Vernon K. Robbins

Sociorhetorical Interpretation

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1 Peter 2:22-25a: Reconfiguration

The General Epistles

An instance of reconfiguration occurs in 1 Peter 2.22-25a:

...Christ also suffered for you...He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep...

In this passage, the tradition of the suffering servant of Israel is reconfigured in terms of the crucifixion of Jesus. The story of Jesus' death is told in words from Isaiah 53, without reference to these words standing written in another place. The extended use of the wording exhibits more than simply recontextualization. The tradition itself is reconfigured in terms of bearing our sins 'in his body on the tree'.


From: Vernon K. Robbins (1996) The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse: Rhetoric, Society and Ideology, London: Routledge: 107-108.

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