Friday, December 21, 2012

Another Example of the Composite Nature of the Pauline Epistles

What does 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and its discussion of the ancient Israelites being 'baptized' in the cloud and the sea (when they never touched the water) have to do with the original narrative about throwing a fornicator out of the church and then finally chapter 15's discussion of different types of bodies, some heavenly and some earthly? Yes someone can certainly develop some ludicrous notion that there is a coherent thread of logic here, but in order to do this they have to ignore the fact that this was developed in a letter. What's the purpose of developing a fifteen chapter letter that is so utterly obscure? The more likely possibility is that the text is composed of pieces of different arguments and then arranged in a cento (cf. the third Syriac epistle of Ignatius being divided into the Greek Epistle to the Romans and the Greek Epistle to the Trallians).

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