The Social Identity of the Earliest Christians

by Ben Witherington III | July 22, 2017

We in the West live in a world of radical individualism, even narcissistic, self-centered individualism. People tout books by Ayn Rand on "The Virtues of Selfishness." The biblical world prioritized collective or group identity. Group identity was primary; individual identity was secondary. Many misread the New Testament through the lens of late Western individualism, and one of the groups that has most suffered from this sort of misreading is women. This workshop considers the real nature of Greco-Roman and early Jewish culture, and asks and answers how this should change the way we read various passages in the New Testament related to women and their roles.