Conflict, Community, and Honor consists of two studies that involve expansions on John H. Elliott’s first book on 1 Peter, The Elect and the Holy, putting that tradition-and-redaction analysis of 1 Peter 2:4–10 into a larger literary, social, and cultural framework. The first essay is an overview of the social situation and rhetorical strategy of 1 Peter. The second essay demonstrates how the conceptuality and moral discourse of 1 Peter was shaped by and invoked key “pivotal values” of ancient Mediterranean culture, namely honor and shame.
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At a time when the market-driven church is tempted to settle for being little more than an interest group, anxiously chasing its market share, this little book on 1 Peter offers nothing less than a new vision for the church, that of a quiet leaven, grounded with pride and confidence in its wronged and risen Lord, to whom it leaves the issue of all things. Elliott has fire in his belly; cut his words and they bleed. Elliott writes with the clarity of urgency. The heat is in the light. A memorable book.
—The Rev. Peter Fribley, PhD, Parish pastor, Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Affirming that 1 Peter represents from beginning to end a coherent and integrated line of thought, Prof. Elliott seeks to show in these two essays how this pastoral letter, forged to respond to the alienated situation of its readers, employs the conceptuality of the moral discourse and pivotal values of honor and shame that reigned in its contemporary world. The book is an excellent introduction to Prof. Elliott’s seminal work in applying social-scientific analysis of this New Testament writing, and will richly reward its careful reader.
Elliott, already well known for his work on 1 Peter and on social-scientific criticism, here brings together two essays that open for the reader the message and the world of 1 Peter. This simple, straightforward reading reveals the letter in its own context, in such a way that we can appropriate its message and values into our own.
—Carolyn Osiek, coauthor of A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity
These classic studies by one of the foremost interpreters of 1 Peter can serve both to introduce the letter to those who know, little about it and to enlarge and enrich the understanding of those who already know it well. Here, as elsewhere, Elliott expertly joins the findings of social-scientific research with the insights of literary and theological analysis to clarify the ‘good news’ that is proclaimed in this often-overlooked New Testament writing.
—Victor Paul Furnish, author of The Moral Teaching of Paul
John H. Elliott is a professor emeritus of New Testament at the University of San Francisco. Among his numerous publications are A Home for the Homeless, The Elect and Holy, What Is Social-Scientific Criticism?, and 1 Peter (Anchor Bible).