Mapping human dignity in the New Testament : concerns, considerations and concepts
CITATION: Punt, J. 2010. Mapping human dignity in the New Testament : concerns, considerations and concepts. Scriptura, 105:621-635, doi:10.7833/105-0-162.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
Enquiring about hermeneutical and methodological considerations appropriate to studies on the modern concept of ‘human dignity’ in the New Testament, some initial concerns are raised about the potential benefit of such work. Investigations of human dignity in the New Testament secondly requires appreciation for the complex and multi-facetted way in which first-century people and their value or worth or dignity were in play; for accounting for first-century CE considerations or contexts, where honour and shame were pivotal values within a hierarchical and patriarchal society of limited good; and, for an environment that was thoroughly saturated with the omnipresent and hugely influential Roman Empire on socio-political, as well as economical and religious levels. Thirdly, a range of concepts, themes and topics found in the New Testament – some of which are invoked in theological discussions on human dignity, but others whose potential in this regard has perhaps not been adequately recognised – are briefly identified and considered for their possible contribution to conceptualising human dignity in biblical and theological discourse.