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Document Details :
Title: Slaughter, Fratricide and Sacrilege
Subtitle: Cain and Abel Traditions in 1 John 3
Author(s): BYRON, John
Volume: 88 Issue: 4 Date: 2007
Cain symbolizes the antithesis of brotherly love and stands in direct contrast to Christ. The choice of terminology used to describe the slaughter of Abel in 1 John 3,11-18 retains the ritual overtones that pervade the original story in Genesis 4. This terminology was often used to describe murders linked to a ritual act as well as fratricide. The ritual overtones in the passage emphasize the contrast with Christ. By linking those who 'hate their brothers' with Cain, the author of 1 John accused them of an act that stood in contrast to the self-sacrificial act of Christ. Hatred of others meant they were guilty of communal fratricide, which is a sacrilege.