Slaves And Freed Persons Self-Made Success And Social Climbing In The Corinthian Congregation(奴隸與得釋放者──哥林多教會中白手起家與攀登社會階梯的問題)/John Byron 拜倫






This article examines Paul’s discussion of slaves and freed persons in 1 Corinthians 7:22. While Paul’s discussion of slavery here is usually understood to be an illustration for his “theology of calling,” this article suggests that Corinth’s status as a city founded by former slaves may provide a window into the problem of social-climbing in the Corinthian congregation. Corinth was a city founded by emancipated slaves and these former salves and their descendants established a wealthy Roman colony where evidence of self-promotion was replete. Combined with this setting was the problem of social stratification among Christians at the Lord’s Table. Those of the lower classes were being excluded from fellowshipping with those of a higher social status. Paul’s admonition that slaves not be concerned with their social status seems to be a warning not to seek a change of social status as a way to get ahead in the Church.