Family in the First Century
God designed marriage when He created Adam, and later created Eve for him. He put them in the Garden of Eden and gave them the power to form a family, procreate and fill the earth. Since then, marriage in the Christian church has continued to exist up to date. This essay aims at discussing the issue of family in the first century.In the first century, there were various views on family. Families were found via identifying one with those that he or she formed spiritual bonds with. Parents, i.e. mother and father, were those who had cultivated one in the Christian faith and brought him or her to the life of the Christian community.
This view was different from the paternalistic families of the times. In James 2:1-14, James teaches that believers in Christ, i.e. the Christian family, must not show favoritism (James 2:12-13). Paul adds that the church family is a way of life where all live together in bonds of mutual submission, and one’s family is the one that has chosen Christ. According to Paul, marriage was set aside for those who were weak in self-control to stay celibate (1 Corinthians 7:2). In the first century, Jewish traditions were styling marriage and family from a cultural perspective. The families were patriarchal and comprised of all those who were under the authority of the father. Polygamy was also practiced. However, the Christian family was different.
There exist other texts present in the Bible that can be linked to James 2:1-14. In Matthew 12: 50, Jesus teaches that those who belong to the family of God do according to his will. Jesus also taught that Gentiles were included in his new family. Genesis 2:18 shows us that it is not good to be alone. The binding nature of marriage is also explained in Romans 7:2 and 1 Corinthians 7:39.The question that this essay tried to answer is: how was the issue of marriage in the first century? It can be seen that family was viewed from two perspectives; the Christian family perspective and the patriarchal family perspective. In both cases, the issue of the family was highly valued and respected.
Achtemeier, Paul J., Joel B. Green, and Marianne Meye Thompson. Introducing the NewTestament: Its Literature and Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich. [u.a.]: Eerdmans Publ, 2002.
Bible Gateway. "Bible Gateway Passage: Exodus 20 - New International Version." BibleGateway. 2016. Accessed January 27, 2016. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus
Hubbard, Moyer V. Christianity in the Greco-Roman World: A Narrative Introduction. Peabody,Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, …