Individualism and collectivism are categories employed by sociologists to describe the characteristics of a particular people or culture. These elements and their importance depend heavily upon the culture's particular world view. This study examines these extremes—particularly in the context of the NT metaphor of the church as a body.1 In light of the fact that the data of the Hebrew Bible are often ignored, in this study I will review five controversial passages from the Hebrew Bible that are relevant to the topic (i.e., Abraham's household and the blessing of the covenant, the commandment language, divine transgenerational retribution, and individual responsibility) and will probe their significance for a Scripture-based ecclesiology.

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