Freedom in the Gospel: Paul's Exemplum in 1 Cor. 9 in Conversation with the Discourses of Epictetus and Philo (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology)

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9789042915022: Freedom in the Gospel: Paul's Exemplum in 1 Cor. 9 in Conversation with the Discourses of Epictetus and Philo (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology)

Paul's question in 1 Cor 9:1, 'Am I not free?' provides the initial focus of this study. Paul's discourse (1 Cor 9) creatively exhibits his own freedom as subsumed under the ultimate good, the gospel in which he shares. Paul's vocabulary (compulsion, willingly and unwillingly, rights and freedom), ideas, and topoi reflect the symbolic universe that he shares with the Cynic-Stoic philosophic tradition and the ongoing debates and conversations about freedom in the Corinthian community. This study demonstrates that such conversations highlighted issues of divine call, identity, assignments, obligations, and exhibition to the world, work, independence, hardship, toil and self-control, and one's attitude to money or wealth. Paul's exemplum directs attention to the gospel that transforms his 'rights', entrusts him with a 'stewardship,' and extends to him participation in the gospel as a partner. With this self understanding, Paul appeals to his readers for adherence to the values that he is advocating.

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