solely on the basis of a widespread tradition in the Greco-Roman world, may be re-examined from the vantage point of sources that have emerged in recent years from the Dead Sea Scrolls: the so-called "household codes" (Haustafeln), especially as they appear in the disputed Pauline epistle to the Ephesians. The term Haustafeln is, within New Testament studies, applied to those ethical instructions on relationships within the household. Each of these relationships continued to be the focus of discussion well into the later Roman period by interpreters of the classical tradition, which was picked up and adapted by Jewish Greek writers such as Philo (cf. Apol. 7.1, 3; Hyp. 7.1-14) and Josephus (c. Ap. 190-210) who incorporated the Aristotelian framework into their overarching explications of the Mosaic Torah.

Keywords: Aristotelian framework; Ephesians 5:21-6:9; Greco-Roman world; Haustafeln; Household Codes; Josephus; Mosaic Torah; New Testament studies; Pauline epistle; Philo



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