Prof. N.T. Wright compares Paul’s letter to Philemon to a letter of Pliny showing powerful countercultural differences.
The Apostle Paul is known particularly for some of his longer letters such as his letter to the Romans. In Paul’s letter to Philemon, we encounter his shortest letter. But don’t let that fool you into thinking there isn’t much there. In this course Prof. N.T. Wright will present abundant material from this little epistle to comprehend and ponder about those who became followers of King Jesus and how they were to live. This way of life was in contrast to the normal Roman way of living in the first century A.D.
The course compares two letters which address a nearly identical issue: what to do about a runaway servant. Prof. N.T. Wright unpacks Paul’s letter to Philemon, which addresses concerns about the ‘runaway’ named Onesimus. Prof. Wright then explains the situation and setting surrounding the letter of Pliny the Younger to Sabinianus about an unnamed runaway. The social structures endemic to Rome become visible and understandable in such a way to see how Paul’s new way of life was meant to confront social norms.
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