Dating One Corinthians 13

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perseusomega9
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Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:49 am

I was reading an essay by Krister Stendahl and he was discussing 1 Cor 13. In 13:3 he quotes
If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body to be burned , but do not have love, I have gained nothing
this jumped out at me as I've never seen that before. So I pull out my Harper Collins and in place of burned it reads "hand over my body so that I may boast" with a footnote that says some mss read burned. Checking my UBS the difference is kauxesomai vs kauthesomai.

Since my Greek is rudimentary (equivalent to a 1st grader), is there any consensus which is the more original. The 'burned" version seems to indicate a late 1st through 2nd century date, as I can't think of martyr traditions where Christians were burned until the 2nd century (unless Tacitus' report of Nero is genuine but then that still seems to imply a later date than Cornthians is usually assigned).

Thoughts?
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:31 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:49 am
I was reading an essay by Krister Stendahl and he was discussing 1 Cor 13. In 13:3 he quotes
If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body to be burned , but do not have love, I have gained nothing
this jumped out at me as I've never seen that before. So I pull out my Harper Collins and in place of burned it reads "hand over my body so that I may boast" with a footnote that says some mss read burned. Checking my UBS the difference is kauxesomai vs kauthesomai.

Since my Greek is rudimentary (equivalent to a 1st grader), is there any consensus which is the more original. The 'burned" version seems to indicate a late 1st through 2nd century date, as I can't think of martyr traditions where Christians were burned until the 2nd century (unless Tacitus' report of Nero is genuine but then that still seems to imply a later date than Cornthians is usually assigned).

Thoughts?
None of my own, really. But here is Gordon Fee on the issue (from his commentary; composite image for convenience; evidently his instruction to refer to note 13 is a typo for note 28, with which the image starts):

Gordon D. Fee on 1 Corinthians 13.3 A.png
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Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:32 am

Gordon D. Fee on 1 Corinthians 13.3 B.png
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:39 am

Thanks Ben, on another forum someone provided me with Metzger who comes to a similar conclusion. It's a good argument, but I just think a lot hinges on the assumed dating needed in (1) that gets the ball rolling. What do you think of the argument by Fee?
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:47 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:39 am
Thanks Ben, on another forum someone provided me with Metzger who comes to a similar conclusion. It's a good argument, but I just think a lot hinges on the assumed dating needed in (1) that gets the ball rolling. What do you think of the argument by Fee?
I think the point about transcriptional probabilities ("boast" to "burn" is more likely than "burn" to "boast") seems pretty strong. I think the assumption that this verse predates Nero is pretty weak. William O. Walker argues that all of chapter 13 is an interpolation in chapter 7 of Interpolations in the Pauline Letters. I do not know whether Walker is correct (and that chapter is probably the one to which I myself have given the least amount of attention in the book), but I would not like to see his argument go unnoticed.
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:04 pm

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:39 am
What do you think of the argument by Fee?
Have you read Walker (or anyone else) on this chapter possibly being an interpolation? If so, what do you think?
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:51 pm

I read Walker years ago, I'll dig it up and check. I'm generally one that doesnt need to be convinced the epistles are chock full of interpolations, I just dont remember this specific case.

I'm reading an anthology of essays right now in a book titled The Roman's Debate ed. Karl Donfried. I'm consistently amused about all the contradictions they find in the epistle and the arguments they use trying to get around them while arguing for near fidelity of the text. Good essays though, even though I dont buy the arguments and conclusions.
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:29 pm

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:51 pm
I read Walker years ago, I'll dig it up and check. I'm generally one that doesn't need to be convinced the epistles are chock full of interpolations, I just dont remember this specific case.
You have probably been able to guess that I have arrived at a fairly similar position, perhaps scaled back from yours just a bit. (I would not necessarily characterize myself as convinced that they are full of interpolations; rather, what I am convinced of is that many of the right conditions were present for them to have been interpolated before the archetype, and that, therefore, we cannot assume that they are free or nearly free of interpolations.)
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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by DCHindley » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:20 pm

That phrase sounds a little like the Roman practice of torturing a slave before his/her testimony can be accepted in court. It was a couple years ago, but one thread I was researching about mutilation of slaves took me to Roman laws of justice in Justinian's Digest. These legal decisions often had roots several hundred years previous.

I suppose even slaves or freedmen who offer testimony that exonerates a master must be tested by application of torture. This might be something a dedicated slave might be willing to do for a beloved master under suspicion. If I remember correctly, even freedmen who had been granted citizenship, but remained within his former master's household (usually restricted to the masters home), were subject to interrogation by torture. Consider a Paul who was part of a patron's household (household codes, etc.) and willing to give exonerating evidence. If so does that mean Paul was a slave, or a former slave emancipated by any number of methods possible? I would suggest Herod Agrippa at the time he was under scrutiny for his own ambitions, just before he was banished.
Wikipedia wrote:Josephus relates that Herodias, jealous at Agrippa's success, persuaded Antipas to ask Caligula for the title of king for himself. However, Agrippa simultaneously presented the emperor with a list of charges against the tetrarch: allegedly, he had conspired against Tiberius with Sejanus (executed in 31 AD) and was now plotting against Caligula with Artabanus. As evidence, Agrippa noted that Antipas had a stockpile of weaponry sufficient for 70,000 men. Hearing Antipas' admission to this last charge, Caligula decided to credit the allegations of conspiracy. In the summer of 39 AD, Antipas' money and territory were turned over to Agrippa, while he himself was exiled.[55] The place of his exile is given by Josephus' Antiquities as in Spain.[56] Caligula offered to allow Herodias, as Agrippa's sister, to retain her property. However, she chose instead to join her husband in exile.[57]

Antipas died in exile.[58]


Another possibility is related to how Lucian understood Peregrinus Proteus to have a death wish - by fire. Could Paul have had a similar death wish. I believe I have seen another thread recently (on reddit) asking whether Paul was suicidal.

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Re: Dating One Corinthians 13

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:01 pm

To your last part, my initial thinking is that the torture of christian martyrs by fire would place the writing of 1 cor 13 somewhere between Tacitus and the martyrdom of Polycarp/Peregrinus.
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

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