Paul, Letter to the Galatians
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
F.F. Bruce ad loc.:
Paul makes a threefold
affirmation which corresponds to a number of Jewish formulas in which the
threefold distinction is maintained, as in the morning prayer in which the male
Jew thanks God that he was not made a Gentile, a slave or a woman (S. Singer,
The Authorised Daily Prayer Book [London, 1939], 5f.). This threefold
thanksgiving can be traced back as far as R. Judah b. Elai, c. AD 150 (t. Ber.
7.18), or his contemporary R. Me'ir (b. Men. 43b)—both with 'brutish man' [bôr]
instead of 'slave'. The reason for the threefold thanksgiving was not any
positive disparagement of Gentiles, slaves or women as persons but the fact that
they were disqualified from several religious privileges which were open to free
Jewish males....It is not unlikely that Paul himself had been brought up to thank God that he
was born a Jew and not a Gentile, a freeman and not a slave, a man and not a
woman. If so, he takes up each of these three distinctions which had
considerable importance in Judaism and affirms that in Christ they are all
Philo, On the Life of Moses
2.18-20 (tr. F.H. Colson):
Throughout the world of Greeks and barbarians, there is practically no state which honours the institutions of any other. Indeed, they can scarcely be said to retain
their own perpetually, as they adapt them to meet
the vicissitudes of times and circumstances. The Athenians reject the customs and institutions of the
Lacedaemonians, and the Lacedaemonians those of
the Athenians; nor, in the world of the barbarians,
do the Egyptians maintain the laws of the Scythians
nor the Scythians those of the Egyptians—nor, to put
it generally, Europeans those of Asiatics nor Asiatics
those of Europeans. We may fairly say that mankind from east to west, every country and nation and
state, shew aversion to foreign institutions, and think
that they will enhance the respect for their own by
shewing disrespect for those of other countries.
It is not so with ours. They attract and win the attention of all, of barbarians, of Greeks, of dwellers on the
mainland and islands, of nations of the east and the
west, of Europe and Asia, of the whole inhabited
world from end to end.
τῶν κατὰ τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ βάρβαρον, ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν, οὐδεμία πόλις ἐστίν, ἣ τὰ ἑτέρας νόμιμα τιμᾷ, μόλις δὲ καὶ τῶν αὑτῆς εἰς ἀεὶ περιέχεται, πρὸς τὰς τῶν καιρῶν καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων μεθαρμοζομένη τροπάς. Ἀθηναῖοι τὰ Λακεδαιμονίων ἔθη καὶ νόμιμα προβέβληνται καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὰ Ἀθηναίων· ἀλλ' οὐδὲ κατὰ τὴν βάρβαρον Αἰγύπτιοι τοὺς Σκυθῶν νόμους φυλάττουσιν ἢ Σκύθαι τοὺς Αἰγυπτίων ἢ συνελόντι φράσαι τοὺς τῶν κατ' Εὐρώπην οἱ τὴν Ἀσίαν οἰκοῦντες ἢ τοὺς τῶν Ἀσιανῶν ἐθνῶν οἱ ἐν Εὐρώπῃ· ἀλλὰ σχεδὸν οἱ ἀφ' ἡλίου ἀνιόντος ἄχρι δυομένου, πᾶσα χώρα καὶ ἔθνος καὶ πόλις, τῶν ξενικῶν νομίμων ἀλλοτριοῦνται καὶ οἴονται τὴν τῶν οἰκείων ἀποδοχήν, εἰ τὰ παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀτιμάζοιεν, συναυξήσειν. ἀλλ' οὐχ ὧδ' ἔχει τὰ ἡμέτερα· πάντας γὰρ ἐπάγεται καὶ συνεπιστρέφει, βαρβάρους, Ἕλληνας, ἠπειρώτας, νησιώτας, ἔθνη τὰ ἑῷα, τὰ ἑσπέρια, Εὐρώπην, Ἀσίαν, ἅπασαν τὴν οἰκουμένην ἀπὸ περάτων ἐπὶ πέρατα.