Re: a variant "interpretation" of LITHOS

From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Wed Apr 16 1997 - 09:36:39 EDT

On Tue, 15 Apr 1997 wrote:

> 1 Peter was written to the far eastern part of the Roman Empire. It's
> inhabitants were more than likely mainly Gentiles, with the paganism still a
> viable force within the Roman Empire. If this is the case, could it be that
> the writer of 1 Peter, when he referred to "the living stone," was placing
> before his readers a stark contrast between "the living stone" and the idols
> that that society worshipped? In other words, the idols were made out of
> stone, but were life-less, void of any kind of breath. But Jesus, on the other
> hand, is the living stone--the one whom God raised from the dead. Could this
> be the possible meaning that the author of 1 Peter 2 was referring to?
> Jamen
> (If this is not the place for this discussion, please let me know--and could
> you direct me to the right place for this type of discussion?)

Though it seems to be a widespread assumption that amongst "pagans" a
statue of a God was thought to be the God, is there any hard evidence that
"pagans" in 1 C.E. (or for that matter, at any time) actually confused
representations of their Gods (disparagingly referred to as "idols") with
the Gods themselves? If not, then the interpretation of LITHOS outlined
above, though interesting, is fanciful.

Jeffrey Gibson

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