Paul's approach to the cultural conflict in Corinth : a socio-historical study / Johannes Mattheus Wessels
Wessels, Johannes Mattheus
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This dissertation aims at studying underlying cultural conflicts in Corinth and Paul's approach thereto. Firstly, the cultural underlays in the congregation of Corinth are revisited, with special reference to the presence of Greeks, Romans and Jews in the congregation which came into being there. This theme is explored by studying the meaning of culture, the archaeological data, as well as Biblical data and other historical data regarding these cultures and Corinth. Furthermore attention is given to the way in which these three cultures were reflected in Paul's own background. In conclusion Paul's approach to the conflict is delineated in terms of positive and negative renderings of the concept "becoming a slave to fellow humans". Special focus is given to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 as a key pericope in this regard. The deduction made in this dissertation is that Paul disregards his own cultural heritage and makes himself a slave to people on behalf of winning people for Christ, without allowing people (or cultural groups) to rule him as masters.
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