This article examines the impact of the widespread pattern of unequal age at marriage which led men to conclude that not only were their wives less experienced and mature, they were also inferior by nature. It examines the ideological underpinning for the view of women’s inferiority in Plato and the Genesis creation stories, especially in their Greek translation. It then traces the way this value system found expression in the traditional allocation of gender roles, women taking responsibility for the internal affairs of the household and men for the external affairs, including public discourse. There were exceptions both within Judaism and within the early Christian movement. These and the egalitarian thoughts in Christian beginnings had the potential to subvert these norms, over time, but a long time.
In seeking common ground with his readers Paul uses same sex relations to depict human depravity. In doing so he uses many of the arguments familiar from ethical discourse in the Greco-Roman world of his time, but employs them within a Jewish frame of reference. Thus the perverted mind, attitudes and actions are produced by perverted responses to God. The shame of making males passive is ultimately the shame of contravening what God created them to be. Exceptionally he relates the unnatural not to denying procreation, but to denying the created order of (only) male and female and implies the Leviticus prohibitions apply to both. Strong passion is problematic when wrongly directed. Paul’s argument is typically theological and psychological.
This paper revisits the author’s research on the christology of Hebrews completed in the 1970s in the light of subsequent research. It concentrates, in particular, on the way key problems of interpretation have been handled. These include the extent to which the author’s atonement day typology dictates a soteriology which reduces Christ’s death to a preparatory event and depicts a heavenly offering as the salvific event or, conversely, whether the author employs atonement day typology selectively to interpret Jesus’ death as salvific. It also addresses the associated problems created by parts of the book which report Jesus’ appointment at high priesthood as occurring after his death at his exaltation and other parts which appear to imply that he was acting as a high priest already during his earthly ministry.