Violence in the Letter of Peter to Philip
Monday, June 28, 2021
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Presenter: Dr. Hal Taussig
The little-known document, The “Letter of Peter to Philip,” was found at Nag Hammadi—along with 51 other more-or-less Jesus-or-Christ-related texts, and it’s turning out to be one of the most eloquent Christ-related treatments of intense Roman imperial violence. This text focuses on the central role Roman violence plays in the entire Mediterranean basin throughout the second century. In “Peter to Philip,” the Christ people ‘ambassadors’ (traditionally transliterated as apostles’) cry out to God and Jesus Christ for help against the Roman rulers who are threatening to kill them just as they killed Jesus. And the author of “Peter to Philip” lays out a five-point program to resist and make headway against Roman violence. This makes “Peter to Philip” perhaps the most articulate Christ movement of the first two centuries devoted to non-violent action.