Ransomed by God into His household: Interpreting the ransom imagery in 1 Peter within the economic context of its author and addressees

  • FJ van Rensburg


1 Peter 1:18 states: “You know that you were ransomed ...” (NRSV). This article offers an interpretation of the ransom image in 1 Peter within the economic context of the author and addressees, taking into consideration the relevant structure of economics (the geography and demography of the areas identified in the address of 1 Peter) and relevant performance of economics (production, distribution and consumption) in the area where the addressees of 1 Peter lived. After the problem statement and methodological clarification (1), the economic-historic context of the addressees is constructed (2), and the epistolographic characteristics of 1 Peter is defined (3). Then the ransom-imagery in 1 Peter is analysed and the referents of this ransom-imagery determined (4). Finally the ransom metaphor in 1 Peter is interpreted within the economic-historic context of its addressees (5).