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Household networks and early Christian economics : a fresh study of 1 Timothy 5.3–16.

Barclay, J. (2020) 'Household networks and early Christian economics : a fresh study of 1 Timothy 5.3–16.', New testament studies., 66 (2). pp. 268-287.


1 Tim 5.3-16 defines which women may be registered for financial support at church expense. It is integrated around four ‘household rules’, but is not concerned to regulate an ‘order’ or ‘office’ of widows. Rather, it clarifies that the church should not supplant households in financial matters, and should be responsible only for destitute widows who have no other network support. Since χήρα can mean ‘woman without a man’, the instructions in 5.11-15 are best interpreted as directed against young women who have chosen celibacy. By contrast, the author conceives of the church as a network of Christian households connected by mutual economic support.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in New testament studies This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © Cambridge University Press 2020.
Date accepted:24 September 2019
Date deposited:03 October 2019
Date of first online publication:27 February 2020
Date first made open access:03 October 2019

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