Peeters Online Bibliographies
Peeters Publishers
this issue
  previous article in this issuenext article in this issue  

Document Details :

Title: Slaughter, Fratricide and Sacrilege
Subtitle: Cain and Abel Traditions in 1 John 3
Author(s): BYRON, John
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 88    Issue: 4   Date: 2007   
Pages: 526-535
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.88.4.3189017

Abstract :
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.

download article