- Translation of the German Haustafeln, used by commentators for a literary type developed for ethical instruction in the Hellenistic world, adopted by Jewish Hellenistic synagogues, and thence by the NT (Col. 3:18–4:1, but also Eph. 5:22–6:9; 1 Tim. 2:9–15; Tit. 2:2–10; 1 Pet. 2:13–3:7). The codes were an attempt by leaders of the Christian community to establish a pattern of family and social life not unlike that of traditional families among Gentile and Jewish contemporaries in the Graeco-Roman world. The patriarchal style represents a reaction against the egalitarian organization of the earliest Church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:44–7) and is remarkable for the absence of Paul's radical teaching against sexual discrimination (Gal. 3:28).
Dictionary of the Bible.
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