“Othering” in Ephesians 5:21-33: The Model of Christ’s Love and Relation to Women as the Interpretative Key for Single Mothers within Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA)
The household codes in Ephesians present a model of a complete family during the Roman Empire with the husband, wife, children and slaves. With the role responsibilities shouldering on the man being the head of the household and having the ultimate power and authority. Given the historical position of the Roman Empire in New Testament times, it poses questions regarding how Roman imperialism could have influenced Paul and how he use the concept of “Othering” in the book of Ephesians. This study looks at the possibility of Paul being influenced by the socio-political, religious and cultural dynamics of his time. No reference is made about single mothers that existed during the Roman Empire where the text is located. This begs the question this research tends to answer: why did Paul decide to other the single mothers in the text? This paper uses the concepts of “Othering” within the postcolonial biblical criticism in addressing the place of single mothers during the Roman Empire and within the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Nigeria. Using the concept of “Othering” to show how the text silenced the experiences of single mothers in the Roman Empire and how the interpretation is also not explicit. The research aims at hearing the voices of single mother’s right from Roman Empire and its implications to single mothers within ECWA by interpreting Christ’s love in the gospels to show how He relates with women that society tends to condemn.
Keywords: Othering, Single Mothers, Evangelical, Women