Paul's Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1-4
This volume examines 1 Corinthians 1-4 within first-century politics, demonstrating the significance of Corinth's constitution to the interpretation of Paul's letter. Bradley J. Bitner shows that Paul carefully considered the Roman colonial context of Corinth, which underlay numerous ecclesial conflicts. Roman politics, however, cannot account for the entire shape of Paul's response. Bridging the Hellenism-Judaism divide that has characterized much of Pauline scholarship, Bitner argues that Paul also appropriated Jewish-biblical notions of covenant. Epigraphical and papyrological evidence indicates that his chosen content and manner are best understood with reference to an ecclesial politeia informed by a distinctively Christ-centered political theology. This emerges as a "politics of thanksgiving" in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and as a "politics of construction" in 3:5-4:5, where Paul redirects gratitude and glory to God in Christ. This innovative account of Paul's political theology offers fresh insight into his pastoral strategy among nascent Gentile-Jewish assemblies.
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acclamation alternative civic ancient Apollos architect argued authority Babbius benefaction building metaphor century chapter Christ Chrysostom colonial comparison confirmation constitution and covenant context conventions Corinthian assembly Corinthian constitution Corinthian correspondence covenantal decurions Deuteronomy discourse divine duoviri early Christian ecclesial Eger ekklēsia epigraphical epistle eschatological evaluation evidence exegesis exegetical first-century focus framework function glory Graeco-Roman gratitude Greek Hellenistic honor IG VII important inscribed interpretation Jewish Jews Josephus Julio-Claudian Kuck language lex Flavia lex Irn lex Urs Lincicum ministry monument Mytilene patron pattern Paul Paul’s argument Paul’s letters Paul’s political Paul’s rhetorical Paul’s text Pauline Philinus phrase politeia political theology politics of construction politics of thanksgiving privileges Qumran reconstruction reference rhetorical Roman Corinth Roman law scholars Schubert Second Temple social specific status structure synagogue synagogue inscription tablets temple testimonial textual theological tion Weiss Welborn ἐν καὶ μαρτύριον μυστήριον τὸ τοῦ