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Title: Barbarian and Scythian in Col 3,11
Subtitle: Greek Ethnocentric Reasoning
Author(s): JUNG, Deok Hee
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 99    Issue: 3   Date: 2018   
Pages: 414-430
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.99.3.3285369

Abstract :
This article examines the puzzling pair — barbarian and Scythian — in Col 3,11 in connection with Greek ethnocentric arrogance. These two terms represent categories that the Greeks often used in discussions of their own cultural superiority over other marginalized peoples. In the Letter to the Colossians, this Greek ethnic frame re-emerges in the depiction of the opponents as arrogant false teachers who judge and denigrate those who do not completely observe Jewish regulations. Their haughty stance echoes the Greek attitude toward the barbarians and the Scythians. In this light, the couplet functions to mirror the opponents’ conceit in the author’s warning against ethnic-religious arrogance in the Colossian congregation.

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