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Paul's Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1–4
Constitution and Covenant

$113.00 (C)

Part of Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series

  • Date Published: June 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107088481

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Is the first study to demonstrate the methodological viability and relevance of Corinth's constitution to the interpretation of 1 Corinthians
    • Analyses new documentary evidence
    • Incorporates original methodological work and detailed exegesis
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107088481
    • length: 365 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 137 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 1 map 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: constituting the argument
    Part I. Constitution and Covenant in Corinth:
    1. Paul and politics
    2. Law and life
    3. The Corinthian constitution
    4. Traces of covenant in Corinth
    5. Constituting Corinth, Paul, and the assembly
    Part II. Constitution and Covenant in 1 Corinthians 1:1-4:6:
    6. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 and the politics of thanksgiving
    7. 1 Corinthians 3:5-4:5 and the politics of construction
    Conclusion: comparison of constitutions.

  • Author

    Bradley J. Bitner, Oak Hill Theological College
    Bradley J. Bitner is Tutor in New Testament and Greek at Oak Hill Theological College in London. He is the co-editor, with James R. Harrison, of New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, Volume 11 (forthcoming).

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