The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation: The Center of Paul’s Method of Scriptural Interpretation

Table of contents :
Introduction 1
1 Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics 9
2 Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma 59
3 Figuration and the Divine Economy 109
4 Introducing Prosopological Exegesis 183
5 Prosopological Exegesis in Paul’s Letters 223
6 e Implications of Kerygmatic Hermeneutics 329
Bibliography 357
Index of Biblical References 3

Citation preview

The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

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The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation The Center of Paul’s Method of Scriptural Interpretation

Matthew W. Bates


© 2012 by Baylor University Press Waco, Texas 76798-7363 All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing of Baylor University Press. Scripture quotations, where not an author’s own translation, are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Cover Design by Rebecca Lown eISBN: 978-1-60258-547-8 (e-PDF) This E-book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who encounter any issues with formatting, text, linking, or readability are encouraged to notify the publisher at [email protected] To inquire about permission to use selections from this text, please contact Baylor University Press, One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, Texas 76798. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Bates, Matthew W. The hermeneutics of the apostolic proclamation : the center of Paul’s method of scriptural interpretation / Matthew W. Bates 408 p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 357) and index. ISBN 978-1-60258-328-3 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul—Hermeneutics. 2. Bible—Criticism, interpretation, etc.—History—Early church, ca. 30–600. 3. Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul— Theology. I. Title. BS2651.B39 2012 227'.06--dc23 2011051775 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper with a minimum of 30% pcw recycled content.

To my dearest Sarah: I study Christian theology . . . You embody it. (Colossians 3:23-24)

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Contents Introduction



Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics



Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


Figuration and the Divine Economy



Introducing Prosopological Exegesis



Prosopological Exegesis in Paul’s Letters



The Implications of Kerygmatic Hermeneutics





Index of Biblical References



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Introduction Paul is a polarizing figure. For some he is the ultimate saint—the singular human who best understood the gospel, gave the proclamation of Jesus its most incisive articulation, and most fully lived it out, dying as a missionary martyr. For others he is a deluded hack who perpetuated a deformed gospel that was out of touch with mainstream early Christian developments, but at the same time he was so influential that he, even more than Jesus, should be regarded as the true founder of Christianity. I myself have always been an eager reader of Paul, although I do not claim that I have always fully comprehended him—especially his interpretations of the ancient Jewish scriptures, called in common parlance the Old Testament (OT) or Hebrew Bible (HB).1 The following is the result of my attempt to understand more fully Paul’s scriptural interpretation. This book puts forward a fresh theory regarding Paul’s basic hermeneutical procedure—that is, Paul’s motivation and manner of interpreting the scriptures. The method of exploration combines historical criticism with a novel intertextual approach that takes early Christian reception history and parallels to Paul’s exegesis seriously. That is, contrary to earlier studies of Paul’s interpretative method, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Origen are found to be useful resources for understanding Paul’s scriptural 1 Throughout this study the term “scriptures” has been deliberately chosen over the alternative “Old Testament,” because the New Testament did not exist at the time Paul wrote his letters, making the term “Old Testament” anachronistically inappropriate with reference to Paul. Similarly, “Hebrew Bible” is illegitimate, since Paul preferred to utilize the Greek text. Finally, in adopting the term “scriptures” (grafai,) rather than “scripture” (grafh,), I am merely echoing the preferred nomenclature of Paul, who favors the plural when making hermeneutical generalizations but the singular when discussing a specific reading (cf. Rom 1:2; 15:4; 16:26; 1 Cor 15:3-4 with Rom 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; Gal 3:8, 22; 4:30).



The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

exegesis. Against the prevailing models for Pauline hermeneutics, as put forward by Dietrich-Alex Koch (witness to the Gospel), Francis Watson (the hermeneutics of faith), Richard Hays (ecclesiocentric hermeneutics), Daniel Boyarin (Paul as a Hellenistic allegorist), and others, it is argued that Paul received, utilized, and extended an apostolic, kerygmatic narrative tradition centered on key events in the Christ story as his primary interpretative lens. Early church Fathers, such as Origen, Diodore of Tarsus, Chrysostom, Augustine, and Theodoret of Cyrus, had an intense preoccupation with a question to which modern biblical scholarship has paid scant attention. When reading Isaiah, the Psalter, and other OT passages, these Fathers were almost absurdly keen to discover who precisely was speaking. Of course, when reading the book of Ezekiel or the Psalter, they were well aware that the written words were in the first instance those of the human agent in question—namely, Ezekiel or David. Yet, they were far from content to let the matter rest there, plowing ever deeper into the text in a surprising and captivating way. Indeed, I would contend that with their meticulous attention to the details of the text—seeking not just the voice, but the voice behind the voice—the Fathers preserve something of the interpretative logic of Paul that has not been sufficiently noted. Their quest for the ultimate speaker can serve as a helpful guide to rethinking certain Pauline scriptural interpretations. For instance, in Romans 10:20-21, Paul makes a particularly intractable interpretation of Isaiah, in which Paul first applies Isaiah 65:1 to the Gentiles and then Isaiah 65:2 to the Jews, even though such a reading of Isaiah is difficult to justify on a straightforward interpretation of the text. A standard translation of Isaiah reads: 1

I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call on my name. 2I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices . . . (Isa 65:1-2 NRSV, emphasis added)

On its own terms, the preceding text would seem to suggest that the ancient Jewish people living at the time of Isaiah are the solely intended referents in all of Isaiah 65:1-2, but then we find Paul’s strange interpretation in Romans 10:20-21, which posits an identity switch between Isaiah 65:1 (the Gentiles) and Isaiah 65:2 (the Jews): 20

Then Isaiah also dares to say, “I was found by those who were not seeking me, I was revealed to those who were not inquiring after me” [Isa



65:1—intending the Gentiles], 21while to Israel he says, “I have stretched out my hands for the whole day toward a disobedient and disputatious people” [Isa 65:2].

How could Paul posit a change in referents between the two verses, aiming the one at the Gentiles, but the other at the Jews? It would seem Paul is simply a poor reader or he is being deliberately and unconscionably tendentious in his construal. But when we read the Fathers, with their meticulous attention to the details of the text, seeking after the voice behind the voice, we may find ourselves to be entering the world of ancient hermeneutics afresh, discerning even if through a misty fog, some peculiar features of Paul’s exegesis that we have not previously noticed. For example, working a scant 100 years after Paul, Justin Martyr reads Isaiah 65:1-2 in a distinctly different manner than that which is allowed by a contextualized reading of a contemporary translation of Isaiah, but which has clear connections to Paul’s exegesis. For reasons to be explained more fully in chapters 1 and 4, I am convinced that both Justin’s specific interpretation and his method are vital data that absolutely must be considered when seeking after Paul’s interpretative logic. For Justin, a careful probing of the text suggests that Isaiah 65:1-2 was spoken not by God the Father, but “as from the person of the Christ himself.” That is, Isaiah is the putative speaker of these words for Justin, but the Christ is the true speaker, not God the Father, as might be suggested by a straightforward construal of Isaiah. In fact, for Justin, who was a Greek reader, the Christ spoke these words on a specific occasion. The Christ said “all day long I have stretched out my hands” as he spread forth his hands not in a beseeching posture toward (pro,j) the people, as the most reliable manuscripts of the Greek Old Testament indicate, but rather the Christ spoke these words as his arms were nailed so that they were extended out over (evpi,) the people, as they were spread open in the agony of the cross—“I stretched out my hands over a disobedient and disputatious people.” Intriguingly, the author of the Epistle of Barnabas concurs with Justin’s assignment of the speaker as the Christ when he attributes the words of Isaiah 65:2 to the Lord Jesus rather than God the Father: “All day long I have stretched out my hands toward a disobedient and disputatious people who oppose my righteous way” (Barn. 12.4).2 Similarly, another second-century Father, Irenaeus, identifies the Son of God as the speaker, 2 Note, however, that Barnabas differs slightly from Justin, since Barnabas follows the mainline tradition with pro,j, rather than evpi,. On the Lord Jesus as the identity of the speaker, see Barn. 12.1. Throughout this book all translations are my own unless marked otherwise.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

rather than God the Father (Haer. 2.6.1; cf. Epid. 79; 92). In short, there is abundant evidence that a number of the earliest Christian interpreters construed Isaiah 65:1-2 as spoken by the divine author from the person of the Christ, rather than by God the Father. According to these christocentric readings, the speaker of Isaiah 65:1-2 is really Jesus Christ, who manifested himself by appearing among humanity, only to be compelled to stretch forth his hands in the crucifixion.3 These early Fathers lived, so to speak, right next door to Paul’s hermeneutical world, and although it would be a dreadful mistake to presume hermeneutical continuity in the face of evidence to the contrary, at the same time we dare not ignore their like-minded interpretations of Isaiah 65:1-2 in seeking after the thoughts of Paul in Romans 10:20-21. I contend that if Barnabas, Justin, and Irenaeus all make the same move with Isaiah 65:1-2, it is prima facie likely that Paul has made this same move as well. Prima facie, because a post hoc assessment may show the hermeneutical link to be dubious—and in fact, although recourse to the Fathers helpfully underscores certain features of Paul’s reading of Isaiah that might otherwise be missed, in this particular instance a straightforward move from the Fathers back to Paul cannot be sustained. As will be shown in the fuller treatment in chapter 5, untwisting Paul’s interpretative logic here will require a bit more effort. Many biblical scholars and Pauline specialists have made an attempt to articulate a general theory of Pauline hermeneutics, sometimes as a freestanding proposal, at other times as part and parcel of a still-broader universal theory of early Christian scriptural interpretation. As this project began to take flight, the various scholarly constructs that attempt a holistic explanation of Pauline hermeneutics were sifted and evaluated. As this review proceeded, it became clear that certain aspects, assumptions, and conclusions of that scholarship were in need of reassessment. What caused the most concern was the limited comparative database from which the conclusions had been drawn—specifically the failure to take Paul’s own hermeneutical statements sufficiently into account, the exclusion of the earliest Christian reception history of Paul’s exegesis and certain other coeval Christian interpretations, and the inadequate interfacing with ancient semiotics. As these neglected emphases were brought into conversation with specific Pauline texts, a new model for Pauline hermeneutics emerged—a model centered on the apostolic proclamation. 3 See also Origen Comm. Rom. 8.6.11; Cyprian Test. 1.21; Ps-Gregory of Nyssa Test. 2.4, 16; Hippolytus Noet. 12.



Chapter 1 and chapter 6 are structured like matching bookends on a bookcase shelf, inasmuch as the story of the study of Pauline hermeneutics initially presented in chapter 1 as a stimulus to the project is reanalyzed topically in chapter 6, in light of the results obtained in the main body of the book. As such, the story of scholarship in chapter 1 is the essential prelude to the discussion of the “live issues” currently under debate in chapter 6. In addition, an inclusio of sorts continues even within the interior of the book, since chapter 2 puts forward a suggestive hypothesis regarding Pauline hermeneutics on the basis of Paul’s own hermeneutical claims, yet a robust grounding of this hypothesis in the details of Paul’s exegesis is delayed until chapter 5. In chapter 1, “Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics,” after extensively reviewing previous scholarly attempts to delineate Paul’s central hermeneutical convictions, this project takes its point of departure from several perceived deficiencies in that history, resulting in a new interpretative model that I have termed “diachronic intertextuality.” Not only is the story told in this chapter fascinating in its own right, it also sets the stage for the topical conversation in the final chapter. Chapter 2, “Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma,” forms the backbone of this project. I contend that it is essential to pay attention not just to what Paul does when interpreting his scriptures, but also to what he claims to be doing. In particular, two passages—1 Corinthians 15:3-11 and Romans 1:1-6—have received surprisingly little attention by scholars who have put forward macrotheories for Pauline hermeneutics, and a detailed examination of these texts points in surprising new directions for Pauline hermeneutics. Chapter 3, “Figuration and the Divine Economy,” continues the task initiated in chapter 2 by seeking to explore Paul’s own statements about his interpretative practices. However, the chapter begins with a more general exploration of the role quotation and citation played in the composition process in antiquity, touching on ancient theory of language and referentiality. Numerous classical cruces for Pauline hermeneutics are grappled with herein—including 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (on types), Galatians 4:2131 (on allegory), and 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 (on Moses and the veil). I can only hope the reader finds the new proposals advanced in this chapter to be compelling. Chapter 4, “Introducing Prosopological Exegesis,” is pivotal. While chapters 2 and 3 are purposed toward uncovering Paul’s own statements regarding his hermeneutical convictions, chapters 4 and 5 focus on a specific interpretative technique, “prosopological exegesis.” To the best of my


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

knowledge, biblical scholarship has not yet analyzed this phenomenon as a self-conscious reading technique with respect to Paul’s interpretation of his Greek scriptures, or for that matter, to the exegetical practices of any other NT authors in general. Although I will develop a more sophisticated definition in chapter 4, in brief, prosopological exegesis refers to the activity of ancient readers in seeking to clarify ambivalent speeches in their scriptures by assigning suitable characters as they saw fit. Prosopological exegesis was widely practiced in the earliest church—in fact, it was even discussed in a theoretical fashion. As this exegetical technique is virtually unknown within biblical scholarship, all of chapter 4 is dedicated to discussing the basic features of prosopological exegesis, including criteria for its detection. In chapter 5, “Prosopological Exegesis in Paul’s Letters,” occurrences of prosopological exegesis in direct quotations of the scriptures within the Pauline corpus are isolated, and the hermeneutical significance of this technique for Paul is evaluated. Paul’s use of the prosopological method of exegesis substantially undermines the thesis of Richard Hays, who argues that Christ is made to be the speaker of various psalms on a typological model. It also calls into question the proposals of A. T. Hanson (Christ is sacramentally present) and J. Ross Wagner (Paul and Isaiah speak in concert). Moreover, vital support for the basic hypothesis developed in chapter 2—that the apostolic proclamation is hermeneutically central for Paul—is found in Paul’s use of the prosopological reading technique. In chapter 6, “The Implications of Kerygmatic Hermeneutics,” the constructive results of my argument are presented. Also, the project is brought full circle by topically revisiting the story of scholarship on Pauline hermeneutics in light of my results, in order to stimulate renewed conversation about various issues currently under dispute. In advocating for the apostolic proclamation as the central hermeneutical lens for Paul, I seek to show how other scholarly constructs of Pauline hermeneutics complement or are undermined by my own thesis. Topics addressed include Paul’s relationship to the pre-Pauline tradition, a previous kerygmatic proposal, “typology,” the role of charism, literal and nonliteral modes of exegesis, Christ stories, ecclesiocentrism, allegory, contextual reading, consecutive reading, the suggestion that Paul might speak in concert with an ancient prophet, and the nature of Paul’s dialectical engagement with scripture. I hope this project proves to be a rich resource not just for biblical studies and Pauline scholarship, but also for synthetic theology. As final reflections, I offer two trajectories into theology—one pertaining to ecumenical



hermeneutics and the other to the Trinity—that I hope will stimulate further creative reflection. In bringing this book to completion, I have the joy of thanking many people. All who have helped me along the way have modeled Christ’s self-giving love. First, my family. Above all I am grateful to my beloved wife Sarah, who sustained me throughout the writing process by patiently allowing me to process the material with her, taking on heightened household responsibilities, sustaining me with delicious victuals, and loving me unconditionally. Thanks to my children, Tad, Zeke, and Addie, and now Lydia, who robustly and enthusiastically cheered my every minor achievement—in fact, when I finally completed the manuscript, they marched around the house like a merry troop, causing a delightful cacophony by playing musical instruments for a half-hour straight! My parents, Mike and Linda Bates, my sisters Anne Perkins and Kathryn Erickson, and my gram Ruth, have all lovingly supported me throughout the writing process, and indeed, throughout my entire life. Second, as this book is a revision of my Ph.D. dissertation, written at the University of Notre Dame, my committee played a critical role in shaping and advising. My readers—John Meier and Brian Daley—were brilliant, sharp-sighted, indefatigable, and gracious. My director, David Aune, who read the manuscript with care numerous times, deserves the highest praise. Not only is David a marvelous person—generous and kind in every way—but also, in directing this aspiring and sometimes unwieldy project, he had an excellent sense of when to give me free rein and when to force me to taste the bit. His feedback was incredibly prompt, wellnuanced, fair-minded, and unfailingly insightful. A special word of thanks goes out to Chris Stanley of St. Bonaventure University—a true expert on Paul’s interpretation of the scriptures—who acted with superabundant generosity in reading the entire manuscript for me. He also provided copious and well-reasoned written comments, and all this simply as a kind volunteer. Thanks, Chris, I am grateful. Various colleagues and friends at Notre Dame are to be commended for their buoying role—some have read portions of the manuscript, others served as verbal sounding boards for ideas at various junctures, all have been thoughtful and benevolent, even while under time pressure to bring their own research projects to fruition—Daniel Smith, Eric Rowe, Christina Brinks Rea, Joshua Yoder, Josephine Dru, Michael Francis, Joel Schmidt, Joshua Lollar, Brian Lee, Bradley Gregory (now a professor at the University of Scranton), and Matt Lynch (a close friend from Regent College in Vancouver—now a graduate student at Emory), and many others.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Finally, for their role in moving this book from draft to an attractively bound finished product, I am grateful to the staff of Baylor University Press, and especially to the director of the Press, Carey Newman. It is a precious and rare opportunity to be able to work with a university press director who is not only masterful in the craft of editorial intervention, but also an acknowledged expert in the specific topic of research—in this case, New Testament Studies in general and Paul in particular. Thanks to all of you for your excellence. Now, a final word—a wish-prayer regarding the ultimate purpose of this book: May God the Father, who has most fully and definitively revealed himself through Jesus the Son, as facilitated by the Holy Spirit, be brought greater praise and glory by all who open the covers of this book.


G Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics Previous Study of Pauline Hermeneutics A Typology of Approaches Not only is the story of previous research into Pauline hermeneutics a story worth hearing in and of itself, the story also conveniently delineates a typology of possible ways to approach the subject of Pauline hermeneutics. By tracing the main contours of the plot, with special attention to developments in the last century, a measure of clarity can be obtained regarding the skirmishes that have been fought in the past, the consensuses that have emerged, and the unresolved battles that are still being waged. Such an attempt is further justified because no adequate recent surveys of the secondary literature on Paul’s scriptural interpretation exist—at least none that engage the secondary literature in more than a cursory manner and focus on hermeneutics rather than purely text-critical issues.1 In short, a central purpose of this book is to offer suggestions about the nature of 1 See brief surveys in E. Earle Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957), 2–5; Dietrich-Alex Koch, Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen zur Verwendung und zum Verständnis der Schrift bei Paulus, BHT 69 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1986), 2–10; Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 5–10; Christopher D. Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture: Citation Technique in the Pauline Epistles and Contemporary Literature, SNTSMS 74 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 8–28; Florian Wilk, Die Bedeutung des Jesajabuches für Paulus, FRLANT 179 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998), 2–7 (focused only on Isaiah in Paul); J. Ross Wagner, Heralds of the Good News: Paul and Isaiah in Concert in the Letter to the Romans, NovTSup 101 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 5–13. Especially noteworthy is the thorough and judicious survey of the literature from 1989 through 1997 in Kenneth D. Litwak, “Echoes of Scripture? A Critical Survey of Recent Works on Paul’s Use of the Old Testament,” CurBS 6 (1998): 260–88.



The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Pauline hermeneutics as part of an ongoing conversation with other scholars, so it is critical to indicate in some detail precisely how I have read the manifold contributions of my conversation partners. Of course, a comprehensive survey of Paul’s use of the scriptures would consume an entire monograph on its own, and thus cannot be attempted within the confines of this chapter. My goal is more modest, yet twofold. First and foremost, I have chosen to emphasize studies that have made major theoretical advances in our understanding of Paul’s interpretative logic, as opposed to studies that work within a preexisting scholarly framework vis-à-vis Pauline hermeneutics. Of course, some of these studies are not narrowly focused on Paul’s use of the scriptures, but on the phenomenon of intra-biblical citation more generally. Second, I have attempted to include those works that are important because they illustrate with peculiar verve a certain aspect, problem, or question with which anyone working on the topic of Pauline hermeneutics must come to terms, thus creating a typology of approaches to Pauline hermeneutics. After retelling the story, I will show how my own project arises from certain perceived weaknesses in this ongoing conversation about Paul’s use of the scriptures by setting forth a novel diachronic intertextual method grounded in reception history—a method that results in a new thesis regarding the center of Pauline hermeneutics. The burden of this book will be to show that the thesis provides a more cogent understanding of Pauline hermeneutics than competing proposals advanced by Dietrich-Alex Koch, Richard Hays, Daniel Boyarin, Francis Watson, and others. The concluding chapter of this book will reengage this story of Pauline hermeneutics as various live issues from the history of scholarship are reimagined in light of the results. Yet, somewhat ironically, our survey begins in a scholarly climate that was tremendously resistant to the notion that Pauline hermeneutics might in anyway be essential to Pauline theology.2

2 The boundaries of the Pauline corpus utilized for this study will be the seven undisputed letters—Romans, 1–2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon—even though many scholars, including myself, judge more to be authentic. Yet, since this study is primarily concerned with Paul’s scriptural interpretation—moreover with certain direct citations—the problem of the bounds of the authentic Pauline corpus is less acute. No direct citations from the scriptures are to be found in Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, Philemon, or Titus. With regard to the disputed epistles, this leaves remaining Ephesians and 1–2 Timothy, and these letters collectively contain only some six quotations from the scriptures and a handful of allusions. Thus, the exclusion of the disputed Pauline material will have little impact on the final results of this study.

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


The Unhermeneutical Paul The Legacy of Romanticism

The first modern treatments pertinent to Pauline hermeneutics were generally technical explorations that showed little interest in advancing distinctive theories regarding Pauline hermeneutics.3 Although strides were made in determining the text type used by Paul—showing, for example, that Paul favored Greek versions over Hebrew when citing the Jewish scriptures4 —the predominant governing assumption of these studies was the rather vague and unsophisticated notion that Paul makes use of his ancestral scriptures in order to prove the legitimacy of the Christian faith.5 Much later, this trend would eventually reach a zenith with the testimonia hypothesis, championed by J. Rendel Harris—the belief that the early Christian authors, including Paul, utilized extracted, decontextualized snippets from the Jewish scriptures, rather than entire scriptural books, as primary resources when authoring texts.6 Yet under the influence of romanticism, NT interpreters would marry their love for textual detail with an intense fascination with the subjective, psychological life of the biblical authors. Interpreters such as Friedrich 3 For example, William Whiston, An Essay towards Restoring the True Text of the Old Testament (London: J. Senex, 1722). Whiston argues that the discrepancies between the textual forms cited by Paul and first-century Greek and Hebrew texts were due to Jews tampering with the texts within the polemical Jewish–Christian context of the first centuries of the common era—that is, Paul cited the texts accurately, but the Jews subsequently modified the texts. The biblical manuscripts discovered at Qumran have decisively proven that alleged post-Christian Jewish scribal corruptions of the sort posited by Whiston also occur in preChristian Jewish manuscripts, and Whiston’s views therefore are demonstrably without basis. For a more detailed analysis of this early history, see Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 2–5; Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 2–10; and esp. Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 8–28. 4 G. Roepe, De Veteris Testamenti locrum in apostolorum libris allegatione (n.p., 1827); A. F. Kautzsch, De Veteris Testamenti Locis Paulo Apostolo Allegatis (Leipzig: Metzger und Wittig, 1869); Hans A. Vollmer, Die alttestamentlichen Citate bei Paulus (Freiburg: Mohr [Siebeck], 1895), 23–35. More specifically, Paul’s Vorlagen bear the most striking affinities to the Alexandrian text type of the LXX represented by the fourth-century uncials, with the proviso that Paul is sometimes even closer to Hebraizing recensions such as Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. Meanwhile, Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 4, notes the citations of Job in Rom 11:25 and 1 Cor 3:19 as potential exceptions showing Semitic influence (cf. also Ellis, 151–52, on 2 Cor 8:15; 2 Tim 2:19; Rom 10:15). 5 See William Baird, History of New Testament Research, 2 vols. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992–2003), 1.43–45. 6 J. Rendel Harris, Testimonies, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1916– 1920)—see esp. 2.12–37 on Paul. The label “testimonia” was coined by F. C. Burkitt, The Gospel History and Its Transmission, 2nd ed. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1907), at least according to Martin C. Albl, “And Scripture Cannot Be Broken”: The Form and Function of the Early Christian Testimonia Collections, NovTSup 96 (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 19, who is the most recent major chronicler of the testimonia hypothesis.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Schleiermacher felt that it was only as one gained a sympathetic appreciation for the internal thoughts and motivations of an author that adequate interpretation could occur; grammatical-historical exegesis alone was not enough.7 The effect was to stress Paul’s unique religious experiences as the genuine basis of Paul’s theology and to downplay substantially the role of the scriptures in his thought. The result was a profoundly unhermeneutical vision of Paul for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as can be seen in the work of luminaries such as Harnack, Schweitzer, and Bultmann. Adolf von Harnack (1928) begins his essay on the role of the OT in Paul’s letters and among his churches by noting that the six short letters (1–2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians) contain nary an explicit reference to the OT, with the exception of two instances in Ephesians.8 He takes this as evidence that Paul does not normally utilize the OT in order to exhort his churches, and that occasions to the contrary occur due to special circumstances. The four Hauptbriefe include extensive citation of the OT because Paul was dealing in these cases with “the judaizing temptation” or with churches already under the sway of a Jewish–Christian biblicism. In other words, Paul is fundamentally unhermeneutical in his missionary-minded theologizing, and Paul quotes the scriptures only when compelled by external circumstances or opponents. For Harnack, Paul did not appeal to the OT in order to exhort or edify his fledgling churches, rather, “he based his mission and teaching wholly and completely on the gospel and expects edification to come exclusively from it and from the Spirit accompanying the gospel.”9 In short, Harnack’s Paul is fundamentally unhermeneutical, driven to the scriptures only by external pressures. While following Harnack in 7 Friedrich Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics: The Handwritten Manuscripts, ed. H. Kimmerle; trans. J. Duke and J. Forstman (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1977). Something of the import of Schleiermacher’s hermeneutical formulation can be gauged on the basis of the foundational position he occupies in surveys of modern hermeneutics—e.g., Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 2nd ed., trans. Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall (London: Continuum, 2004), 172–93; Anthony C. Thiselton, The Two Horizons: New Testament Hermeneutics and Philosophical Description with Special Reference to Heidegger, Bultmann, Gadamer, and Wittgenstein (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 103–7. 8 Adolf von Harnack, “The Old Testament in the Pauline Letters and in the Pauline Churches,” in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches, ed. Brian S. Rosner, trans. George S. Rosner and Brian S. Rosner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 27–49, esp. 33; trans. of “Das Alte Testament in den paulinishcen Briefen und in den paulinischen Gemeinden,” SPAW (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1928): 124–41. Harnack accepts the authenticity of these six shorter letters, but not of the Pastoral Epistles. 9 Harnack, “The Old Testament in the Pauline Letters,” 44.

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


positing a basically nonhermeneutical Paul, as we will see, Albert Schweitzer’s Paul experiences “being in Christ” so powerfully that it decisively colors his scriptural exegesis. Albert Schweitzer (1930), building especially on the work of Richard Kabisch, put forward a thoroughly eschatological but fundamentally unhermeneutical Paul.10 For Schweitzer’s Paul, the resurrection life of Jesus is mediated to the believer through the sacraments, allowing the believer to participate in the eschatological blessedness of the new age in the here and now. Schweitzer’s Paul interprets the scriptures in light of his participation in Christ. For example, Schweitzer declares that Paul turns to Habakkuk 2:4 (“He who is righteous by faith shall live”) because it is one of only two passages in the entire OT in which Paul was able to find support for his notion that righteousness (a future status) can be obtained in the present by being “in Christ.”11 Paul’s religious experience of Christmysticism is the driving force behind his hermeneutic to such a degree that Paul does not really have a hermeneutic, except inasmuch as Paul’s exegesis is bent to support his Christ-mysticism. So, although Schweitzer was able to escape the trap of the noneschatological Paul that plagued many of his predecessors, with regard to Paul’s scriptural interpretation, Schweitzer still remained within the paradigm assumed by romanticism. For the most part, Rudolph Bultmann would accept the eschatological Paul put forward by Schweitzer; however Bultmann’s program of demythologization would seek to divest Paul of his Jewish eschatological trappings in favor of an existentialist reading of Paul. Rudolf Bultmann marks the logical extreme of romanticism. All that ultimately matters is the existential, subjective response of faith to the word of God encountered in proclamation. In his earlier essay “Das Bedeutung des Alten Testament für den christlichen Glauben” (1933),12 10

Albert Schweitzer laid the foundations of his Pauline Christ-mysticism in his magisterial survey of Pauline scholarship, Paul and His Interpreters: A Critical History, trans. William Montgomery (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1912); trans. of Geschichte der paulinischen Forschung (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1912). However, the full flower of his treatment of Paul was delayed until some 18 years later, when Schweitzer published The Mysticism of the Apostle Paul (trans. William Montgomery; New York: Henry Holt, 1931); trans. of Die Mystik des Apostels Paulus (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1930). 11 Schweitzer, Mysticism, 208. However, Schweitzer does go on to identify Gen 15:6 as a second passage. 12 Rudolf Bultmann, “The Significance of the Old Testament for the Christian Faith,” in The Old Testament and the Christian Faith: A Theological Discussion, ed. and trans. Bernhard W. Anderson (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), 8–35; trans. of “Das Bedeutung des Alten Testament für den christlichen Glauben,” in Glauben und Verstehen I (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1933).


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Bultmann gives the explicit rationale for his neglect of the hermeneutical function of the scriptures that is manifest in his highly influential later construction of Pauline theology.13 Bultmann argues that for Paul the law functions primarily as demand: “Thus for Luther, as for Paul, the OT as a whole appears under the concept of Law, that is, as an expression of the demanding will of God.”14 Yet what really matters for Bultmann is the concept of divine law that the OT contains, a concept both transcultural and transhistorical, and in this sense the OT is not a necessary or distinctive vehicle for the demand of the law. In fact, for Bultmann, the OT was only retained as a teaching vehicle in the early church for pedagogical reasons—in order to inculcate the demand of the law, apart from which the gospel cannot be understood.15 Jesus Christ “is the eschatological deed of God which makes an end of all ethnic history (Volksgeschichte) as the sphere of God’s dealing with man,”16 that is to say, he is the terminus of normal history, making the history of Israel a closed chapter in God’s dealings with humanity. As such, the OT cannot function as revelation for the church, since “Israel’s history is not our history”; however, God’s word can still speak through the OT when freed from the shackles of history, that is, when it is demythologized.17 For Bultmann, the OT is not truly God’s autonomous word, but rather a republication of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, Bultmann thinks that Paul is incapable of hearing any independent, autonomous revelatory word from the OT, but that all is derivative from and assimilated to the one genuine revelation in Jesus Christ—the revelation that transcends historical limitations and is available for existential appropriation in the context of Christian faith.18 Yet according to Bultmann, most NT exegesis takes the form of scriptural proof and as such remains trapped in a time-bound, historically conditioned form. The proper response to such proof-texts is to expunge them, because they are not worthy of rational historicalcriticism and because they ultimately “obscure the character of the faith.”19 13 Rudolph Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, trans. Kendrick Grobel (New York: Scribner’s, 1951–1955), 1.185–352; trans. of Theologie des Neuen Testaments (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1948–1953), 126–50. 14 Bultmann, “Significance,” 14. 15 Bultmann, “Significance,” 16–17, 22. 16 Bultmann, “Significance,” 30 (emphasis original to ET). 17 Bultmann, “Significance,” 31–32. N.b., Bultmann himself does not use demythologizing terminology explicitly, but the concept is clearly present. 18 For example, Bultmann, “Significance,” 32, states, “So far as the Church proclaims the Old Testament as God’s Word, it just finds in it again what is already known from the revelation in Jesus Christ.” 19 Bultmann, “Significance,” 33.

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


The unhermeneutical Paul emerged as a result of romanticism’s emphasis on the subjective, inner experience of the author and the concomitant denial that Paul’s most important subjective experience, his conversion, connects clearly to Paul’s own understanding of the scriptures. As the subsequent scholarly survey will show, the nonhermeneutical Paul is dead in the post-Bultmann era, hopefully never to be raised again. Scriptural exegesis is quite simply too integral to Paul’s major letters for this position to be sustained. Yet, within the sphere of romanticism’s impact, a logical counterpart to the nonhermeneutical Paul can be found in the work of Otto Michel. Rather than denying the link between Paul’s inward journey and his hermeneutic, Otto Michel stresses the Spirit-led quality of Paul’s hermeneutic. The Hermeneutics of Charism Otto Michel Otto Michel (1929) sees a threefold purpose in Paul’s use of the scriptures: (1) the OT proves Pauline statements of belief, (2) the OT teaches a typological salvation history, and (3) the OT contains godly life principles.20 Yet, these three purposes are subsumed by a charismatic hermeneutical framework grounded in Paul’s conversion that allows them to function. Michel sees Paul’s encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus not as an occasion to break with the authority of scripture, but as “an opportunity to search after a new understanding of his scripture.”21 In fact, the Damascus experience, in conjunction with the reception of the Spirit, is the ground of Paul’s hermeneutic.22 Thus, for Michel, Paul’s exegesis of the OT is Spirit-given and not attainable by mundane or rational modes of inquiry. Yet, for all his stress on the Spirit-filled nature of Pauline hermeneutics, Michel does carefully comb contemporaneous Jewish sources in order to determine points of contact between Paul and his compatriots23 —an approach that has always been popular.24 So, in the final analysis, the OT becomes for Michel’s 20 Otto Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, BFCT 2/18 (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1929; repr., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1972), here 134–58. 21 Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, 137. 22 Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, 134: “Exegesis of the OT is not something attainable by self-understanding, but rather it is a type of ca,risma, a gift sent by God to the Christian.” 23 Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, 91–111. 24 Almost all studies of Paul’s use of the scriptures seek to locate Paul’s exegetical practices on the map of contemporary Judaism. Three subgroups within Judaism have received the most intense scrutiny vis-à-vis Pauline hermeneutics: the rabbis, Hellenistic Judaism (especially as represented by Philo), and more recently, the Qumran community. Below I will


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Paul a book of divine mysteries that can only be unlocked by the Spirit of Christ, who is the exegetical key alone capable of endowing the interpreter with the ability to pull back the veil.25 Although such an understanding of Paul remains popular in systematic theology in some quarters, my own reading of Paul and the veil (2 Cor 3:1–4:6) comes to quite the opposite conclusion.26 Michel’s work on Pauline hermeneutics would prove to be influential in future constructions of Pauline hermeneutics both in Europe and in North America, but primarily as mediated through the construct of C. H. Dodd, who would creatively reconfigure not just Pauline hermeneutics, but the entire discipline concerned with how Christian authors have reappropriated the Jewish scriptures. The Hermeneutics of Select Scriptural Blocks C. H. Dodd C. H. Dodd (1952) put forward a provocative and influential challenge to the testimonia hypothesis championed by Harris, and in so doing revolutionized the way in which scholarship conceived of the use of the scriptures by NT authors.27 Moreover, as the last major contributor to write before the Qumran discoveries, Dodd functions as a critical turning point in the history of scholarship in other ways as well. Dodd argues that Harris’ theory of an early Christian testimony book “outruns the evidence,” since such a book would surely have: (1) been canonized, (2) been mentioned by some later writer, (3) been retained as an extant document prior to its editing by Cyprian, and (4) fulfilled Harris’ own criteria for detecting a testimony book more markedly in its aftereffects.28 In place of Harris’ theory that NT authors used isolated prooftexts, Dodd posits that the early church focused their exegetical activity, devote more attention to the latter two categories. For an outstanding treatment comparing Pauline scriptural interpretation with rabbinic Judaism, see Joseph Bonsirven, Exégèse rabbinique et Exégèse paulinienne (Paris: Beauchesne et ses fils, 1938). Although Bonsirven finds that Paul is indeed at home among the rabbis in terms of method, ultimately he determines that his Christian presuppositions (obtained apart from the Jewish scriptures) have decisively impacted his interpretative conclusions—see esp. his remarks on 266–67, 348. 25 Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, 153, best summarizes his hermeneutical perspective on Paul in the following words: “The OT is thus neither a dogmatic instruction book for Paul nor simply a pedagogical history book, but rather a collection of the deeply mysterious words of God, which prove Pauline belief statements and serve as a revelation of a deeply mysterious typological salvation history.” 26 See discussion in chapters 3 and 6. 27 C. H. Dodd, According to the Scriptures: The Sub-Structure of New Testament Theology (New York: Scribner’s, 1953). 28 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 26.

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


which was mainly carried out orally, on certain lengthy blocks or sections of the scriptures deemed by some members of the early church to be particularly amenable for explaining the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus: “One writer may quote a somewhat lengthy passage in extenso, while another may quote only a single clause, another perhaps a different clause; and sometimes the matter quoted by different writers may overlap without being coextensive.”29 For Dodd, this leads to the conclusion that not only did NT authors work with longer continuous stretches of scripture than are found in patristic testimonia collections, but also to the notion that NT authors were generally aware of the broader scriptural context from which they derived their citations. Moreover, not only were the NT authors deemed to be contextually aware, any brief scriptural citation should be regarded as essentially a case of pars pro toto, in which the mention of a brief clause is intended to evoke the whole passage as its frame of reference.30 How did Dodd think that the earliest Christian exegesis emerged? Dodd is not entirely clear on this matter. In his most explicit and developed statement, he notes that Jesus himself is portrayed as exegeting the scriptures in ways that anticipate later Christian developments.31 Thus, he suggests the ultimate origins of Christian exegesis should be located prior to the resurrection and the apostolic proclamation. Yet Dodd also asserts that this exegesis emerged as a response to the kerygma,32 and hence that the scriptures were used to illustrate the kerygma,33 making his actual 29 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 57. Dodd classified these blocks of scripture according to the following four categories: (1) apocalyptic-eschatological scriptures (primary: Joel 2–3; Zech 9–14; Dan 7; secondary: Mal 3:1-6; Dan 12), (2) scriptures of the new Israel (primary: Hosea; Isa 6:1–9:7; 11:1-10; 28:16; 40:1-11; Jer 31:10-14; secondary: Isa 29:9-14; Jer 7:1-15; Hab 1–2), (3) scriptures of the servant of the Lord and the righteous sufferer (primary: Isa 42:1–44:5; 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13–53:12; 61; Ps 22; 31; 34; 38; 41; 42–43; 69; 80; 88; 118; secondary: Isa 48:6-10), and (4) unclassified scriptures (primary: Gen 12:3; 22:18; Deut 18:15; 18:19; Ps 2; 8; 110; secondary: Ps 16; 132; 2 Sam 7:13-14; Isa 55:3; Amos 9:11-12). All scripture references here are per the English versification system. See summary chart in Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 107–8. 30 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 126, makes this point emphatically: “These sections were understood as wholes, and particular verses or sentences were quoted from them rather as pointers to the whole context than as constituting testimonies in and for themselves. At the same time, detached sentences from other parts of the Old Testament could be adduced to illustrate or elucidate the meaning of the main section under consideration. But in the fundamental passages it is the total context that is in view, and is the basis of the argument” (emphasis original). 31 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 109–10. 32 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 14, 17. 33 Dodd, According to the Scriptures, 62.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

position difficult to pin down. What does seem clear is that Dodd does not see a dialectical relationship between the formation of the kerygma and early Christian exegesis. Exegesis emerges from kerygma but exegesis does not create kerygma.34 Dodd’s emphasis on the kerygma has proven to be a vital stimulus for my own thinking about Paul’s hermeneutic. As subsequent discussion will show, Dodd’s powerful synthesis swayed many scholars, especially in the United Kingdom, away from Harris’ hypothesis of a written testimony book that was used mainly for prooftexts and toward his own theory of a context-centered oral exegesis of blocks of scripture.35 Yet critics were quick to point out that Dodd’s theory of select scriptural blocks could not account “for the greater portion of the OT citations in the New.”36 For example, according to Koch’s calculations, Dodd’s major textual blocks include only fifteen of Paul’s citations out of ninety-three total.37 If less than 20 percent of Paul’s citations can be located in the blocks of scripture that Dodd delimited, how should the remainder be explained? Dodd’s theory of selected textual blocks gives no answer. Thus, even for those who were disposed to accept Dodd’s basic thesis, such as E. Earle Ellis and Barnabas Lindars, much remained unresolved. The Hermeneutics of Midrash Pesher The Qumran Discoveries and E. Earle Ellis In the wake of C. H. Dodd, scholars who were concerned with the manner in which NT authors used the scriptures were to receive yet another jolt. The impact of the Qumran discoveries (1947 onwards) on the field was decisively felt with the publication of Krister Stendahl’s The School of St. Matthew (1954), which posited a school setting for early Christian exegesis on the basis of comparison with numerous Dead Sea Scrolls documents, but especially the recently published Habakkuk commentary (1Q pHab). Stendahl labels the style of exegesis in the commentary “midrash pesher,”38 34

On the meaning of kerygma as used by Dodd, see ch. 2 n. 36. So also Albl, “And Scripture Cannot Be Broken,” 31–32. 36 This basic critique is put forward regarding Dodd’s hypothesis on the NT as a whole by Albert C. Sundberg Jr., “On Testimonies,” NovT 3 (1959): 268–81; reprinted as “Response against C. H. Dodd’s View: On Testimonies,” in The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Texts? Essays on the Use of the Old Testament in the New, ed. G. K. Beale (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994), 182–94, here 185. 37 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 254. 38 Krister Stendahl, The School of St. Matthew and Its Use of the Old Testament, 2nd ed., (Uppsala: C. W. K. Gleerup, Lund, 1954 [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968; repr., New Jersey: Sigler, 1991]), 184. The label “midrash pesher” was actually adopted by Stendahl from William 35

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


noting that such a commentary style occasionally makes deliberate modifications to the text as part of the interpretative exegetical process.39 Stendahl concludes that the school of early Christians responsible for the citations in Matthew deliberately modified the received text as part of a similar interpretative exegetical process.40 Although Stendahl’s “school” theory was generally not well received, his description of midrash pesher as a form of interpretative exegesis would gain momentum. Writing just four years after Dodd and three years after Stendahl, but nonetheless standing under their influence, E. Earle Ellis (1957) penned the first English language monograph exclusively devoted to exploring Paul’s use of the scriptures.41 With Dodd, Ellis affirms that the exegetical activity of the early church was primarily oral and that Paul was accustomed to quote from memory.42 Moreover, Ellis endorses Dodd’s theory of textual blocks, claiming (unpersuasively) that they are well represented in the Pauline letters.43 Ellis also believes that there is a basis for seeing testimonia material in Paul, especially in the citations with le,gei ku,rioj introductory formulas.44 Not only does Ellis explore possible pre-Pauline Christian uses of the scriptures that are manifest in Paul, he also compares Pauline exegesis with Jewish exegesis, looking at both rabbinic and Hellenistic procedures from the Diaspora. His conclusion is startling, because it contrasts with the views of other contemporary scholars, such as Joseph Bonsirven. Ellis denies that there is any substantial impact on Paul’s exegesis from the Diaspora and, furthermore, that there is a “great chasm separating the writings of Paul from the rabbis.”45 Ellis finds that, in terms of his hermeneutic, Paul cannot be located in the midst of his Jewish contemporaries.46 Consequently, Ellis finds Paul to be a distinctively Christian interpreter. For H. Brownlee, “Bible Interpretation among the Sectaries of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” BA 14 (1951): 54–76. 39 Stendahl, School of St. Matthew, 185–94. 40 Stendahl, School of St. Matthew, 194–202. 41 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament. 42 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 14–15. Early opinions along these lines were expressed by G. Roepe, E. Kautszch (per Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 16 n. 46), and Bonsirven, Exégèse rabbinique, 337. The influential monograph of Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, lent weighty support in agreement that Paul cites from memory, albeit sometimes inaccurately (see 80–82, esp. 80 [“der Apostle aus dem Gedächtnis und daher ungenau zitiert”]). 43 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 104–6. 44 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 107–12. 45 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 83. 46 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 83–84.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Ellis, Paul followed Christ, not Gamaliel.47 However unlike many of his Christian compatriots, Paul is not concerned with messianic proof-texts, rather, he presupposes them (here anticipating Hays’ ecclesiocentrism).48 On the contrary, according to Ellis, “The apostle is chiefly concerned with the next step—the significance of the Scripture for the Messianic Age and Messianic community.”49 In light of his conviction that the key to delineating Paul’s hermeneutic can be found in his distinctively Christian vantage point, Ellis makes several key points, while embracing the notion of the so-called midrash pesher method in Paul.50 First, Ellis notes that Paul favors certain themes in his use of the scriptures (e.g., faith and works, Jew and Gentile). Second, following the influential work of Leonhard Goppelt,51 Ellis eschews the notion that Pauline exegesis is a mode of predictive prophecy, and posits instead a Pauline notion of Heilsgeschichte that allows for typological correspondence.52 Third, Ellis puts forward two principles he deems to be fundamental to Pauline exegesis: (1) Paul reads the OT from the standpoint in which eschatological fulfillment in Christ has already occurred,53 and (2) Paul subscribes to the notion of “corporate solidarity,” the belief that a representative figure can embody and thus include others.54 To summarize, for Ellis, Paul is a distinctively Christian interpreter. However, it is somewhat ironic that Ellis’ treatment of Paul as a Christian interpreter is so briefly outlined, comprising just one short chapter in his monograph. Ellis has indeed asserted that Paul is a distinctively Christian interpreter, but except in a hastily sketched manner,55 he has not taken 47

Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 83. Hays’ ecclesiocentrism is discussed later in this chapter. 49 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 115. 50 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 141: “Paul utilizes ad hoc renderings and the deliberate selection and rejection of known readings to draw out and express the true meaning of the OT passage as he understands it.” In other words, Ellis’ Paul is not a slave to the letter of the text, but adapts it to bring out the true intention of the Spirit-inspired utterance. 51 Leonhard Goppelt, Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New, trans. Donald H. Madvig (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982); trans. of Typos: Die typologische Deutung des Alten Testaments im Neuen (Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1939; repr., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellcasft, 1973). See further discussion of Goppelt in the section on types in ch. 3. 52 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 126–35. 53 The hermeneutical significance of the eschatological present for Paul’s hermeneutic was also stressed in the slightly later work by Ulrich Luz, Das Geschichtsverständnis des Paulus (München: C. Kaiser, 1968), 41–135. For a concise summary of Luz’s contribution, see Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 7. 54 Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 134–35. 55 The fullest actual comparison with other early Christian interpreters is Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 86–98. 48

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


the necessary steps of demonstrating how or why Paul’s hermeneutical presuppositions or specific exegeses relate to that of other early Christian interpreters who use the same texts.56 Ultimately, my own hermeneutical proposal for Paul will find much with which to agree in Ellis’ work, although I find his reliance on Stendahl and some aspects of Dodd, as well as his inadequate discussion of so-called “typology” (among other things), quite problematic. In sum, the Dead Sea Scrolls reinvigorated the quest for Paul’s hermeneutic. Although exact parallels with Pauline exegesis are lacking in the Dead Sea Scrolls,57 and thus in some ways the comparisons have been forced and unfruitful, the similar eschatologically oriented thought world manifest in Qumran exegesis has helped point scholars in new directions. Even though the category midrash pesher championed for Paul by Ellis and others has been abandoned, the claim that Paul tendentiously modified his Vorlagen would subsequently become a major area of research in Pauline exegesis. The Hermeneutics of Plastic Vorlagen Dietrich-Alex Koch and Christopher Stanley Ellis brought the notion of intentional modification of the Vorlagen back into the spotlight in the search for Paul’s hermeneutical principles. Subsequently, this topic has been taken up by Dietrich-Alex Koch and Christopher Stanley,58 both of whom agree that Paul did in fact intentionally modify his scriptural source texts. However, each differs as to the significance of this conclusion for Pauline hermeneutics. 56 For a more thorough attempt to explain the growth of specific exegetical traditions across the spectrum of the nascent church than is provided by Ellis, see Barnabas Lindars, New Testament Apologetic: The Doctrinal Significance of the Old Testament Quotations (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961). Lindars takes the apologetic Sitz im Leben as a starting assumption for his material and searches for the original purpose of a given item of testimony and its subsequent reapplications in new contexts. Yet Lindars has been deservedly criticized for being excessively speculative, for assuming rather than proving that the apologetic Sitz im Leben is the earliest setting, for an overly mechanistic theory of stages of scriptural reapplication, and for harmonizing divergent opinions into a bland unity (see, e.g., H. F. D. Sparks, Review of Barnabas Lindars, New Testament Apologetic, JTS N.S. 13 [1962]: 399–401). He has had few followers. 57 With the possible exception of the lemma/commentary format of Rom 10:6-8, which I do not regard as a true pesher form (discussed extensively in ch. 5), there is not a unique formal similarity to the Qumran pesher style in Paul. 58 J. Ross Wagner’s work also bears on this topic (Wagner’s contribution is treated separately later in this chapter), as does that of Timothy H. Lim, Holy Scripture in the Qumran Commentaries and the Pauline Letters (Oxford: Clarendon, 1997).


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Dietrich-Alex Koch’s monograph Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums (1986) is the most comprehensive synthesis of all facets related to Paul’s use of the scriptures produced to date.59 Koch begins with a short history of discussion emphasizing the current Fragestellung. Then Koch explores citation boundaries, introductory formulas, and the distribution of quotations in the Pauline corpus, before breaking new ground in his analysis of the degree to which Paul’s citations line up with extant LXX text types with regard to specific books (e.g., Koch finds that Paul’s use of Isaiah aligns best with LXX manuscripts A and Q , but that other books feature different alignments).60 He goes on to examine the texts that do not readily cohere with extant LXX documents, noting that these show similarities to later recensions that sought to render the HB with more exactitude (such as those of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion). This leads to the conclusion that some of Paul’s Vorlagen have these same Hebraizing tendencies or are otherwise based on alternative proto-MT manuscripts like those found at Qumran.61 Moreover, Koch works on the question of the degree to which Paul’s citations can be classified as free or literal, concluding that content-related alterations range from minor clarifications to radical reinterpretations that make the text applicable to the Christian community for the first time.62 Koch notes that fifty-two of the ninety-three citations he has identified in Paul deviate from the LXX (56 percent), and Koch identifies thirty-seven of these fifty-two as exhibiting evidence of having been modified due to the contingencies of Paul’s particular argument (71 percent), providing firm evidence that Paul did intentionally modify his scriptural sources in an interpretative fashion when citing them.63 Furthermore Koch seeks to locate Paul within the context of contemporaneous scriptural exegesis, meaning early Judaism and pre-Pauline Christianity. The analogy with early Judaism yields primarily negative results, 64 and Koch is especially critical of Goppelt’s notion that Paul had a historical understanding that resulted in typological interpretation or a hermeneutically significant notion of Heilsgeschichte.65 Koch does affirm 59

Koch, Die Schrift als Zeuge. Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 12–57, esp. 50. 61 See summary in Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 78–81. 62 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 186–90, esp. 188. 63 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, is of course working with his own unique criteria for delimiting the number of quotations that allows him to arrive at the total of 93, on which see pp. 11–24. 64 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 230–32. 65 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 216–24, esp. 219–20. For example, Koch (220) states, “Continuity of salvation history, as it was able to be expressed by means of typology—and indeed 60

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that Paul made use of the exegesis of his predecessors on occasion, but he denies, surprisingly, that the discovery of manuscripts such as 4QTestimonia (4Q175) has made the pre-Pauline use of written testimony collections more probable.66 Likewise, Koch rejects Dodd’s theory of “textual blocks,” which served as the “bible of the early church,” noting among other problems that only fifteen of Paul’s ninety-three citations of the scriptures fall within the blocks outlined by Dodd.67 Having laid a firm foundation via a convincing, detailed engagement, Koch concludes by sketching his theory of Pauline hermeneutics, and his hypothesis is largely derived from a comparison of the pre-Pauline exegetical tradition (purportedly visible in Paul) with the exegesis of Paul himself. In light of the negative assessment of the comparability of Paul with contemporaneous Judaism rendered by Koch, it is perhaps not surprising that Koch locates the heart and center of Pauline hermeneutics in his distinctively Christian tendency to find in all of the scriptures a positive witness to the good news of Jesus Christ: “The Scripture is a witness to the righteousness of God which is revealed in the gospel.”68 With this compact statement, Koch is expressing a shift in the hermeneutical standpoint that he detects between Romans 1:1-4 (which he regards as expressing pre-Pauline sentiments) and 3:21 (not pre-Pauline). For Koch, the pre-Pauline community is concerned primarily with the christological problem and is thus focused primarily on proving that Jesus is proclaimed in advance as the Messiah by the scriptures. For the pre-Pauline community this is in fact the “good news” that has been announced in advance by the prophets in the holy scriptures (Rom 1:2). In contradistinction to the pre-Pauline community, Paul’s hermeneutic is not driven by a need to demonstrate that the christological claim was “announced in advance,” but rather that the “law and the prophets” (that is, the whole of the scriptures) serve as a witness to the righteousness of God that has now been revealed in the gospel (Rom 3:21).69 at the same time it was absolutely capable of being differentiated—is for Paul manifestly not of interest.” 66 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 252. Koch rejects Harris’ theory of a written testimonia book, a theory that was, of course, formulated prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 67 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 254. 68 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 342. German: “Sie [Die Schrift] ist Zeuge der im euvangge,lion offenbarten dikaiosu,nh qeou/.” 69 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 342, gives a concise summary of the way in which he contrasts the pre-Pauline community’s messianic-proof hermeneutic with Paul’s gospel-witnessing hermeneutic: “In Rom 1:2 the prophetic witness of the Scripture is referred to as an advance proclamation of the ‘gospel about Jesus Christ,’ i.e., the christological scriptural understanding which is characteristic of pre-Pauline Christianity comes to expression there. On the other


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In summary, for Koch, the scriptures in terms of hermeneutics are a prior announcement of the Messiah for the pre-Pauline community, whereas Paul emphasizes that the scriptures bear witness to the present attainment of God’s righteousness. As such, Paul’s employment of the scriptures gravitates around two primary poles: (1) the righteousness of God and the law and (2) the calling of Jews and Gentiles, and how this relates to the question of Israel’s election. Koch stresses the role of the scriptures for Paul as a witness to present eschatological realities, rather than its role as a futureoriented proclamation. Moreover, in order to aid the scriptures in their ability to testify to the presently existing righteousness of God, Paul frequently adapts his sources. Koch has crafted a strikingly impressive edifice on the firm foundation of a careful study, yet, his argument for a disjuncture between Paul and the pre-Pauline community might just prove to be a faulty structural beam that endangers the entire building. While oftentimes following the conclusions of Koch, Christopher D. Stanley (1992) covers the topic of the hermeneutical significance of Paul’s adaptations of his sources in a more thorough manner than any other writer, but he does not offer a comprehensive theory of Pauline hermeneutics. Nonetheless, his judicious conclusions are based on a painstakingly detailed text-critical exploration, and any contribution to Pauline hermeneutics must take his results into account. After rigorously surveying every hypothetical adaptation in every citation within the seven letters, Stanley finds that “roughly half ” of the deviations from the mainline LXX traditions are due to Paul’s intentional introduction of changes.70 Stanley summarizes by pointing out the wealth of reasons that called forth Paul’s deliberate textual adaptations: (1) to make the grammar of a particular Vorlage align with its new Pauline context, (2) to bring out the essential point by abridgement, (3) to emphasize or deemphasize certain elements in a Vorlage because the rhetorical moment required an adaptation, and (4) to show the audience how the verse is being exegeted or should be applied in a concise manner.71 Moreover, through comparative analysis, Stanley convincingly demonstrates that the interpretative, adaptive manner in which Paul cited the scriptures was standard practice within contemporaneous Greco-Roman and Jewish literature.72

hand, in 3:21 the ‘law and prophets’ are witnesses to the righteousness of God which has now been revealed.” 70 Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 260–61. 71 Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 262–64. 72 Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 267–337.

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Both Koch and Stanley have decisively shown that Paul intentionally modified his scriptural source texts and that these modifications often have an interpretative function. For Koch, the pre-Pauline community focused on the apologetic role of the scriptures as announcing the Messiah in advance, but Paul stressed that the scriptures are a witness to the present attainment of righteousness revealed in the gospel. The Hermeneutics of Narrative Substructure Richard Hays (Part I) Arguably, the two most significant advances in Pauline hermeneutics come from the same scholar: Richard B. Hays. Although sharing a common methodological grounding in terms of a “literary” approach to Pauline hermeneutics, Hays’ two major works are distinctive enough to merit separate attention. In 1983 Richard Hays published his Emory doctoral dissertation, The Faith of Jesus Christ: An Investigation of the Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1–4:11.73 The thesis that Hays defends is that a story about the faithfulness of Jesus Christ is the logical substructure that lies below the surface of Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:1–4:11; that is to say, a specific narrative about Jesus guides the rationale behind Paul’s train of thought, even though this narrative is submerged.74 As a key element in the defense of his thesis, Hays claimed that the narrative logic of Paul demands that certain Pauline variations of the form pi,stij Cristou/ and so forth (e.g., Gal 2:16; 3:22, 26; Rom 3:22, 26) be taken as subjective rather than objective genitives, yielding “the faithfulness of Jesus Christ,” rather than the more traditional “faith in Jesus Christ,” a point that has proven controversial to say the least.75 By the “faithfulness of Jesus Christ,” Hays intends to highlight Christ’s self-giving fidelity to the Father and his obedience to the Father in taking the route of the cross, which enabled the blessing of Abraham to be secured for the Gentiles.76 73

Richard B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1– 4:11, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002); repr., The Faith of Jesus Christ: An Investigation of the Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1–4:11, SBLDS 56 (Atlanta: SBL, 1983). 74 Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 6. 75 Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 141–62. The earliest stages of the debate are chronicled by Hays himself in his introduction to the second edition (xxxv–lii), as well as by his inclusion of reprints of seminal supplemental articles by Dunn and Hays (249–97). New articles and monographs continue to churn out at an alarming rate—an updated bibliography can be found in any of the more recent articles—e.g., Kenneth Schenck, “2 Corinthians and the Pi,stij Cristou/ Debate,” CBQ 70 (2008): 524–37, esp. 524–26 n. 2–6. 76 Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 102–5, but esp. the summary on 161–62.


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Notice that Hays’ thesis, at least on the surface, has little to do with Paul’s hermeneutical posture toward his scriptures. Yet his contribution is central for two fundamental reasons. First, although Hays believes that the center of Paul’s narrative logic is the story about Jesus Christ, Hays shows that for Paul the story about Jesus is not only about his life and death conceived within a narrow chronology, but about the manner in which Jesus’ death links to the ancient promises to Abraham regarding an offspring (“seed”—Gal 3:16) and the blessing for the nations (Gal 3:14). Moreover, Hays’ argument concerning the “faithfulness of Jesus Christ” is tightly bound up with his interpretation of Habakkuk 2:4 in Galatians 3:11, which he also locates within the narrative logic of Paul’s Christ story by taking o` di,kaioj (“the righteous one”) as a messianic title.77 Second, Hays offers an important critical interaction with Dodd, offering a pregnant statement regarding how the scriptures function within Paul’s thought world. Hays notices that the early kerygmatic structure that Dodd reconstructs has a narrative shape, and that Dodd sometimes slips into literary language when describing the “plot” of the kerygma.78 However, Hays asserts over against Dodd that it is not so much the case that the kerygma determines the use of the scriptures as that the christological story (more narrowly conceived) is determinative. This is especially the case in Galatians 3:1–4:11, in which the blocks of OT testimonia material isolated by Dodd do not play a prominent role.79 Thus, for Hays’ Pauline hermeneutics (at least here), the Christ story comes first, and Paul’s use of the OT is an eclectic response to that story. Of course, Hays recognizes that there is substantial overlap between the kerygma and the Christ story, so not too fine a line can be drawn in this regard, but ultimately it appears for Hays that the Christ story should be emphasized above the kerygma with respect to Pauline hermeneutics. Thus, Hays acknowledges that his approach and Dodd’s lie on a similar trajectory, although Hays does not endorse Dodd in a wholesale fashion. Although Hays himself defends a presupposed submerged Christ story in The Faith of Jesus Christ, the narrative qualities of the scriptures of Israel would attract others to posit that various portions of the scriptures (in addition to or in place of the Christ story) form a submerged narrative or 77

Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 132–41. Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 60–62. 79 Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, 63–64: “Paul’s theological ‘superstructure’ (to use Dodd’s term) is constructed directly on the basis of the christological story, and the OT texts that Paul draws into the discussion, rather than determining the shape of the theological development, are used in a highly eclectic fashion and reinterpreted in light of the story.” 78

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


an exegetical substructure within Paul’s letters.80 Seemingly, Dodd’s specific proposal regarding the kerygma as the foundational grid of Pauline hermeneutics would subsequently be lost from view in favor of the search for other stories about Christ, or other stories directly dependent on the scriptures—stories not mediated by an intervening kerygma. The Hermeneutics of the Ecclesia Richard Hays (Part II) Although the novel proposals in Hays’ published dissertation The Faith of Jesus Christ proved to be stimulating for those interested in Paul’s use of the scriptures, the methodological impact of his second major work that focuses on Pauline hermeneutics, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (1989),81 has been staggering, generating an entire collection of essays in response and spawning numerous other studies.82 Prior to Echoes, the study of Paul’s use of the scriptures had focused almost exclusively on direct citation; in Echoes, Hays laid a methodological foundation for the analysis of more subtle uses of the scriptures, such as allusion and echo. In Echoes, Hays’ thesis is quite simply that “certain approaches to intertextuality that have developed within literary criticism prove illuminating when applied to Paul’s letters.”83 Although, as Hays acknowledges, the concept of intertextuality as “cultural codes” in literary theory is usually traced back to Julia Kristeva (who was herself influenced by Saussure and Bakhtin),84 Hays adopts a different use of the term, focusing on citation and allusion, in order to keep his project concrete.85 Drawing on John 80 For example, N. T. Wright, The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 193–219; Ben Witherington III, Paul’s Narrative Thought World: The Tapestry of Tragedy and Triumph (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1994); Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Paul and His Story: (Re)Interpreting the Exodus Tradition, JSNTSup 181 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999); Bruce W. Longenecker, ed., Narrative Dynamics in Paul: A Critical Assessment (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002). 81 Hays, Echoes. 82 Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, eds., Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, JSNTSup 83 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993). Other studies include (just to mention a few apart from those reviewed further below): Silvia C. Keesmaat, “Exodus and the Intertextual Transformation of Tradition in Romans 8.14-30,” JSNT 54 (1994): 29–56; Silvia C. Keesmaat, Paul and His Story; Karen H. Jobes, “Jerusalem, Our Mother: Metalepsis and Intertextuality in Galatians 4.21-31,” WTJ 55 (1993): 299–320; Frank Thielman, “Unexpected Mercy: Echoes of a Biblical Motif in Romans 9–11,” SJT 47 (1994): 169–81. 83 Hays, Echoes, 15. 84 See Graham Allen, Intertextuality. The New Critical Idiom (London: Routledge, 2000), 9–60. For a succinct overview, see Stephen Heath, “Intertextuality,” in A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory, ed. Michael Payne (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), 258–59. 85 Hays, Echoes, 15.


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Hollander’s The Figure of Echo,86 Hays settles on an aural metaphor to explain the intertextual method he seeks to employ. Much like an echo that distorts the originating sound in order to reproduce it, so also an author who cites or alludes to a source text inevitably alters the meaning of the source text by importing it into a new literary context; in so doing, a new trope is generated. Thus the point of such literary criticism is to identify and explain the alterations and the new trope.87 Hays elaborates the method by explaining the manner in which unstated associations bound up with the source text can be tapped into by the second text (that is, the text that cites the source text), which allows for these unstated associations to be recovered and reutilized by the second text. Hays (following Hollander) calls these unstated aspects of the source text a “transumption” and their recovery within the new trope a “metalepsis.”88 The important point for Pauline hermeneutics is that the source text that Paul echoes (the LXX) can have transumed material as part of its baggage, which can then be reconstituted by the citation, resulting in a series of correspondences between the two texts that the interpreter can then tease out. With his methodology in place Hays turns toward the task of exegeting specific Pauline intertextual moments with the aim of explicating Paul’s hermeneutic. Hays’ generalizations regarding Pauline hermeneutics are scattered throughout Echoes, and any attempt to systematize Hays will inevitably fail to capture many of his carefully nuanced assertions. Part of the difficulty in this regard is that Hays does not believe that Paul has an overarching hermeneutical system, claiming: “Our account of Paul’s interpretative activity has discovered no systematic exegetical procedures at work in his reading of Scripture,” and “There are constraints on Paul’s interpretation of Scripture, but the constraints arise primarily from material (i.e., theological) concerns rather than formal methodological considerations.”89 Nonetheless Hays’ statements on Pauline hermeneutics can be grouped under three headings: (1) ecclesiocentric hermeneutics, (2) new covenant hermeneutics, and (3) eschatological hermeneutics of the immanent word.

86 John Hollander, The Figure of Echo: A Mode of Allusion in Milton and After (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981). Discussion of Hollander can be found primarily in Hays, Echoes, 18–21. 87 Hays, Echoes, 15. 88 Hays, Echoes, 20. “Metalepsis” can be glossed as “participation” (LSJ). 89 Hays, Echoes, 160–61.

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Ecclesiocentric Hermeneutics Over and against what Hays regards as a prevailing trend to see Paul’s hermeneutic as fundamentally christological, Hays argues for a Pauline hermeneutic that anticipates the ingathering and mingling of Jew and Gentile in the church, the evkklhsi,a.90 Thus, Hays sees in Paul only a modest interest in formally demonstrating that Jesus is the Messiah from the scriptures (the “proof from prophecy” model), even though he believes christological convictions ultimately underpin his ecclesiocentric hermeneutic.91 Rather, Paul uses the scriptures to show that they prefigure the church as the eschatological people of God.92 In brief, Paul’s hermeneutic is ecclesiocentric, because “he makes the biblical text pass through the filter of his experience of God’s action of forming the church,”93 and consequently he reads the Abraham–Hagar–Sarah narrative, the stories of Israel in the wilderness, and the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham as prefiguring matters pertaining to the evkklhsi,a.94 New Covenant Hermeneutics With regard to 2 Corinthians 3 (Moses and the veil), Hays finds that, for Paul, the old covenant text is directed toward a transforming vision of God’s glory in Christ that results in transfigured individuals; the community that is focused on the text “as an end in itself ” fails to attain to this transformational “aim” (te,loj) of the old covenant, and remains trapped in the “script” (gra,mma).95 Hence, for Paul, valid interpretation begins not in the written text but in the transformed Spirit-filled community that is now reflecting the image of God to the created order. It is this Spiritfilled community that can now adequately read the old covenant and no other community.96 Moreover, in this transformed light, the old covenant 90 For example, Hays, Echoes, xiii, asserts: “Because Paul sees the fulfillment of prophecy not primarily in events in the life of Jesus (as Matthew does) but in God’s gathering of a church composed of Jews and Gentiles together, his hermeneutic is functionally ecclesiocentric rather than christocentric.” 91 Regarding the (for the most part hidden) christological underpinnings of Paul’s hermeneutic, Hays, Echoes, 161, states: “The hermeneutical foundation for his [Paul’s] reading is the conviction that the Law and the Prophets bear witness to the gospel of God’s righteousness, now definitively disclosed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Messiah.” In this sentiment Hays is in obvious agreement with Koch. 92 Hays, Echoes, 84–87, 121. 93 Hays, Echoes, 102. 94 Hays, Echoes, 87–122. 95 Hays, Echoes, 122–49, esp. 137. 96 Hays aligns with the charismatic interpretation of Michel (see previous discussion).


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is seen to be purposed toward the gospel, which was veiled, but now is unveiled to those who turn to the “Lord” (that is, to the “Spirit in the community”).97 In this way, hermeneutical freedom is a hallmark of Pauline exegesis.98 For the Paul of Richard Hays, new covenant hermeneutics is grounded in the experience of the Spirit-filled community, and consequently, valid interpretation of the “script” is necessarily contingent on a participation in this transformative experience. As will become clear in due course, I disagree. Eschatological Hermeneutics of the Immanent Word In addition to characterizing Pauline hermeneutics as ecclesiological and new-covenantal, Hays focuses on the way in which Paul reads scripture as an authoritative divine word addressed in the here and now to the eschatological community. That is to say, whatsoever the scriptures have to say, they speak above all to the church (Rom 4:23-24; 10:5-10; 1 Cor 9:8-10; 10:11).99 In fact Hays goes so far as to identify the maxim: “the word of Scripture is read as the word of God to us,” as the “master hermeneutical trope which governs all intertextual play” in Paul’s writings.100 For Hays, Paul reads the scriptures as a narrative fundamentally about election and promise that has now reached its climax in the formulation of an eschatological community—a community prefigured, envisioned, and addressed by the text. With regard to this narrative of election and promise, Hays writes what I consider to be his most significant and pregnant statement regarding Paul’s hermeneutic:101 At this deeper level, Paul can hardly be accused of imposing his own conceptions on the earlier tradition. Rather, he has selected fundamental themes of the biblical story as hermeneutical keys to the meaning of the tradition. . . . God’s act in Jesus Christ illuminates, Paul contends, a previously uncomprehended narrative unity in Scripture.102

The narrative of election and promise in the scriptures finds a hermeneutical key in the revelation of God’s righteousness in Jesus. Hays contends that it is within this story that Paul’s many citations, allusions, 97 As Hays, Echoes, 148, puts it: “Only readers made competent by the Spirit can throw back the veil and perceive the sense of Scripture; those who have not turned to the Lord who is Spirit are necessarily trapped in the script, with minds hardened and veiled.” 98 Hays, Echoes, 154–56. 99 Hays, Echoes, 165–73. 100 Hays, Echoes, 167. 101 I am not sure whether or not Hays would share my opinion. 102 Hays, Echoes, 157.

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and echoes find a guiding force, a cohesion, that allows us to make sense of Paul’s scriptural logic.103 Developments after Echoes By way of a postscript of sorts, it is important to mention a few ways in which Hays has shifted and further nuanced his view of Paul’s hermeneutic after Echoes. Most crucially, Hays has backed off on his claim that Paul’s hermeneutic is ecclesiocentric as opposed to christocentric, now averring that both are central, although retaining the belief that ecclesiocentrism predominates—a prudent qualification.104 Apart from this reformulation, I would isolate three advances Hays has made post-Echoes. First, Hays has integrated the category of apocalyptic into his hermeneutical program, seeing the in-breaking of the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ as the unexpected yet decisive hermeneutical key for Paul.105 Second, Hays marries the missional/pastoral function of Paul’s use of the scriptures with his narrative approach in the compact phrase “the conversion of the imagination.” Hays argues that Paul’s use of scripture invites the reader to undergo “an imaginative projection,” when the reader steps into the typological space opened up by the correlation between the church and Israel. In so doing, the reader can choose to enact a new narrative, that is, be converted.106 Third, Hays argues that Paul’s hermeneutic adopts a posture of trust, with Abraham as the example. As such, Paul’s hermeneutic is grounded not in suspicion but in trust in God’s abilities to make good on the promises found in the scriptures.107 In his multifaceted contribution to the study of Pauline hermeneutics, Richard Hays has pursued a consistent literary methodology. As with several of the other current proposals, I will reserve full critical engagement regarding Hays’ theses relating to Pauline hermeneutics to the body of this book and the concluding chapter. For now, let it suffice to say that Hays’ 103

Yet, surprisingly, Hays, Echoes, 158, leaves his thoughts somewhat underdeveloped on how this narrative hermeneutic plays out in terms of specific textual linkage into the scriptural narrative, citing only Rom 1:17 (Hab 2:4) and Rom 2:24 (Isa 52:5). 104 Hays, Faith of Jesus Christ, xxxviii. 105 Richard B. Hays, “The Conversion of the Imagination: Scripture and Eschatology in 1 Corinthians,” in The Conversion of the Imagination (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 1–24; repr. from NTS 45 (1999): 391–412. Hays’ desire to connect Pauline hermeneutics with the category of apocalyptic in Paul results by and large from the stimulus of J. Louis Martyn, whose work will be discussed later in the chapter. 106 Hays, “The Conversion of the Imagination,” 1–24. 107 Richard B. Hays, “A Hermeneutic of Trust,” in The Conversion of the Imagination (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 190–201; repr. from “Salvation by Trust? Reading the Bible Faithfully,” Christian Century 114 (1997): 218–23.


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body of work has proven to be a largely positive stimulus to my own, both in terms of methodology and content, despite my critique of (among other things) his intertextual method and “typological” framework. Much as Hays’ expertise on modern literary theory allowed him to generate novel insights into Pauline hermeneutics, Daniel Boyarin brings his considerable savvy in modern linguistics, semiotics, and theory of culture to bear on his reading of Paul. The Hermeneutics of Hellenistic Allegory Daniel Boyarin In the previous review, we had occasion to notice that Paul’s hermeneutic has frequently been compared to that of other Jewish groups, especially the rabbinic corpus and the Qumran literature. Of course, Paul’s interpretation of the scriptures has also been compared to that evidenced in Hellenistic Judaism, with Philo’s exegesis as the chief point of comparison.108 Daniel Boyarin’s A Radical Jew (1994) is the best recent work in this vein, not only because of his coverage of Paul and Hellenistic Judaism, but also because of his fluency in cultural criticism; accordingly, Boyarin will serve as the representative for this position. According to Boyarin, Paul’s hermeneutic is fundamentally allegorical, and is bent on overcoming the dualism between the flesh and the spirit or the outer and inner meaning. The goal of this allegorical interpretation is to overcome all hierarchy and distinctives in order to fulfill a Hellenistic desire for the One. Paul’s dualistic, allegorical hermeneutic is inseparably bound up with Paul’s ontological dualism of matter and spirit, perhaps most easily seen in Paul’s sa,rx/pneu/ma anthropology. What Boyarin means by an “allegorical” ontology and hermeneutic (two sides of the same coin for Boyarin) is that Paul sees the world through a framework of substitutions accomplished in Christ—substitutions that destroy Jewish distinctives in favor of the universal. For example, circumcision in the flesh (culturally specific) is replaced by baptism in the Spirit (universal) and Israel according to the flesh (ethnically specific) is replaced by Israel according to the spirit (universal).109 Boyarin argues that Paul and Philo are hermeneutically aligned, claiming that their allegorical reading technique is one in which disembodied meaning (or spirit) exists prior to linguistic enfleshment—a fundamentally 108

For example, Per Jarle Bekken, The Word Is Near You: A Study of Deuteronomy 30:1214 in Paul’s Letter to the Romans in a Jewish Context, BZNW 144 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2007). 109 Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 13–38.

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Platonic mode in which “language itself is understood as an outer, physical shell, and meaning is construed as the invisible, ideal, and spiritual reality that lies behind or is trapped within the body of the language.”110 For Boyarin, this dualistic approach of Philo and Paul, which elevates “content,” “inner,” and “spirit” over outward form is the precise opposite of rabbinic midrash, which instead valorizes the letter, the material form, the outward structure, and the specific, denying an interior meaning and the impulse toward the universal.111 Galatians 3:25-29 provides the hermeneutical foundation for Boyarin’s Paul. Boyarin understands it as a baptismal confession, in which allegorical substitutions take place. The individual body is substituted for the corporate body of Christ (Gal 3:27— “you have clothed yourselves with Christ”) and an allegorical “spiritual” genealogy is received in place of a physical genealogy (Gal 3:29—“then you are Abraham’s seed”). Moreover, these allegorical substitutions serve the universalizing purpose of the drive toward oneness by obliterating previous ethnic, social, and gender distinctions. Boyarin sees the allegory in Galatians 4:21-31 as another pivotal text. For Paul’s universalizing theology to remain coherent, Paul must eliminate the ethnic roots of the promise, which is exactly what he accomplishes in the Sarah–Hagar allegory. By aligning Isaac, who was born by miraculous intervention, with “the spirit,” and Ishmael, who was not, with “the flesh,” Paul is able to substitute allegorically “the promise” in place of “the spirit,” making the phrase “according to the promise” a hermeneutical term.112 Boyarin therefore sees Paul as a Hellenistic allegorist who construes the text of the scriptures as an outward sign, a mere physical shell housing the true inward spiritual meaning. Boyarin undoubtedly has captured an important truth in his discussion of the primacy of meaning over exact literal wording in Pauline exegesis, as will be argued extensively (ch. 3), but his application of this insight in terms of an alleged Pauline hermeneutical universalism and pervasive allegorism is built on an inadequate sampling of Pauline exegesis. Although Boyarin’s thesis is provocative, his main tenets remain implausible and unsubstantiated. 110

Boyarin, Radical Jew, 15. Important support for Boyarin’s argument that Paul’s hermeneutic is dualistic and allegorical is Philo’s recounting of Genesis 1–2, in which an entirely spiritual androgynous human is created first, and only subsequently, during the creation of the material order, humanity is split into male (the mind) and female (the senses as helper to the mind) components. It is this androgynous spiritual human that is the truer, deeper expression of humanity, not the outward fleshly shell imposed in the second creation. For Boyarin, Paul wants to get back this more primal unity. 112 Boyarin, Radical Jew, 35. 111


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The Hermeneutics of External Circumstances J. Louis Martyn Unlike Hays and Boyarin, J. Louis Martyn does not approach Paul’s letters using the tools of literary or cultural criticism; rather, Martyn has mastered the art of mirror-reading a text in the service of a traditional historical-critical reconstruction, to which he brings an acute theological sensitivity. Undoubtedly, Martyn would not attribute all of Paul’s interpretative maneuvering with respect to the scriptures to external circumstances;113 nonetheless, Martyn stresses the way in which Paul’s use of the scriptures can be understood as caused by disputes between Paul and other flesh-and-blood teachers active in Paul’s own day, most of whom Paul regards as enemies both of himself and of God. Of course, Martyn is not alone in emphasizing that Paul’s use of the scriptures is a response to real or potential objections to his gospel as put forth by his opponents,114 yet Martyn represents this type of approach to Pauline hermeneutics well, connecting it to the apocalyptic revelation of the righteousness of God. In his 1997 commentary on Galatians, Martyn argues that the primary interpretative moves that Paul makes are in response to Jewish–Christian “Teachers” who have invaded Paul’s Galatian church. For example, Martyn notes that Paul’s modification of the words “everyone living” of Psalm 143:2 LXX to “all flesh” in Galatians 2:16 is best understood as a polemical maneuver to show that the scriptures support Paul’s position over against the Teachers’ in the contentious issue of circumcision; moreover, Martyn claims the Teachers would have been aware of Paul’s scriptural move here.115 Furthermore, in light of the collocation of exegetical discussion around the theme of descent from Abraham (Gal 3:6-18; 4:21-31), it is virtually assured that the Teachers were arguing for the need for the Galatians to be circumcised on the basis of the Abraham narrative in Genesis. The Teachers were probably focusing on the passage that states, “In him [Abraham] all the nations will be blessed” (Gen 18:18) and arguing that Gentile receipt of the blessing is dependent upon incorporation into Abraham’s line and is thus contingent on receipt of 113

See esp. Martyn’s lengthy and largely positive review of Francis Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith in SJT 59 (2006): 427–38, esp. 427, and his acknowledgment: “I have underestimated Paul the consummate reader of scripture.” That is, Martyn affirms that the scriptures may be more generative to Paul’s theology than he had previously allowed. Yet, Martyn does go on to suggest that Watson should write a second book, a sequel, that would employ Paul’s flesh and blood opponents as conversation partners rather than Second Temple texts! 114 For example, see Harnack, as discussed previously in this chapter. 115 J. Louis Martyn, Galatians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 33A (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 253.

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the sign of circumcision. Hence, Paul’s scriptural argument regarding the primacy of Abraham’s faith is a tactically minded offensive maneuver designed to show that the scriptures support his version of the gospel over against the Teachers’ gospel.116 According to Martyn, not only does Paul use the scriptures when on the attack, he also uses the scriptures to defend against anticipated counterpoints the Teachers might utilize. Drawing on the ancient tradition of “textual contradiction,” in which a dispute between two parties over the interpretation of seemingly disharmonious legal texts could be resolved when one party puts forward an interpretation capable of reconciling the disparate legal statements, Martyn argues that Habakkuk 2:4 and Leviticus 18:5 are just such disharmonious texts.117 When Paul makes use of Habakkuk 2:4 in defense of his doctrine of “rectification” (Martyn’s preferred translation of dikaiosu,nh), he anticipates the Teachers’ use of Leviticus 18:5 as a counterpoint and offers an interpretative reconciliation in advance. Yet, surprisingly, the reconciliation offered by Paul in this case is not an attempt to harmonize the divergent perspectives; Paul deliberately allows the antithesis to stand. The law speaks of curse (Lev 18:5); the promise announces the blessing of life (Hab 2:4). Thus, Paul’s maneuvering shows that he reads the scriptures as containing a fundamental disjuncture between the law and the gospel in terms of covenantal effects—a point of utmost significance for Francis Watson, as well as Martyn. Law can only bring wrath, and therefore it cannot lead to the Abrahamic blessing. In summary, Martyn demonstrates that Paul’s use of the scriptures cannot be adequately understood apart from on-the-ground disputes with his contemporaries. The danger is that this explanation can become the explanation, reductionistically undercutting Paul’s own creative capacity to renegotiate scriptural meaning. Although opponents are certainly a crucial impetus to at least some aspects of Paul’s use of the scriptures, adversarial response is not the only external circumstance that compelled Paul to use the scriptures. Other causes include reports of behavioral problems within his congregations, his Gentile mission, and the collection. J. Ross Wagner and Florian Wilk both touch upon Paul’s missional use of the scriptures while arguing for Paul as a contextual reader of the scriptures. 116

Martyn, Galatians, 294–306. J. Louis Martyn, “Paul’s Understanding of the Textual Contradiction between Habakkuk 2:4 and Leviticus 18:5,” in From Tradition to Interpretation: Studies in Biblical Intertextuality in Honor of James A. Sanders, ed. C. A. Evans and S. Talmon (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 345–53. For a convenient summary, see Martyn, Galatians, 328–34. 117


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The Hermeneutics of Contextual Reading Christopher Stanley, J. Ross Wagner, and Florian Wilk One of the most contested issues regarding Paul’s use of the scriptures is the degree to which Paul shows respect to the broader context of the source texts from which he drew his citations. There are several subissues that make a decision here particularly thorny, including the question of the material source of Paul’s citations. Three major studies are particularly germane, with Christopher Stanley lining up on the contextually less-aware side and J. Ross Wagner and Florian Wilk on the contextually sensitive.118 Christopher Stanley, building upon his first major work Paul and the Language of Scripture, moves to an audience-oriented analysis of the rhetoric of Paul’s citations in his second major book on Paul, which is titled Arguing with Scripture (2004).119 Attempting to uncover how Paul’s use of the scriptures would have been received by his original readers, Stanley argues that the rhetorical function of Paul’s appeal to the scriptures is at its most fundamental level an assertion of authority over his audience, an assertion that is exercised by tacitly claiming divine support for his argument, while simultaneously demonstrating his authority over his source text.120 Thus, Paul’s use of the scriptures would be received as a power move by his audience, in response to which the audience could either submit to Paul’s authority or attempt to counteract it through a variety of strategies. Would Paul have expected his readers to be aware of the context from which he draws his sources? In an attempt to answer this question, Stanley envisions three sorts of readers/listeners in Paul’s audience: “informed,” “competent,” and “minimal.”121 (1) Informed readers would probably know the context of Paul’s sources and would perhaps be aware of other interpretative options. They would be capable of engaging with Paul in scholarly discussion in a face-to-face encounter. They would potentially be capable of fully understanding Paul and would probably not always be persuaded by Paul’s conclusions. (2) The competent audience would be able to follow the main lines of Paul’s argument and understand the basic rhetorical sense of Paul’s appeal, but not the deeper rationale. Stanley 118 Of course, this classification contrasts these three scholars a bit too starkly in light of the subtly nuanced stances they hold; nonetheless, such a classification is heuristically useful as a starting point. 119 Christopher D. Stanley, Arguing with Scripture: The Rhetoric of Quotations in the Letters of Paul (London: T&T Clark, 2004). Stanley here builds on his earlier “ ‘Pearls Before Swine?’ Did Paul’s Audience Understand His Biblical Quotations?” NovT 41 (1999): 124–44. 120 Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 33–37, 171. 121 Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 66–69.

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argues that Paul supplies enough rhetorical cues and context for the competent audience to “get the point,” and importantly, that this was Paul’s target audience. (3) The minimal audience would discern nothing more than that Paul is making an authoritative claim about the scriptural text. So, given that the informed reader would be a rarity and is not Paul’s target, Stanley’s basic answer to the question of whether or not Paul expected the majority of his readers to be aware of the context of his sources is “no.” Apart from his reader-oriented analysis, Stanley offers important corroborative evidence from material and sociological concerns. More specifically, Stanley notes that the possibility of contextual awareness is minimized by Paul’s probable use of personal extracts and/or testimonia collections, difficulties presented by cost and access to scrolls, the low literacy rate in antiquity, and the improbability of a predominantly Gentile audience having sufficient familiarity with the Jewish scriptures.122 Stanley opines that Paul would have expected his audience to be roughly familiar with the broad story-line and major biblical figures, but would not have expected them to be aware of the context.123 What is more, according to Stanley, Paul himself shows no evidence of being aware of the context of some of his own citations and certainly does not uniformly “respect” the context.124 Yet two other major studies, both centered on Paul’s use of Isaiah, have come to different conclusions. J. Ross Wagner (2002) explores the role that Isaiah plays in Paul’s Letter to the Romans,125 endeavoring to show that, although Paul is capable of brazen and shocking readings of Isaiah, these readings invariably show an awareness of the broader literary-theological context of Isaiah. In other words, what we at first blush might regard as instances of Paul misreading his scriptures due to lack of awareness of the literary-theological context are on closer inspection revealed to be radical rereadings driven fundamentally by missional concerns.126 Wagner believes that Paul engaged with and utilized scripture in multiple material forms: entire biblical scrolls, personal notes, meditation on memorized passages, excerpt collections, and listening to texts that were read aloud127 —an analysis with which I readily agree. Moreover, with the 122

Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 41–61. Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 172–73. 124 Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 3, lists the following as contextually problematic: 1 Cor 14:21; 2 Cor 4:13; Rom 2:24; 9:25-26; 10:5-8, 18. 125 Wagner, Heralds. 126 Wagner, Heralds, 25–26. 127 Wagner, Heralds, 26. 123


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heavy stress laid upon memorization in antiquity, we should not feel compelled to think that all of Paul’s citations come exclusively from written rather than memorized sources, nor that Paul would have been unable to adapt a memorized source deliberately when quoting it.128 Wagner believes that Paul was extraordinarily familiar with Isaiah LXX as a whole, to such a degree that he was capable of picking up exegetical cues from the LXX translator, who also was reading Isaiah 8:14, 28:16, and 29:22-23 in light of one another.129 In the final analysis, Wagner finds that Isaiah is above all a fellow herald of the good news, and that Isaiah announces “a veiled prefiguration of [Paul’s] own mission to proclaim the good news to those among the Gentiles who have not yet heard news of the victory of Israel’s God.”130 Furthermore, Paul learns through Isaiah that God will act once again to restore his covenant people Israel, so in the end Jew and Gentile can praise God together, all of which served as crucial motivation for Paul’s mission. This brief review cannot do justice to the depth and sophistication of Wagner’s sensitive analysis, much of which is very convincing. The strength of Wagner’s case is the detailed demonstration of the literary and theological connections that can be made between the whole of Isaiah and individual citations of Isaiah in Romans. Yet on occasion, I found myself echoing the sentiments expressed in Christopher Stanley’s review of Wagner’s Heralds of the Good News: “Wagner is clearly a creative reader, but is it possible that he might be more clever than Paul?”131 Although also centered around Paul’s use of Isaiah, Florian Wilk’s study differs from Wagner’s in terms of scope and descriptive aims. Wilk (1998) looks at how Isaiah functions in all of Paul’s letters,132 not just Romans, and Wilk finds that a development in Paul’s reading of Isaiah can be traced; that is, the role of Isaiah in Paul’s self-understanding becomes more pronounced over time. Regarding the issue of the degree to which Paul is aware of the broader context of his Isaianic sources, Wilk finds that Paul is without exception aware of the context.133 According to Wilk, Paul achieves this connection to the surrounding Isaianic context 128

See Wagner, Heralds, 22, esp. n. 84, on modern adaptations to the Lord’s Prayer. Wagner, Heralds, 145–57. 130 Wagner, Heralds, 356. 131 Christopher D. Stanley, review of J. Ross Wagner, Heralds of the Good News, JBL 124 (2006): 778–82, here 780. 132 Wilk, Bedeutung des Jesajabuches. 133 Wilk, Bedeutung des Jesajabuches, 207–66, summary on 265: “Paul never quotes Isaiah without simultaneous reference to the respective context; in every case the Pauline surroundings reflects this context in numerous ways.” 129

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by three different means: catchphrases in the immediate context, motifs in the immediate context, and expressions in the near/far context.134 Wilk divides the significance of Isaiah for Paul’s citations into four categories: Paul’s understanding of the message of Christ, Paul’s apostolic selfunderstanding, Paul’s understanding of the place of Israel with respect to the gospel, and the expectation of the Parousia.135 Wilk connects these four categories to expressions manifest in Isaiah itself, finding that Paul sees the entirety of Isaiah as a prophecy of his apostolic mission.136 So for Wilk, in agreement with Wagner, Paul has knowledge of the whole book of Isaiah. And in much the same way as for Wagner, the primary evidence for Wilk is the fruitful connections he is able to draw between Isaiah and Paul in terms of Stichworten, motifs, and expressions. Siding firmly with those like Wagner and Wilk, who see Paul as a contextual reader, it is, however, Francis Watson who above all emphasizes the generative nature of the scriptures for Paul’s theology. The Hermeneutics of Faith Francis Watson

Starting with the foundational claim that Paul was a Jew, Watson (2004) seeks to make this fact hermeneutically significant by placing Paul in a dialogue with other early Jewish interpreters of the scriptures. Watson envisions a three-way conversation played out on a single intertextual field: between Paul and the scriptures, between early Jewish literature and the scriptures, and between Paul and early Jewish literature about the scriptures. Moreover, Watson is anxious to affirm that each conversation is genuinely dialogical, that is, any one party to the conversation is capable of acting back on another member of the conversation, prompting that partner to a modified hermeneutical stance.137 One of Watson’s key aims is the recovery of the hermeneutical and exegetical dimension of Paul’s theology, arguing that “Paul’s so-called ‘view of the law’ is nothing other than his reading of a text” and that “his ‘theology of justification’ is in reality a scriptural hermeneutic” based on the consecutive reading of the first five books of the Bible.138 Thus, for Watson, the foundation of Paul’s interpretative strategy is a consecutive reading of the scriptures—hermeneutically speaking, Paul’s first move is to read the Pentateuch sequentially. 134

Wilk, Bedeutung des Jesajabuches, 219–65. Wilk, Bedeutung des Jesajabuches, 160–206. 136 Wilk, Bedeutung des Jesajabuches, 364–80. 137 Francis Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 1–6. 138 Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 2–3. 135


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And for Watson, what does Paul find when he reads the Pentateuch as a consecutive story? The unconditional promises given to Abraham concerning the blessing of the nations (Gen 12:3) and a “seed” (Gen 15:5) on the basis of his faith (Gen 15:6; cf. Hab 2:4) are placed in jeopardy by the conditional stipulations of the subsequently given law (Exod 19–20). The problem is that the law seems to produce wrath, not provide life (Exod 32). The law claims to hold forth life for the one who would observe its requirements (Lev 18:5), but the failure and death of the wilderness generation proves that law is unable to deliver life (Numbers). All those who transgress the law are under a curse (Deut 27:26). Yet, on the other side of exile and death stands the promise of a new covenant (Deut 30–32). Paul’s hermeneutic is therefore at its most basic level a consecutive reading of the entire pentateuchal narrative, and the basic contours of this whole narrative are visible in the citations of Galatians 3.139 Watson believes that Paul discovers a fundamental tension, or better, an antithesis (drawing here on Martyn) within this pentateuchal narrative, and the identification of this antithesis is Paul’s second hermeneutically significant move. On the one hand, the Pentateuch offers an unconditional promise to Abraham and declares him righteous on the basis of faith, but on the other hand, it announces a conditional offer of life through the law based on the performance of the commandments.140 The key to resolving this antithesis is found in the narrative itself at the end of the Pentateuch, in which it is clear that the promissory strand wins out over the conditional strand, resulting in life via a new covenant. The victory of the promissory strand causes the pentateuchal texts that participate in that strand to take on an additional hermeneutical charge, causing Paul to reread all the scriptures in light of this victory. Thus, for example, although Habakkuk 2:4 is capable of being read in a variety of ways—as intertextual comparison with other texts from Second Temple Judaism makes clear—Paul construes Habakkuk 2:4 in accordance with the promissory strand. Given Watson’s reconstruction of Pauline hermeneutics, any Jew in Paul’s day would in principle be capable of attaining to the same interpretative results as Paul, so one might wonder how Paul’s distinctive Christian convictions enter into his hermeneutic, if at all. For Watson, the Christ event is the key that both unlocks the scriptures and is itself unlocked by the scriptures.141 Yet even the Christ event does not serve as an intruding 139

Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 514–19. Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 23–24. 141 Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 516–17: “the Christ event is the extrascriptural point of reference that interprets scripture and is itself interpreted by scripture. . . . 140

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unilateral imposition that decisively precludes Paul from wrestling with the texts apart from his christological convictions. Rather, the relationship between Christ and the scriptures in Paul is dialectical or circular, with each informing the other.142 However, Watson is wary even here of suggesting that Paul’s distinctive christological convictions play a large role, claiming that there is a “marked christological reticence in Pauline exegesis.”143 Watson underscores the genuine autonomy of the scriptural witnesses in their ability to impact Paul and change him—that is, the scriptures can and do shape Paul’s theology apart from his Christology.144 In summary for Watson, Paul’s hermeneutic is on the first level a consecutive reading of the Pentateuch, in which Paul finds an antithesis between promise and legal demand. Yet, the narrative itself reveals that the promissory strand wins out, leading to the hermeneutical elevation of the texts that support the faith principle of the promise. The Christ event is an extrascriptural point of reference for Paul. The scriptures cast light on the Christ event, and the Christ event simultaneously illumines the scriptures, although the emphasis for Watson is decidedly on the former in the dialectic. As with the other recent proposals, I will reserve the bulk of my comments regarding Watson’s contribution to the body of this book and the conclusion. Note in the meantime that the deliberately intertextual title of this book with respect to Watson’s title suggests a substantial disagreement with Watson.

Points of Agreement The history of scholarship outlined in this chapter has unveiled some items of widespread scholarly consensus, and others in which disagreement prevails regarding Pauline hermeneutics. The results of the thesis argued in this book have bearing on a number of these areas of ongoing disagreement, such as: the role of the Spirit, Paul’s relationship to the pre-Pauline tradition, the place of the Christ story in biblical interpretation, typology, The Christ event is not a pure datum whose meaning is unilaterally imposed on the text. On the contrary, meaning flows simultaneously in both directions. Scripture is promise and law, and Christ is the promise’s fulfillment and the law’s end.” 142 Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 17. 143 Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 21. 144 Hence, Moses and Isaiah are not able to testify directly about Christ for Watson’s Paul, only indirectly: “They anticipate something of the logic of the future divine action, but they know little or nothing of its concrete form” (Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 21). As such, it is necessary, Watson believes, that Paul help show how this indirect scriptural testimony to Christ is in fact in the final analysis distinctively Christian testimony, but all the while Paul is at pains to maintain the specificity and integrity of the scriptural voices.


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allegory, the significance of the veil, and contextual reading. Apart from engaging these issues passim in the body of this manuscript, I will return to address these topics directly at the book’s conclusion. Yet the central area of concern, over which there is no consensus, is what generates and guides Paul’s hermeneutic at the most basic level. I hope to answer this question. Thus, in conversation with this history of scholarship, I would like to suggest a fresh methodological proposal for the study of Paul’s use of the scriptures and put forward my thesis. However, I first would like to synthesize the history of research sketched thus far by pointing out a few items about which broad agreement has been reached in recent scholarship. Points of Consensus from the History of Research There are some matters that have already been adequately resolved by scholarship on Paul’s use of the scriptures. It is a rare thing when biblical scholars agree, and so I cheerfully point out the following points of concurrence, which are assumed as working hypotheses for the purposes of this study. The Demise of the Unhermeneutical Paul Although the unhermeneutical Paul produced by romanticism was helpful in pointing out the complete lack of scriptural citation in some of the Pauline letters, the unhermeneutical Paul is now a relic of a bygone age, and deservedly so. Every major study of the post-Bultmann era has conclusively shown that Paul’s use of scripture is intimately bound up with his mission, self-understanding, teaching, and thought to such a degree that a full retreat to the unhermeneutical Paul is now unthinkable. Greek Vorlagen The early modern consensus that Paul uses the Greek scriptures exclusively, rather than those penned in Hebrew or Aramaic, has been upheld by every major study that has critically evaluated this question, except the problematic conclusions of Timothy Lim,145 and this result will be a working hypothesis of this study. 145 The fundamental point which Lim, Holy Scripture, attempts to make is that the protoMT was itself fluid in Paul’s day, as is evidenced by the textual diversity at Qumran, and hence that the full range of Semitic variants evidenced at Qumran needs to be considered when reconstructing Paul’s Vorlagen (see esp. 140–48). Insofar as he makes this point alone, Lim is on safe albeit well-traveled ground; but when he moves on to suggest that Paul himself preferred to use Aramaic and/or Hebrew manuscripts while making his own translations (e.g., 148, 164), he fails to convince. As Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 119–25, 145, 172

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Plastic Vorlagen Not only has it been conclusively demonstrated that Paul uses the scriptures in Greek, it has also been shown by Ellis, Koch, Stanley, Wagner, and Wilk, that Paul on numerous occasions intentionally modifies his sources for a variety of reasons. Moreover, Stanley has convincingly argued that this was a normal way to handle citations within both the Jewish and broader Hellenistic literary world. This study finds no evidence that this conclusion should be challenged. External Circumstances It has been generally acknowledged by modern scholarship from at least the time of Harnack onward that some of Paul’s hermeneutical maneuvering is a response to opponents who have infiltrated his congregations. J. Louis Martyn, E. P. Sanders, and John Barclay (among others) have shown that this position is unassailable. Furthermore, the work of Wagner and Wilk on the relationship between Paul’s use of Isaiah and his Gentile mission shows that other external factors influenced Paul’s interpretations of the scriptures. Any robust theory of Pauline hermeneutics must be able to account for the dialectical relationship between Paul’s interaction with the text of scripture and his external experiences. A “Contemporizing” Hermeneutic Although this has not been stressed in the review of scholarship discussed previously in this chapter, if there is one point about which nearly all recent interpreters of Paul are in agreement, it is the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic.146 Paul sees the scriptures as above all applicable to present circumstances. Not only does Paul make much of this point himself by numerous explicit statements (e.g., 1 Cor 9:9-10; Rom 4:23-25; has shown, none of Lim’s first three examples demand a unique Hebrew Vorlage whereas the final example demonstrates nothing except that 1QIsa a may preserve a Hebrew variant which lies underneath Paul’s unknown but presumably Greek Vorlage. Apart from the earlier studies of Koch and Stanley, the more recent contributions of Wagner and Wilk have concluded against Lim that Paul in all probability exclusively used the scriptures in Greek translation, in line with the early modern consensus. 146 The most incisive recent treatments of Paul’s contemporizing exegetical principle include Steven DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” in As It Is Written: Studying Paul’s Use of Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 59–93; Hays, “The Conversion of the Imagination,” 4–12; Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 78–163, esp. 112, 157–63; Hays, Echoes, 154–73; James W. Aageson, Written Also for Our Sakes: Paul and the Art of Biblical Interpretation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993), 49–53; Lim, Holy Scripture, 123–81; Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 302–31; Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 135–47.


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Rom 15:3-4; and 1 Cor 10:11), comparative studies have shown that this strategy was pervasive within the eschatologically charged Second Temple period,147 particularly at Qumran.148 Although agreement regarding the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic is helpful, it is not exactly clear why he should take such a position and how this might relate to his overall vision of how the scriptures function in discrete eras within the whole divine economy, let alone the convoluted category of apocalyptic. Thus, while I agree with the consensus, this topic will nevertheless be discussed in more detail in chapter 3.

Two Deficiencies There are two issues from the history of research that have proven to be particularly stimulating in the formulation of this project. The first is the recent tendency to see Paul as above all a Jewish interpreter. The second is the disjunction between intertextual theory as derived from literary studies and its application in Pauline studies. Moreover, the two issues are closely related. Comparative Hermeneutics Several recent studies of Paul’s interpretative practices have made the axiomatic claim “Paul was a Jew” (or the like), the starting point for an investigation of Pauline hermeneutics,149 a claim that is of course true, but 147

James L. Kugel, Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as It Was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 15–17; Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 6–35. 148 William H. Brownlee, “Biblical Interpretation,” 54–76; William H. Brownlee, The Midrash Pesher of Habakkuk, SBLMS 24 (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1979); Maurya Horgan, Pesharim: Qumran Interpretation of Biblical Books, CBQMS 8 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1979), 249–59; Lim, Holy Scripture, 69–120; George J. Brooke, Exegesis at Qumran: 4QFlorilegium in Its Jewish Context, JSOTSup 29 (JSOT Press, 1985); George J. Brooke, “Biblical Interpretation in the Qumran Scrolls and the New Testament,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005), 52–69. For a comparative analysis that highlights the continuity and disjuncture between Paul’s metanarrative and that of the author of 11Q Melchizedek with regard to hermeneutics and time, see my own treatment: Matthew W. Bates, “Beyond Stichwort: A Narrative Approach to Isa 52,7 in Romans 10,15 and 11Q Melchizedek (11Q13),” RB 116 (2009): 387–414. 149 Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 1. Watson in fact foregrounds “Paul was a Jew” to such a high degree that this bald assertion is the opening sentence of his book on Pauline hermeneutics. Similarly, see Boyarin, A Radical Jew, 1–4; DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” here passim, but see esp. 75 and 93; Stanley, Arguing with Scripture, 1; Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis, 88–116 (who heavily emphasizes Jewish methods for illuminating Pauline scriptural interpretation).

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nonetheless potentially misleading if not radically qualified for a study of Pauline hermeneutics. These studies, commendably, frequently display a comparative interest with respect to the Judaism(s) contemporaneous with Paul. Moreover, in reaction to a past history that downplayed the Jewish dimension of both Jesus and Paul, NT studies as an entire discipline is in the process of experiencing a corrective tidal wave, bent on recovering the fundamentally Jewish identity of Jesus and Paul, which is a welcome turn. We have had occasion to note, in the survey of scholarship, studies that compare Pauline writings to rabbinic Judaism, Hellenistic Judaism, Philo, and the Qumran scrolls, to which could be added a recent study relating Paul’s scriptural hermeneutics to the synagogue Torah-reading cycle.150 The results of these comparisons have been decidedly mixed. On the one hand, they have provided suggestive principles of interpretation, such as the seven middot of Hillel, the thirteen rules of R. Ishmael b. Elisha, and the thirty-two principles of R. Eliezer b. Jose ha-Galili.151 Moreover, they have supplied interpretative categories to describe Paul’s exegesis, such as midrash, pesher, midrash pesher, pesheresque, targum, Philonic allegory, rewritten bible, and even “charismatic.”152 The results of the comparisons with Jewish material undoubtedly have been stimulating and have genuinely advanced the understanding of Paul’s use of the scriptures. The recent effort of Watson, who attempts to place Paul in conversation with other early Jewish interpreters throughout his entire lengthy book, shows that this approach continues to be fruitful and popular. However, the litany of complaints against the inadequacy of such comparisons shows that some of the fruit derived from these studies has proven 150

Bruce N. Fisk, “Synagogue Influence and Scriptural Knowledge among the Christians of Rome,” in As It Is Written: Studying Paul’s Use of Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 157–85. 151 These rules are reproduced in numerous handbooks—e.g., choosing one at random, Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis, 21. 152 For “rewritten bible,” see Bruce N. Fisk, “Paul among the Storytellers: Reading Romans 11 in the Context of Rewritten Bible,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, Mass., November 22, 2008; http://www.westmont .edu/~fisk/paulandscripture/Fisk Paul Among the Storytellers.pdf; for “charismatic,” see Sze Kar Wan, “Charismatic Exegeses: Paul and Philo Compared,” SPhilo 6 (1994): 54–82; and David E. Aune, “Charismatic Exegesis in Early Judaism and Early Christianity,” in Apocalypticism, Prophecy, and Magic in Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 280–99, here 296–98; repr. from The Pseudepigrapha and Early Biblical Interpretation, ed. James H. Charlesworth and Craig A. Evans (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 126–50. Aune cautiously affirms that Paul was a charismatic exegete, but only if the term is not used “in the sense of immediate inspiration of the interpreter, but rather with the more general meaning that the Christian community’s insights into the christological significance of the Old Testament is the product of divine enlightenment” (298). For all the other categories, see the history of research above.


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unpalatable. Or perhaps better, shifting the metaphor slightly, some of the fruit has been “apples” that are ultimately incommensurable with Pauline “oranges.” The problematic nature of terms such as pesher, midrash, and midrash pesher in relationship to Paul have already been discussed, with regard to which Hays’ summarizing judgment regarding the use of the category “midrash” is apropos: “the label midrash tends to bring the interpretative process to a halt, as though it had explained something, when in fact we should keep pressing for clarity.”153 That is to say, all too often these sort of labels are applied as the explanation, when in fact the labels are hopelessly vague and stop short of worldview-level convictions. Another problem area has been the applicability of rabbinic middot. For example, of the seven rules of Hillel, only two have been identified as consistently evidenced in the Pauline corpus. And more to the point, Richard Hays has argued that the seven rules are not interpretative principles anyway, they are a post hoc descriptive catalogue of interpretative tropes evidenced in the rabbis, not distinctive methods that the rabbis intentionally used when undertaking exegesis.154 Not to mention the fact that these principles are not uniquely Jewish in the first place, but show the influence of Hellenistic interpretative practices,155 a further indication of the degree to which recent scholarship has destroyed the wall artificially dividing Judaism and Hellenism in Paul’s era.156 In summary, much work has already been done comparing Pauline exegesis with that of other early Jewish interpreters. Although comparison with this Jewish material is indispensable, especially with regard to the exegesis of specific texts, such comparisons ultimately have been unable to touch upon the core of Paul’s hermeneutical convictions. Paul is certainly a Jew, but he is a special sort of Jew who has come to very specific and radical conclusions about Jesus as the Messiah. In the words of E. Earle Ellis: The Pauline use of the OT cannot really be understood in terms of his Jewish contemporaries. This is especially true where principles of 153

Hays, Echoes, 13–14. Hays, Echoes, 10–14. 155 David Daube, “Rabbinic Methods of Interpretation and Hellenistic Rhetoric,” HUCA 22 (1949): 234–69. 156 Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine: Studies in the Literary Transmission, Beliefs and Manners of Palestine in the I Century B.C.E.–IV Century C.E. (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1962); Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period, 2 vols., trans. John Bowden (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974). 154

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interpretation are involved. The affinities which occur are in peripheral areas and never reach to the heart of his thought.157

Paul is above all a Jew committed to Jesus Christ as his Lord, and therefore these comparisons between Paul and early non-Christian Judaism cannot capture the central features of his hermeneutic.158 In terms of hermeneutics, the closest comparison for Paul is with other ancient Christians, not with Paul’s fellow Jews who do not share his convictions regarding Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Yet, surprisingly, virtually no work has been done that specifically situates Paul’s exegesis within its earliest Christian context by comparative analysis.159 I hope that this study can help fill a small portion of this gap in the history of research on Paul’s use of the scriptures. Hays’ Intertextual Deviation A second point derived from the history of scholarship that has been instrumental in the formulation of this project is the disjuncture between intertextual theory as formulated by literary critics and its application in 157

Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, 83–84. Of course, in using the labels “Jew” and “Christian” (and the like), I do not mean to suggest that there was no fluidity between Judaism or emerging Christianity, or that the specific nomenclature that delineated and reinforced the boundary markers between these two groups was already in full bloom—points that a number of recent studies have stressed (e.g., Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judeo-Christianity [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004]; Pamela Eisenbaum, Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle [New York: HarperCollins, 2009]). However, regardless of the fluidity, in the earliest literature in the NT, beginning with Paul, there already is a distinction in some basic worldview constituents between the two groups, such as symbol, story, praxis, and answers to certain key questions, as has been demonstrated by the whole of N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), but see especially his summary on 444–64. My claim is that Paul’s hermeneutic cannot be adequately described without noting the manner in which Paul’s commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord—a commitment he shared with certain other ancient Jews and Gentiles—impinges on his interpretative method. Although the terms “Christian” and “non-Christian” are anachronistic for Paul’s situation, there is no widely accepted nonanachronistic alternative system of nomenclature that can be employed. Thus, these labels are to be understood as a convenient and imperfect shorthand pointing at individuals and social groups who were offering some diverging answers to basic worldview questions, while also acknowledging that the boundaries between these groups was often porous. 159 See discussion later on in the chapter for scholarship. This is not to say that others (e.g., Michel, Bonsirven, Ellis, Koch, Hays, Wagner, Watson, Kirk, et al.) have not posited that Paul’s Christian presuppositions substantially color his exegesis—they have done this; rather, it is to say that such assertions have usually lacked a robust comparative dimension on the textual level with other early Christian exegetes in the demonstration of this point. On the contrary, all of these works make more frequent comparison between Pauline exegesis and Jewish exegesis. 158


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Pauline studies. Richard Hays deserves the lion’s share of the credit for bringing the modern literary study of intertextuality to bear on Paul’s letters with his Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, 160 but this is not to say the intertextual model he employed was without flaws. Hays deliberately adopts a narrower use of the term “intertextuality” than his predecessors, focusing on citation and allusion in order to keep his project concrete,161 rather than on intertextuality as “cultural codes”—a decision that ultimately, I believe, results in an inadequately truncated intertextual method. Julia Kristeva, who is generally credited with the introduction of the term intertextuality to modern literary studies, refers to the way in which every text is “a mosaic of quotations,” that is, every text is created by, subsumes, and reacts to other texts.162 Kristeva explicitly draws on the dialogism of the Russian formalist M. M. Bakhtin. Bakhtinian dialogism stresses the relational nature that words serve, bridging the gap between the speaker and the addressee. As such, the words the speaker utters are inevitably borrowing from or somehow responding to previous discourse, which is itself inescapably part of a sociohistorical worldview complex. As Bakhtin states, “The utterance is addressed not only to its object [the addressee], but also to others’ speech about it.”163 In other words, according to Bakhtin, all utterances are double voiced, responding to the discourse of the cultural milieu that generated them as well as to the addressee. Kristeva further theorizes the Bakhtinian notion of double-voiced utterances, seeing not just utterances but all texts as exhibiting this dialogism. Every text is created by its surrounding sociohistorical environment and responds to it, despite the explicit purposes the text might otherwise serve. For example, consider a mundane text such as a new phone book. A phone book’s explicit purpose is to guide the addressee in dialing the telephone, and it is perhaps obvious that any new phone book is a response to previous attempts to create a phone book. A new model responds to the 160 For a summary of Hays’ Echoes, see previous discussion in this chapter. An important predecessor to Echoes in biblical scholarship is Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), although Fishbane’s intertextual theory, which is built on the interplay of traditum with traditio, is not as conversant with literary studies. 161 Hays, Echoes, 15. 162 Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. Leon S. Roudiez, trans. Thomas Gora, Alice Jardin, and Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 66. For a robust treatment of the development of intertextuality and its place in literary theory, see Allen, Intertextuality, 9–60. For a very succinct overview, see Stephen Heath, “Intertextuality,” 258–59. 163 M. M. Bakhtin, Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. C. Emerson and M. Holquist, trans. V. W. McGee (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 94.

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old by (at the very least) updating obsolete information. Yet it is perhaps less obvious that a phone book is the product of a prior sociohistorical discourse in which the use of telephones for various business and pleasure purposes makes sense in our social world. Hence, the phone book is in a very real way created by the discourse of our social setting, which is reflected in the more prominent display of certain well-to-do business numbers over against the more subdued typesetting of home telephone numbers, and in a myriad of other features. The phone book is doublevoiced, speaking to the addressee by giving dialing information, but also speaking in an abstract way to its social matrix, saying, “You need money and a business address in order to have an important phone listing.” Perhaps even more crucially, the phone book, which is itself the product of prior discourse, is an agent of transformation with respect to current and future discourse. Current discourse will never be quite the same once the new phone book is introduced, and subsequent phone books will respond in some way to this new edition. New features in the phone book are institutionalized, perhaps by the addition of new sections like “state government” or “coupons.”164 For Kristeva and others, such as Roland Barthes, the result of these double-voiced utterances, or better heteroglossia, is that the “subject” who speaks in any given text is radically destabilized, and the result is that “signification” or “meaning” can no longer be equated with authorial intention, but rather multiple “meanings” or “significations” (polysemy) derive from the play of intertextual forces.165 Hays shows no interest in the sort of intertextuality championed by the founders of modern literary intertextuality, which valorizes dialogism, heteroglossia, and polysemy. And I believe that Hays is prudent to steer clear of some of the excesses characteristic of the poststructural context of Kristeva and Barthes, such as the “death of the author,” and indeed a number of more recent intertextual theorists concur with this judgment.166 Rather, literary-critical rumors of the “death of the author” can be met with the same dry wit as was expressed by Mark Twain—“the report of my death was an exaggeration.”167 The attempt to unshackle authorial 164 The phone-book example does not derive from Kristeva; rather, it is my attempt to ground her leading ideas in a practical example. 165 Allen, Intertextuality, 52–56, 66–67. 166 For example, see the discussion in Susan S. Friedman, “Weavings: Intertextuality and the (Re)Birth of the Author,” in Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History, ed. Jay Clayton and Eric Rothstein (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), 146–80, esp. 146–56. 167 As cited in Gregg Camfield, ed., The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 217. Intriguingly, at least according to Camfield, this famous maxim of Twain is often misquoted as “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” which ironically but fittingly exaggerates the original!


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intention from textual meaning has proven to be a rather messy divorce, to say the least.168 Also, the inordinate disdain among some intertextual theorists for tracing historically oriented genetic “influences” between texts is wisely avoided by Hays.169 Having passed through the gauntlet of deconstruction and reader-response criticism run wild, scholarship today is in a better position to make a more sober assessment regarding the manner in which meaning is a negotiation between authorial intention, unintended meanings, and reader appropriation.170 My own feeling is 168 This is neither the time nor the place to discuss the so-called “intentional fallacy” (W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe D. Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy,” in The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry, ed. William K. Wimsatt [Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1954], 3–18), which claims that we do not have the necessary extrinsic psychological access to an author’s intentions, and seeking the author’s intentions is therefore a false aim. Let it suffice to say that the so-called “intentional fallacy” is itself riddled with problems, the foremost of which is that the author’s intended sense is to be sought not in the extrinsic mind of the author but in the text itself, to which we do have access—see, e.g., Ben F. Meyer, “The Primacy of the Intended Sense of the Text,” in Critical Realism and the New Testament (Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick, 1989), 15–55. 169 Compare with the approach taken by Roy Ciampa, “Scriptural Language and Ideas,” in As It Is Written: Scripture Citing Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 41–57, here 42 n. 3. 170 Uncovering authorial intention has traditionally been the aim of historical-critical investigation, and usually a direct move has been made by exegetes from authorial intention to the legitimate “meaning” a text can be said to bear (e.g., see remarks in the popular handbook by Gordon D. Fee, New Testament Exegesis, rev. ed. [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993], 27). However, if we have learned nothing else from contemporary hermeneutical and literary theory, we have assuredly learned that the “meaning” of a text cannot be equated with authorial intention alone. A multitude of other factors must be considered, such as the reader’s role in constituting meaning, the disjuncture between the real audience and the implied audience, the community in which interpretation takes place, and the manner in which the text engages broader sociohistorical discourses apart from authorial intention. Thus, for instance, Stanley is correct in Arguing With Scripture when he insists that the reader must be taken into account in a healthy hermeneutical model. However, deductions regarding the reader’s ability should not serve to assess Paul’s hermeneutical logic, as does Stanley on occasion—see, e.g., “Paul had to ignore both the original sense and the original language of Isa 28:11-12 in order to apply the passage to the Corinthians” (p. 94) and “Paul could not have possibly misunderstood the sense of the verse” (p. 100). On the contrary, Paul’s hermeneutical logic may contain many elements that are not pertinent to his rhetorical strategy and thus never surface. To use a modern analogy, the hermeneutical reasoning process a pastor uses to craft a homily surely overlaps with the deployment of scripture in the rhetorical delivery of that passage for an audience, but also differs from it in important ways. When searching for the former, we cannot escape or ignore the latter, but the latter should not serve a limiting function vis-à-vis what is possible regarding the former in light of other evidence. Moreover, other factors, such as Paul’s need to wrestle with incongruous texts for the sake of preserving a semblance of his own mental self-consistency (e.g., see Heikki Räisänen, Paul and the Law, 2nd ed. [Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1987]), are not taken into account by an audience-centered approach. In sum, this study will attempt to pay appropriate concern to issues of audience and rhetoric, but in a study of Pauline hermeneutics, the intention of Paul inasmuch as this is latent in the texts he

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that Hays is well aware of these matters and negotiates this balancing act fairly well.171 Much as in the work of Hays, in the diachronic intertextual model advanced in the next section, properly tracing the genetic influence between texts is not deemed marginal to the assessment of any given moment of Pauline exegesis; rather, it is judged to be critical. Yet reflection on a more fundamental disjuncture between Hays’ intertextuality, which centers only on prior-occurring texts, and that of modern literary critics, such as Kristeva, which also includes coeval and subsequent texts, results in a fresh method for analyzing Paul’s use of the scriptures and the discovery of a relatively untapped database. In terms of both method and content, Hays chose to focus single-mindedly on Israel’s scriptures (the Septuagint), since they are “a single great textual precursor” to Paul’s citations.172 My central concern is that Hays, in deviating from the theoretical formulations of intertextuality in literary-critical studies, inadvertently instigated a methodological deviation in intertextual approaches among his legions of followers in the biblical studies guild173 —one might go so far as to say that he is a victim in this regard of his own tremendous and well-deserved success. Hays’ intertextual model obscures the need to look beyond the source text to coeval and subsequent texts within a fully healthy intertextual model.174 Furthermore, I would contend that produced retains pride of place and should not be artificially truncated by his rhetorical aims or by conjectures regarding his audience’s limited ability. 171 See Hays, Echoes, 25–29. 172 Hays, Echoes, 15. 173 Hays is undoubtedly guilty of perpetuating semantic confusion by using intertextuality in an idiosyncratic manner. But since Hays is by no means alone in this matter, it is perhaps a bit unfair to single him out—especially since Hays was aware of the deviation he had introduced in the first place, and he subsequently has signaled a desire to take a broader view of intertextuality (see, e.g., Hays’ comments regarding Eco’s concept of an intertextual encyclopedia in Richard B. Hays, “Paul and the Hermeneutics of Truth,” Pro Ecclesia 16 [2007]: 126–40, here 131). As Graham Allen, Intertextuality, 2, notes, “[Intertextuality] is in danger of meaning nothing more than whatever each particular critic wishes it to mean.” The fact of the matter is idiosyncratic definitions and deployments of intertextuality abound. My observation here is anticipated by Hans Hübner, “Intertextualität—Die hermeneutische Strategie des Paulus,” TLZ 116 (1991): 881–98. More specifically, Hübner faults Hays for defining “intertextuality” in an idiosyncratic way, for relying on intuition rather than rigorous method, for seeing intertextuality merely in terms of content rather than also form, and for failing to identify more distant pre-texts. However, apart from the general rebuke to Hays for introducing terminological confusion, I am not fully sympathetic to Hübner’s critique, especially in light of the practical impossibility of tracing out an infinite chain of prior-occurring texts (on which, see also the comments by Roy Ciampa, “Scriptural Language and Ideas,” 42). 174 This is not to say that Echoes is methodologically faulty per se, given its scope, nor is it to blame Hays for not doing the study he should have done, as if to say Hays really should have studied not only the source texts, but also coeval and subsequent texts in Echoes—a petty criticism indeed, since there is nothing inappropriate about a deliberately focused study. It is


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this pervasive methodological weakness is manifest not only in Pauline studies, but extends to the whole scholarly enterprise that is frequently but anachronistically termed “the study of the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament.” For example, the recent group effort headed up by Beale and Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, perhaps best illustrates this methodological problem. The Commentary surveys all occurrences of the use of the OT in the NT using an explicitly formulated six-part approach. This method includes a detailed analysis of the NT context, the OT context, the use of citations in Second Temple and early Judaism, textual analysis, explanation of usage, and theological implications.175 However, the method laid out in the Commentary does not even hint at two other crucially important questions: (1) How was this NT text, which cites the OT, subsequently understood in the early church? and (2) How was this OT quotation received in early Christianity independent of its instantiation in this NT text?176 Thus, in the Commentary, in line with the recent, corrective trend emphasizing the Jewish matrix in which the NT was birthed,177 coeval and subsequent interpretations of the OT text in Judaism are helpfully explored, but early Christian sources, especially those beyond the horizons of the NT, are systematically neglected throughout the entire commentary.178 This methodological oversight is not merely to say that Hays’ initial methodological description of intertextuality and application of this approach was limited and incomplete, inasmuch as it did not encourage the exploration of coeval texts and reception history as a tool for illuminating the use of the Septuagint by the NT authors. 175 G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), xxiii–xxvi. 176 Sometimes this second question is tacitly asked when the commentator looks at how the OT text was used elsewhere in the NT, but the arbitrary exclusion of early Christian material that falls outside the NT shows that this is not a methodological priority. 177 It should be stressed that this corrective trend emphasizing the Jewish origins of Christianity is necessary, commendable, and praiseworthy—see ch. 1 n. 149 for specific examples. 178 Of course, individual commentators in the volume sometimes do indeed consult coeval and subsequent Christian interpretations on an ad hoc basis; the point is that on the level of basic method this consultation has been deemed extraneous by the editors. In a personal conversation generated by the presentation of some of this material in an SBL seminar (Atlanta, November 2010), Beale indicated to me that over the last several years he has become increasingly aware of the need to include reception history in the study of the use of the OT in the NT, and is now encouraging his doctoral students to pursue this angle. Likewise, the entirety of Francis Watson’s Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith is outstanding among its peers and very admirable in its intertextual awareness of Jewish co-texts with respect to Paul’s texts; however, Watson does not avail himself of (except in rare cases) the more intertextually prominent early Christian post-texts and co-texts.

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unique to the Beale and Carson volume, it is endemic throughout the entire cottage industry that has grown up around “the use of the OT in the NT.”179 It is this widespread neglect of the early Christian sources as an essential historical-critical and literary matrix for understanding Paul that I believe is in need of correction.180

A Proposed Methodological Corrective Diachronic Intertextuality In short the model I propose can be appropriately termed diachronic intertextuality. Diachronic intertextuality seeks to recapture the fundamental insight of Kristeva in asserting that any given text is informed by all of the sociohistorical discourse that precedes, surrounds, and follows it, while simultaneously dispensing with Kristeva’s problematic disregard for the role of genetic influence between texts in providing meaning. Within this diachronic intertextual model, some proposed technical definitions are offered to facilitate ongoing discussion with respect to the NT in general and Paul in particular: 1. A “text” shall be defined as “any specific instance in which a NT author, such as Paul, directly cites the scriptures.”181 A text is the NT author’s citation of the scriptures, not the Vorlage itself (e.g., Paul’s citation of Hab 2:4b LXX in Rom 1:17 is a text). 2. Let an “antecedent-text” be “any specific instantiation of sociohistorical discourse that occurred in the past before the particular NT author penned the quotation.” However, that is not to say that 179 As one example among many, consider the method utilized in Steve Moyise, The Old Testament in the New Testament: An Introduction (London: Continuum, 2001). 180 I lay the stress on the neglect of Christian sources not because Jewish ones are less valuable, but because intertextually informed biblical scholarship is, generally speaking, not currently neglecting these texts. 181 Yet this delimitation prompts a further question: “What counts as a citation?” This has been a surprisingly difficult question to answer. I have no interest in advancing my own theory in this regard, but rather refer the interested reader to the discussion of this matter as it pertains to Paul: Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 11–24; Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 33–37. For a more general discussion, see Stanley E. Porter, “The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament: A Brief Comment on Method and Terminology,” in Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel: Investigations and Proposals, ed. C. A. Evans and J. A. Sanders, JSNTSup 148 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1997), 79–96; Stanley E. Porter, “Further Comments on the Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament,” in The Intertextuality of the Epistles: Explorations of Theory and Practice, ed. Thomas L. Brodie, Dennis R. MacDonald, and Stanley E. Porter, NTM 16 (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2007), 98–110, esp. 107–9.


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3. 4.

5. 6.

7. 8.



every discourse that occurred prior to the creation of a text was equally prominent or present to the NT author.182 For the purposes of this study, a “pre-text” shall be “a specific textual source that the NT author utilized” (e.g., Hab 2:4b LXX). Let a “vehicle for the pre-text” be “an interpretative tradition that indirectly mediated the scriptures to the NT author” (e.g., any pre-Pauline messianic tradition associated with Habakkuk 2:4b LXX that affected Paul’s exegesis).183 A “relevant coeval-text” shall be defined as “any work contemporaneous with the text that shows awareness of the pre-text but not the text.” A “co-text” shall be a specific subset thereof—that is, a co-text is “a direct citation by a different early Jewish or Christian author of the same pre-text that the text cites independent of the text” (e.g., Heb 10:38a citing Hab 2:4b LXX independently of Rom 1:17 or Gal 3:11).184 A “subsequent-text” is to be defined as “any sociohistorical discourse that emerges in the wake of the text.” A “post-text” shall be a subset of subsequent-text and shall be defined as “a subsequent direct citation of the text or a direct citation of the pre-text as otherwise mediated through text” (e.g., Irenaeus Epid. 35 citing Hab 2:4b LXX via Rom 1:17). Finally, let an “inter-text” be a catchall for “any relevant coevaltext or subsequent-text that is not specifically a co-text or posttext, but nonetheless has special relevance to a text because it uses a closely related pre-text or a pertinent passage in the near context

See Roy E. Ciampa, “Scriptural Language and Ideas,” 42 n. 3. See criticism of Hays for neglecting this dimension in Echoes by Craig A. Evans, “Listening for Echoes of Interpreted Scripture,” in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, JSNTSup 83 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 47–51, and Christopher D. Stanley, “‘The Redeemer Will Come evk Ziw.n’: Romans 11:26–27 Revisited,” in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, 118–42, esp. 120. 184 Of course, it is possible that Hab 2:4b in Hebrews is actually dependent on Paul—that is, it is not absolutely certain that Heb 10:38a is really a co-text—it might rather be a post-text. However, as most scholars agree, this is quite unlikely, since the citation is much longer in Hebrews, has a slightly different textual form (Hebrews includes mou, whereas Paul omits), is not rhetorically foregrounded in a comparable fashion, and lacks contrast with performance of the law. See Harold W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989), 301–4, for the standard view. Nonetheless this has not stopped a few scholars from claiming that Hebrews depends on Paul at this juncture—e.g., Clare K. Rothschild, “Hebrews as a Guide to Reading Romans,” in Pseudepigraphie und Verfasserfiktion in frühchristlichen Briefen, ed. Jörg Frey, Jens Herzer, Martina Janßen, and Clare K. Rothschild (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2009), 537–73, here 548. 183

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of the pre-text” (e.g., Heb 10:37 and 10:38b citing Hab 2:3b-4a LXX would be an inter-text, because this material is a relevant coeval-text but not specifically a co-text, since only Heb 10:38a overlaps with Paul’s citation of Hab 2:4b LXX). To state succinctly my methodological rationale in light of this new vocabulary: if a particular passage in Paul’s letters that utilizes the scriptures is dubbed a text, then why has there been an almost exclusive focus among biblical scholars on Jewish pre-texts, vehicles for the pre-text, cotexts, and relevant coeval-texts at the expense of the more intertextually proximate Christian co-texts, post-texts, and inter-texts?185 Certain early Christian authors, such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and others, have read Paul and show evidence of having borrowed his specific scriptural arguments (post-texts). When they depend on a Pauline scriptural argument, they are in fact providing valuable insight into how they understood that particular Pauline exegesis. Of course, when these early Christian authors make use of a Pauline scriptural argument, they inevitably transform it in some way, due to their differing sociohistorical locations, so unraveling how they understood Paul is not always a simple matter; nonetheless, they supply crucial data regarding how they understood Paul, data that must be taken with the utmost seriousness, due to their linguistic, cultural, intertextual, religious (sharing the confession of Jesus as Messiah and Lord), and hermeneutical proximity to Paul. Furthermore, early Christian authors occasionally cite the same Septuagintal pre-text as Paul, even when they are not dependent upon Paul for their exegesis (this is a co-text), and thus a comparison between the way in which these other early Christian authors use the LXX and Paul’s own exegesis can be fruitfully undertaken. Scholarship has sometimes taken recourse to these formal early Christian parallels in exploring Paul’s hermeneutic, but comparison has been on an ad hoc basis and is generally restricted to NT parallels, rather than a methodical treatment.186 185

On the anachronistic labels “Jewish” and “Christian” and the problems pertaining thereto, see ch. 1 n. 158. 186 Three types of previous scholarly attempts make a contribution: (1) source-critical studies that treat the scriptural exegesis of a specific early church father, e.g.: Robert A. Kraft, “The Epistle of Barnabas, Its Quotations and Their Sources” (PhD diss., Harvard, 1961); Donald A. Hagner, The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome, NovTSup 34 (Leiden: Brill, 1973); Oskar Skarsaune, The Proof from Prophecy: A Study in Justin Martyr’s Proof-Text Tradition: Text-Type, Provenance, Theological Profile, NovTSup 56 (Leiden: Brill, 1987); (2) studies of the Wirkungsgeschichte of Paul: Kirsopp Lake, Paul: His Heritage and His Legacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1934); Eva Hoffmann-Aleith, Paulusverständnis in der Alten Kirche, BZNW 18 (Berlin: A. Töpelmann, 1937); Albert E. Barnett, Paul


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Throughout this study, but especially in chapter 5, early Christian co-texts and post-texts and relevant inter-texts will be used in order to gain a fresh vantage point on some moments of scriptural exegesis in Paul, hopefully leading to a fuller understanding of his guiding hermeneutic. In exploring early Christian co-texts, post-texts, and inter-texts as a window through which to gaze upon various Pauline texts, not only is a neglected database for the study of Pauline hermeneutics recovered, but we also are introduced to an intriguing, person-centered exegetical technique not hitherto discussed in NT studies (to the best of my knowledge), but that nonetheless formed an important exegetical resource for Paul— prosopological exegesis. Chapters 4 and 5 will be centered on prosopological exegesis, criteria for its detection, and the manner in which an awareness of this technique illuminates a number of specific passages in the Pauline corpus, as well as Pauline hermeneutics more generally.

Thesis The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation Thus far I have outlined the history of research and methodological rationale for this study. It remains for me to state my thesis regarding how this fresh approach to intertextuality ultimately changes the landscape of Pauline hermeneutics. When Christian co-texts, post-texts, and pertinent inter-texts are included as part of the data set capable of illuminating Paul’s approach to the scriptures, what is the result? In light of Paul’s hermeneutical statements about the scriptures and in view of Paul’s use of prosopological exegesis, this study argues that Paul received, utilized, and extended an apostolic, kerygmatic narrative tradition centered on certain key events in the Christ story as his primary interpretative lens—a narrative tradition that already contained a Becomes a Literary Influence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941); Édouard Massaux, The Influence of the Gospel of Saint Matthew on Christian Literature before Saint Irenaeus, 3 vols., ed. Arthur J. Bellinzoni, trans. Norman J. Belval and Suzanne Hecht, New Gospel Studies 5 (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1990–1993); K. H. Schelkle, Paulus Lehrer der Väter: Die Altkirchliche Auslegung von Römer 1–11 (Düsseldorf: Patmos, 1956); Andreas Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum, BHT 58 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1979); Rolf Noormann, Irenäus als Paulusinterpret: Zur Rezeption und Wirkung der paulinischen und deuteropaulinische Briefe im Werk der Irenäus von Lyon, WUNT 66 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1994); and (3) standard biblical commentaries and handbooks occasionally make reference to Christian co-texts or relevant coeval-texts and rarely to post-texts. The result of these previous attempts are impossible to summarize with respect to the topic of Pauline hermeneutics due to their unsystematic nature.

Toward the Center of Pauline Hermeneutics


built-in hermeneutic. That is to say, while Paul accepted and employed a basic christocentric narrative tradition that itself articulated a fundamental hermeneutical posture, Paul seamlessly grafted his own apostolic mission onto this narrative, seeing his own Gentile mission as “promised in advance” by God in the scriptures. From Paul’s perspective, this christocentric narrative can be described as apostolic in origin and kerygmatic in content and function. In short, the received apostolic proclamation acts as a “center” for Paul, giving fundamental hermeneutical guidance as it operates within his larger notion of a divine economy. However, note well, the claim that Paul uses this christocentric narrative as his primary lens is not equivalent to saying all (or even most) of the scriptures that he cites themselves participate in that christocentric narrative. Yet, the most vital thing is, of course, to examine what Paul himself says about his method of scriptural interpretation, and it is to this task we now turn in chapters 2 and 3.

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G Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma There is no small amount of disagreement regarding the degree to which Paul conveys his own principles of scriptural interpretation. For instance, Richard Hays has dismissed the notion that Paul has any systematic hermeneutical principles, let alone ones that are expressly revealed.1 Other scholars forthrightly claim the opposite, that Paul does have clearly defined exegetical principles,2 and some scholars have taken a more cautious centrist position.3 I will argue that Paul does forthrightly point to a hermeneutical center, although he neither unequivocally expresses nor exemplifies any systematic hermeneutical principles. The received apostolic proclamation is the filter through which he reads his ancient Jewish scriptures. In the search for explicit statements by Paul about his own hermeneutical principles, the most heavily studied passage is probably 2 Corinthians 1

Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 160, states: “Our account of Paul’s interpretative activity has discovered no systematic exegetical procedures at work.” 2 E. Earle Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957), 135–36; Scott J. Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History of Israel: The Letter/Spirit Contrast and the Argument from Scripture in 2 Corinthians 3 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1995; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996), 452–53; Carol K. Stockhausen, “2 Corinthians 3 and the Principles of Pauline Exegesis,” in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, JSNTSup 83 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 143–64, esp. 143–46, identifies five exegetical principles: (1) narrative texts from the Pentateuch are primary, (2) prophetic or wisdom texts focus the narrative texts from the Pentateuch, (3) contradictions are located and resolved, (4) attention to context, and (5) pesher-like contemporization. 3 Steven DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” in As It Is Written: Studying Paul’s Use of Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 59–93, esp. 77–93, identifies in Paul just one “contemporized eschatological” hermeneutical principle akin to that operative in the Dead Sea Scrolls.



The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

3:1–4:6 (using the key terms “spirit,” “letter,” and “veil”), which has been the subject of numerous independent monographs, followed by Galatians 4:21-31 (on allegory) and 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (on so-called “typology”). Although these passages undoubtedly reveal crucial hermeneutical insights, I believe that the intense focus by scholars examining Pauline hermeneutics on these specific passages in many respects has had the deleterious effect of obscuring the more primal kerygmatic framework that Paul elsewhere forthrightly endorses. Thus, in sequencing my chapters, I have chosen to treat passages that announce Paul’s kerygmatic hermeneutic first, and will reserve discussion of “typology,” allegory, the significance of the veil, and several other points for chapter 3. In this chapter, I will contend that Paul’s own declarations about the scriptures suggest that Paul uses certain received christocentric narrative sequences as his fundamental hermeneutical lens. Moreover, these christocentric sequences in Paul contain a relatively stable core of fixed elements. At the center of these narratives stand assertions regarding the salvific death, resurrection, and installation of Christ in a position of power in the heavenly realms. Furthermore, by syntactically extending these protocreedal sequences, Paul hermeneutically maps himself and his audience into the narrative framework provided by these structures. The result is that Paul himself testifies that his scriptural hermeneutic is grounded in christocentric protocreedal narrative sequences that can be identified as both kerygmatic and apostolic in nature.

1 Corinthians 15:3-11: “According to the Scriptures” and Protocreedal Hermeneutics In 1 Corinthians 15:3, Paul uses language that signals the deliberate, intentional transmission of traditional material with the terms “I handed over” (pare,dwka) and “I received” (pare,labon),4 while reminding the audience also of the content of this traditional material: 3

For as a matter of primary import I handed over to you that which also I received: that Christ died in behalf of our sins in accordance with the


For paradi,dwmi in the sense of transmitting tradition see: Mark 7:13; Luke 1:2; Acts 6:14; 16:4; 1 Cor 11:2, 23; 2 Pet 2:21; Jude 3. For paralamba,nw, see Mark 7:4; 1 Cor 11:23; 15:1; Gal 1:9, 12; Col 2:6; 1 Thess 2:13; 4:1; 2 Thess 3:6. For discussion of the technical use of these terms and others see Birger Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (repr., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), esp. 288–306 with reference to Paul; see also H. M. F. Büchsel, “di,dwmi( ktl,” TDNT 2:166–73, here 169–72, and Gerhard Delling, “lamba,nw( ktl,” TDNT 4:5–15, here 11–14.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he has been raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then the Twelve . . . 8then last of all, as if to a miscarried fetus, he appeared also to me. . . . 11Therefore whether I or those ones, thus we are preaching, and thus you believed. (1 Cor 15:3-5, 8, 11)5

Since Paul himself makes it clear that he is recounting “received” material beginning in 15:3b, it is not surprising that recent scholarship has been nearly unanimous in identifying the use of preformed Christian tradition starting at 15:3b.6 However, the precise Sitz im Leben of this preformed tradition has been more hotly debated, as well as exactly where Paul has introduced his own modifications or additions to this material. The only assured Sitz im Leben is the one that Paul identifies in 15:1 (o` euvagge,lion o] euvhggelisa,mhn) and 15:11 (khru,ssomen), that of kerygma or evangelistic proclamation,7 although supplemental catechetical suggestions remain 5 Text (1 Cor 15:3-5, 8, 11): [3] pare,dwka ga.r u`mi/n evn prw,toij( o] kai. pare,labon( o[ti Cristo.j avpe,qanen u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n kata. ta.j grafa.j [4] kai. o[ti evta,fh kai. o[ti evgh,gertai th/| h`me,ra| th/| tri,th| kata. ta.j grafa.j [5] kai. o[ti w;fqh Khfa/| ei=ta toi/j dw,deka\ ) ) ) [8] e;scaton de. pa,ntwn w`sperei. tw/| evktrw,mati w;fqh kavmoi, ) ) ) [11] ei;te ou=n evgw. ei;te evkei/noi( ou[twj khru,ssomen kai. ou[twj evpisteu,sate. On text-critical issues see ch. 2 n. 35. 6 Although not the first to identify 1 Cor 15:3b-5 as recounting traditional material, Adolf von Harnack brought this theory to prominence in his “Die Verklärungsgeschichte Jesu, der Bericht des Paulus (1. Kor. 15,3ff) und die beiden Christusvisionen des Petrus,” SPAW (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1922): 62–80. 7 With regard to Paul’s own terminology surrounding proclamation, the activity of “heralding” or “proclaiming” finds expression in the verbal form khru,ssw, while the official message is the kh,rugma, that is, the “official announcement,” “proclamation,” or “public declaration.” There are sixty-two occurrences of kh/rux (“herald”) and cognates in the NT, with twenty-four in the Pauline corpus and eighteen in the seven “undisputed” letters (Rom 2:21; 10:8, 14, 15; 16:25; 1 Cor 1:21, 23; 2:4; 9:27; 15:11, 12, 14; 2 Cor 1:19; 4:5; 11:4; Gal 2:2; 5:11; Phil 1:15). Paul himself reveals the essential content of his proclamation: “We preach Christ crucified” (h`mei/j de. khru,ssomen Cristo.n evstaurwme,non—1 Cor 1:23; cf. Rom 10:8-10; 2 Cor 4:5). There are a number of other terms that overlap with the semantic domain of kh/russw and cognates—see Louw-Nida §33.189–217, 256–61—e.g., katagge,llw (1 Cor 2:1; Phil 1:17-18), diagge,llw (Rom 9:17), gnwri,zw (Rom 9:22-23; Eph 6:19; Col 1:27), and esp. euvaggeli,zw. In fact, in Paul’s characteristic usage, the christocentric proclamation and its content are more frequently referenced by the nomenclature euvaggeli,zw and euvagge,lion (sixty-eight times in the seven letters) than with khru,ssw and kh,rugma (eighteen times), while the two word families are often used synonymously (e.g., Rom 10:15; 16:25; 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 2:2; 1 Thess 2:9; cf. Col 1:23). In light of the suitability of either term, the reasons behind my preference for stressing the term kh,rugma over euvagge,lion in my own project are threefold: (1) to avoid any confusion between “gospel” as actively proclaimed content and “Gospel” as a literary genre, (2) the term “gospel” in English is more plastic than “kerygma,” and thus more susceptible to overgeneralization in terms of the specific proclaimed christocentric narrative I am trying to evoke with my use of the term, and (3) within NT studies more specifically, my use of the term deliberately signals continuity with Dodd’s project.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

plausible.8 In light of the subsequent adoption and modification of this pre-Pauline tradition into subsequent creeds,9 I will refer to this traditional material as a “protocreed” as a shorthand term. Most scholars have seen 15:3b-5 as the protocreedal unit cited by Paul, although this has been questioned by more than a few.10 Murphy-O’Connor has given the best 8 Alfred Seeberg, Der Katechismus der Urchristenheit, TB 26 (Leipzig, 1903; repr., München: Kaiser, 1966): 45–58, here 55, identifies 1 Cor 15:3-5 as “Missionspredigt” or “die evangelische Verkündigung des Apostels”; Archibald M. Hunter, Paul and His Predecessors, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961), 16–17 esp. 17, thinks Paul is here rehearsing the baptismal creed of the Damascus church and that it “emanated originally from the primitive Palestinian church”; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977), 101–5, argues that the traditional material cited was originally Semitic but passed through a Greek-speaking environment in the course of its transmission to Paul. He is supported in this conclusion by Bertold Klappert, “Zur Frage des semitischen oder griechischen Urtextes von I. Kor xv.3-5,” NTS 13 (1967): 168–73, but much of Jeremias’ argument has been shown to be inconclusive or problematic by Hans Conzelmann, “On the Analysis of the Confessional Formula in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5,” Int 20 (1966): 15–25. The most recent interpreter, David M. Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed’: The Extent of Paul’s Citation of an Early Christian Formula in 1 Cor 15,3b-7,” ZNW 99 (2008): 49–73, here 50 n. 1, places “creed” inside quotation marks, since he acknowledges only that Paul employs “a unit of formulaic material,” and sagely does not hazard speculation about origins. 9 See J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (London: Longman, 1950), 13–23 on Pauline protocreedal fragments and 62–99 on the growth toward fixity. Oscar Cullmann, The Earliest Christian Confessions (London: Lutterworth, 1949), 38 and 45, also notes that this traditional formulation is echoed in subsequent creedal developments, such as are found in the Epistula Apostolorum. 10 See review of literature in Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “Tradition and Redaction in 1 Cor 15:3-7,” CBQ 43 (1981): 582–89, here 582, who notes Héring, Winter, Bammel, and Bartsch as favoring diverse terminations apart from the end of 15:5, to which must be added Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed.’” One possibility is that the protocreed might have ended at 15:4, since Cephas is elsewhere used by Paul in reference to Peter (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14), and thus 15:5a might be regarded as distinctively Pauline. However, Peter is called Cephas by others (e.g., John 1:42; cf. Matt 16:18 assuming a Semitic wordplay around “rock”), and the retention of Cephas might equally point to the Semitic origins of this material (so Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, 101–5); moreover such a supposition disrupts what appears to be a carefully crafted syntactical arrangement. A second possibility is that ei=ta toi/j dw,deka may not have been part of the original creed, but rather these are Paul’s own words, as he begins to integrate the other apostles into the christocentric story. This proposal makes excellent sense on syntactical grounds, but ultimately fails, because the concept of “the Twelve” is not found elsewhere in Paul, making it unlikely that this is his own term here. Paul displays a more embracing concept of apostleship (as is discussed elsewhere in this chapter) and one might suspect he was not particularly keen on the notion of “the Twelve,” since it excluded other witnesses to the resurrection, such as Paul himself. That “the Twelve” was an important technical designation (e.g., Matt 26:14; Mark 4:10; Luke 8:1; John 20:24) is clear, inasmuch as historically only eleven would have been present, due to the defection of Judas (Matt 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:11, 33; Acts 1:26)—in fact, missing the significance of this technical term, a number of scribes sought to enhance Paul’s accuracy by modifying “twelve” to “eleven” in some MSS at 1 Cor 15:5 (D* F G latt sy hmg).

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


recent defense of the standard position, noting that the rhetorical structure o[ti ) ) ) kai. o[ti ) ) ) kai. o[ti ) ) ) kai. o[ti ) ) ) is exactly paralleled in its first two elements by 1 Corinthians 8:4, in which two slogans from the Corinthians are directly quoted. Thus, o[ti ) ) ) kai. o[ti ) ) ) is a syntactical structuring device that Paul is known to use when introducing quoted material.11 This strongly favors the unity of the protocreed,12 as well as its limitation to 15:3b-5,13 and this will be the position adopted here. In light of the vast amount of energy exerted in an attempt to reconstruct the “original” protocreed, one might think that a corresponding level of scholarly effort might be discernible in the attempt to integrate the protocreed into a portrait of Pauline hermeneutics, but oddly enough, even in monographs devoted to explicating Paul’s use of the scriptures, this passage scarcely makes an appearance.14 However, I contend that this 11

Murphy-O’Connor, “Tradition and Redaction,” 583–84. Contra Ulrich Wilckens, “Der Ursprung der Überlieferung der Erscheinungen des Auferstanden: Zur traditionsgeschichtlichen Analyse von 1 Kor 15,1-11,” in Dogma und Denkstrukturen, ed. W. Joest and W. Pannenberg (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963), 81–95. 13 Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed,’” makes a notable effort to extend the protocreed through 15:7, noting the additional ei=ta ) ) ) e;peita ) ) ) e;peita ) ) ) ei;te structure that flows through 15:7 (granting the validity of the proposed text in NA 27 —there are significant variants to ei=ta both in 15:5 and 15:7). However, Moffitt must posit 15:6b as a Pauline addition, considerably weakening his case. 14 For example, Otto Michel, Paulus und Seine Bibel, BFCT 2/18 (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1929; repr., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1972), 120–22, uses 1 Cor 15:3-5 to show that the scriptures are useful to Paul’s Missionspredigt, which suggests that the import of 1 Cor 15:3-5 lies in application but not interpretation. Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament, references 1 Cor 15:3-5 passim but devotes not even a minor discussion to this text. Dietrich-Alex Koch, Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen zur Verwendung und zum Verständnis der Schrift bei Paulus, BHT 69 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1986), 232–39, devotes a section to analyzing pre-Pauline scriptural references, but it is curiously dominated by possible references to Isaiah 53. He notes (238) with regard to 1 Cor 15:3-5 that “it is reasonable to understand the double kata. ta.j grafa,j as a blanket expression concerning the basic scriptural appropriateness of the cross and resurrection, in which the reference to one (or several) scriptural passage(s) do not stand in the foreground.” Koch is surely correct in this judgment, as I likewise concur in the subsequent discussion, but 1 Cor 15:3-5 is not really integrated into Koch’s hermeneutical proposal in a meaningful way. Hays, Echoes, 84, references 1 Cor 15:3-5, but never discusses it; meanwhile, Hays, “Christ Prays the Psalms: Israel’s Psalter as Matrix of Early Christology,” in The Conversion of the Imagination (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 200), 101–18, here 118 and 107 n. 20, makes provocative yet undeveloped overtures. James W. Aageson, Written Also for Our Sakes: Paul and the Art of Biblical Interpretation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993), 36, briefly discusses this passage to illustrate that Paul believed Christ could be discerned in the scriptures. Francis Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 17, gives a short mention of 1 Cor 15:3-5 in support of his Christ-scripture hermeneutical dialectic. The most thorough discussion of the hermeneutical significance of 1 Cor 15:3-5 for Paul that has come to my attention is in 12


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

passage is central to understanding Paul’s hermeneutic. The following analysis is offered in support of this conclusion. Paul Affirms the Hermeneutical Stance of the Protocreed Paul’s rhetorical use of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 in 1 Corinthians 15 demands that Paul himself accepted the protocreed in its entirety, including the normativeness of its hermeneutical statements. It is necessary to stress emphatically this point, since there is a tendency in some quarters to argue for a hermeneutical disjuncture between Paul and the pre-Pauline tradition he cites.15 Paul emphatically endorses this protocreed by calling it a matter of first importance (evn prw,toij [15:1]) and by claiming that the very salvation of the Corinthians depends on their adherence to it (15:2). It therefore should be assumed prima facie that he has also endorsed its kata. ta.j grafa,j hermeneutical judgments. Moreover, Paul’s subsequent argumentation in 1 Corinthians 15 is theologically predicated upon Paul’s and the Corinthians’ common acceptance of the full validity of the protocreed, especially the “he was raised” clause, which stands as the foundation of their beliefs. In fact, if Christ has not been raised, “we are the most pitiful of all people” (1 Cor 15:19). Note, also that “you are still in your sins” (e;ti evste. evn tai/j a`marti,aij u`mw/n) in 15:17 echoes the claim of death “in behalf of our sins” (u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n) in the protocreed. In addition, the agricultural metaphor of sowing/ coming to life in 15:35-44 follows naturally from the “he was buried” and “he appeared [alive]” elements of the protocreed. Finally, Paul’s exegesis of Genesis 2:7 LXX, Isaiah 25:8 LXX, and Hosea 13:14 LXX in 1 Corinthians 15 all pick up on themes closely related to the protocreed—“the first human, Adam, became a living psyche, but the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (Gen 2:7), “Death is swallowed up in victory!” (Isa 25:8), and “Where O Death is your victory? Where O Death is your sting?” (Hos 13:14).16 Thus, not only does Paul’s rhetoric suggest that he embraced the hermeneutical stance of the protocreed and expected it to be regarded as normative, his theological reasoning and exegesis in the near context the semipopular-level work by Paul Matthews van Buren, According to the Scripture: The Origins of the Gospel and of the Church’s Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 51–59, which is primarily preoccupied with a dubious link between the “gospel” of 1 Cor 15:3-5 and the Akedah. 15 See, for example, the treatment of Rom 1:3-4 by Jewett and Koch, as discussed later in this chapter. 16 Paul’s exegesis of Ps 109:1 LXX and Ps 8:7 LXX in 1 Cor 15:25-27 does not so clearly connect to 1 Cor 15:3-5, although it does match the “Son-of-God-in-Power” stage of the master kerygmatic narrative, which will be reconstructed with the aid of Rom 1:3-4 in what follows.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


indicate that the content of the protocreed played a decisive role in his scriptural interpretation. I have only made a few observations here; more evidence for the hermeneutical centrality of the protocreed will be presented in due course. Right now, the more-pressing need is to explore the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 in more detail. A Detailed Exploration of the Clauses “In Accordance with the Scriptures” The text of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 has been provided below, with labeled clauses, in order to facilitate discussion: 3b (clause 1) 4a (clause 2) 4b (clause 3) 5

(clause 4)

o[ti Cristo.j avpe,qanen u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n kata. ta.j grafa.j kai. o[ti evta,fh kai. o[ti evgh,gertai th/| h`me,ra| th/| tri,th| kata. ta.j grafa.j kai. o[ti w;fqh Khfa/| ei=ta toi/j dw,deka\17

This kerygmatic protocreed has a four-part christocentric narrative structure, and two of these parts are explicitly said to be kata. ta.j grafa,j. The first clause of the creed states o[ti Cristo.j avpe,qanen u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n kata. ta.j grafa.j. The u`pe.r plus genitive construction entails action undertaken in behalf of or for the sake of another, with the possible additional nuance of exchange or substitution: “Christ died in behalf of our sins,” or perhaps, “Christ died in exchange for our sins.”18 A failure to note the different ways in which Paul utilizes the singular grafh, (“scripture”) and the plural grafa,i (“scriptures”) has resulted in an unjustified scholarly search for an exact scriptural referent that might perhaps announce that “Christ died in behalf of our sins.” However, a careful analysis suggests that Paul reserves the plural for general statements 17

3b (clause 1)

that Christ died in behalf of our sins in accordance with the scriptures 4a (clause 2) and that he was buried 4b (clause 3) and that he has been raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures 5 (clause 4) and that he was seen by Cephas and then by the Twelve. 18 The preposition u`pe,r as classically utilized was encroaching on the semantic domain of avnti, during the Koine period, and the meaning “substitution” or “exchange” is frequently on display (see BDAG s.v. u`pe,r def. A.1), as has been well-documented in contemporaneous papyri (see MM s.v. u`pe,r; A. T. Robertson, “The Use of ~Upe,r in Business Documents in the Papyri,” in The Minister and His Greek New Testament [Nashville: Broadman, 1977], 35–42). For some relatively straightforward examples of the substitutionary or “exchange” function of u`pe,r in Paul, see Rom 5:7-8; 9:3; 1 Cor 15:29; 2 Cor 5:14-15, 21; Gal 3:13, Phlm 13.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

about the scriptures, holistically conceived, but uses the singular when he intends to reference a specific passage.19 Thus, even though specific candidates for 1 Corinthians 15:3 have been advocated for by various scholars, including Psalms 21 and 68 LXX, Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Lamentations 1:12, 18, and especially Isaiah 53, such identifications are plausible as part of the general pattern, but narrowing to one or two passages is too exclusive.20 Paul is stating that in some hitherto unexplained way, Christ’s death in behalf of our sins corresponds to the general witness of “the scriptures,” that is, to a large number of passages, making this a hermeneutical statement. In fact, according to the important study of Reinhold Liebers, Paul was not alone in his hermeneutically pregnant yet zitatlose Schriftbezug; rather, this is a general pattern found in at least three other very early Christian texts.21 As Liebers’ study shows, Paul has not accidentally failed to cite a specific text, but rather, sometimes 19 In the seven “undisputed” letters Paul uses the sg. grafh, seven times, and in every case it refers exclusively to the specific details of a particular passage of scripture rather than to scripture as a generalized collective: Rom 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; Gal 3:8, 22; 4:30—cf. 1 Tim 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16. If deemed authentically Pauline, 2 Tim 3:16 is exceptional in that the sg. grafh, is used for a generalized hermeneutical statement, but it is the exception which proves the rule, since it is in fact adjectivally universalized (pa/sa grafh,). Paul employs the plural grafa,i five times in four locations: Rom 1:2; 15:4; 16:26; 1 Cor 15:3-4 (twice). See discussion of the ambiguous case of Gal 3:22 in J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (London: Macmillan, 1865; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1993), 147–48, who presents evidence that the principle that the sg. implies a particular passage holds not only for Paul but the entire NT. Louw-Nida also seems to recognize this distinction (cf. §33.53 to §33.54). Although Paul is following a source here, since the singular/plural distinctive seems to hold for the NT in general, it should also be presumed to hold for the source used by Paul in the absence of evidence to the contrary. 20 The most arresting discussion has surrounded the attempt to use Paul’s u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n language to identify the specific scriptural texts he had in view (cf. Isa 53:4, 10 with peri, rather than u`pe,r). For further discussion, see Barnabas Lindars, New Testament Apologetic: The Doctrinal Significance of the Old Testament Quotations (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961), 75–137, esp. 77–88 on Isaiah 53; Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 238–39; Wolfgang Schrage, Der erste Brief an die Korinther, 4 vols., EKKNT (Zürich: Benziger, 1991–2001), 4.24–25; Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 1190; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AYB 32 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 546. 21 Reinhold Liebers, “Wie Geschrieben Steht”: Studien zu einer bosonderen Art fruhchristlichen Schriftbezuges (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1993). Liebers examines all the occurrences of “as it is written” (and similar statements) that are not attached to a citation or clear allusion, while also eliminating cases that involve later redaction. By this method, he arrives at four early examples of this phenomenon in the Christian literature: 1 Cor 15:3-5; Mark 9:11-13; 14:21; and 14:4849. He finds that these all hold in common, when examined against the literary background of the scriptures in general, the theme of the suffering, death, and vindication of the righteous (see esp. his discussion on 349–89 and the concluding results on 391–97).

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


early Christian authors referred obliquely to the repeated scriptural pattern of the suffering, the death, and the vindication of the righteous, while having no specific texts as exact referents immediately in view. Beyond this, it is not clear exactly what Paul intends by his kata. ta.j grafa,j claim—whether Paul intends to say that the specified christocentric events fulfilled the narrative of promise and election, or whether kata. ta.j grafa,j should be construed prophetically, typologically, allegorically, as unraveling a divine mystery, as charismatically interpreted, or otherwise. In attempting to gain a purchase on what kata. ta.j grafa,j might mean for Paul, it is not unreasonable to consider some closely related hermeneutical statements in Luke 24:13-49 as the nearest parallel.22 In support of the close connection between Paul and Luke in this regard, it first should be noted that content corresponding to all four clauses of the 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 protocreed are present in Luke 24:13-49.23 Second, it should be observed that Luke in 24:25-27, and again in 24:45-46, gives scriptural support to the exact same two points as are identified as kata. ta.j grafa,j in the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5: the first clause (“Christ died”) and the third (“he has been raised”), while Luke also stresses that the content that corresponds to clauses one and three of the protocreed is 22

Luke can be used as a suggestive, possible model for how “according to the scriptures” might have functioned for Paul; however Luke’s evidence is clearly secondary data, not primary, in furthering any hypotheses for Paul and must be regarded as such. There is a dearth of exact parallels—the phrase kata. ta.j grafa,j does not appear elsewhere in the Pauline corpus, nor is it used by other NT authors, the Apostolic Fathers, Philo, or Josephus. The one lone reference in the Apologists is in Justin Dial. 82.4, in which it is asserted that the Christian speaks kata. ta.j grafa,j out of fear, since the Christians’ duty to proclaim the gospel places them in a similar position to the “watchman” in Ezekiel. Irenaeus Haer. 3.18.3 cites 1 Cor 15:3-4 as evidence that Jesus and the Christ are one and the same according to Paul’s early testimony—and that Jesus really suffered, died, was buried, and rose from the dead, contrary to the opinion of his opponents. However, Irenaeus does not state anything suggestive regarding Paul’s hermeneutic. 23 The correspondence in content between Luke 24:13-49 and 1 Cor 15:3-5 can be illustrated as follows: (1) “Christ died in behalf of our sins” (1 Cor 15:3b) is paralleled with the combination of Luke 24:20 (“handed him over for the death sentence and crucified him”) and in 24:47 (“forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed”); (2) “he was buried” (1 Cor 15:4a) is implicitly acknowledged through multiple references to his tomb in Luke 24:22-24; (3) “he has been raised on the third day” (1 Cor 15:4b) is forthrightly affirmed in Luke 24:21 and again in 24:46 through the words of the resurrected Jesus himself: “the Christ is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day”; (4) “he appeared to Cephas then the Twelve” (1 Cor 15:5) is mirrored in Luke 24:34 “The Lord has truly risen, and he has appeared to Simon!,” and his subsequent appearance to the Eleven and their companions in 24:36 (cf. 24:33). The order of an appearance to Peter, then to the Twelve is preserved; one point in which correspondence lacks is that Luke identifies eleven rather than twelve, reflecting Judas’ treachery.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

to be found “in all the scriptures” (24:25-27, here 24:27).24 Moreover, precisely the same content that corresponds to the clauses not given scriptural warrant in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 are not given scriptural backing by Luke in 24:25-27 and 24:45-46, that is, the second (“he was buried”) and the fourth (“he appeared”).25 Now that the similarities between 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 and Luke 24:13-49 have been established, in what way are Luke’s hermeneutical statements suggestive for how kata. ta.j grafa,j might function in the protocreed for Paul? I would like to make four brief points. First, in Luke 24:13-49, appeal is made to the entirety of the scriptural witness, and a large number of passages appears to be in view. Interpretation is performed in light of “all the prophets” (Luke 24:25), “Moses and all the prophets” (24:27), “all the scriptures” (24:27), “the scriptures” (24:32; 24:45), and “the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms” (24:44). That numerous passages are in view is also emphasized by the word beginning (avrxa,menoj) in the phrase “beginning from Moses and all the prophets” and by the notion that this beginning initiated a process that continued until “all the scriptures” (24:27) had been interpreted. Moreover, the qualifying phrase “all which the prophets have spoken” (24:25) seems to imply many passages. If the unity of Luke–Acts is accepted, then the missionary sermons of Acts give ample illustration of the sort of explicative procedure envisioned (e.g., Acts 2:14-39; 3:12-26; 13:16-41). Thus, Luke reinforces by analogy what we have already determined previously—kata. ta.j grafa,j probably intends a large number of texts drawn from the entire scriptural pattern of witness, rather than one or two specific texts. 24 Regarding the Lukan correlation with the first and the third clauses, consider Jesus’ response to the two travelers (Luke 24:25-27): “‘Oh, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.” Jesus, as Luke portrays him, highlights the suffering of the Messiah, which approximates to the first clause of the protocreed (death), and the entering of the Messiah into glory, which approximates to the third clause (resurrection). This is not merely coincidental, because this exact phenomenon repeats itself again in Christ’s words to the Eleven (Luke 24:45-46): “Then he opened the scriptures so that they might understand ‘the mind’ of them, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day’” (to,te dih,noixen auvtw/n to.n nou/n tou/ sunie,nai ta.j grafa,j\ ou[twj ge,graptai paqei/n to.n cristo.n kai. avnasth/nai evk nekrw/n th/| tri,th| h`me,ra|). The content that corresponds to the first clause (with suffering intimating death) and third clause (resurrection on the third day), which are qualified as kata. ta.j grafa,j in 1 Cor 15:3-5, are here again identified by Luke as being present in scripture by the use of the standard introductory formula “thus it is written” (ou[twj ge,graptai), but the content of the second and fourth clauses receive no such endorsement, again just as in 1 Cor 15:3b-5. 25 For evidence see the note immediately prior (ch. 2 n. 24).

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


Second, the interpretation of the scriptures in Luke 24:13-49 is thoroughly christocentric, yet indirect. Luke explicitly states as much twice: (1) In Luke 24:27, the narrator says “[Jesus] interpreted to them the things about himself [ta. peri. e`autou/] in all the scriptures,” and (2) Luke 24:44 places the following words on Jesus’ lips, “everything must be fulfilled that is written about me [peri. evmou/] in the Law of Moses.” Furthermore, the oblique language of “about himself ” and “about me” implies the central Christ events are not “in the scriptures” directly (e.g., the Christ is not mentioned by name as the central actor or referent in these events), but that certain events in the scriptures are nonetheless “about” the Christ. This “about” language approximates to the “in accordance with the scriptures,” language of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5. Third, in Luke 24:13-49, the scriptural testimony to the death and resurrection of the Christ is fully present prior to the interpretative explanation, but neither the two travelers nor the Eleven are able to interpret properly, apart from Christ’s explicit guidance. The travelers are admonished for being foolish and “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (24:25), implying that the necessary information was all in place for the proper christological inference, but that some flash of insight constituting the hermeneutical key was missing. It is only after Christ explains the manner in which the scriptures say things about himself that they understand the scriptural testimony, finding that Christ has “opened/ explicated” (dih,noigen) the scriptures to them (24:32).26 In the same manner, the Eleven do not understand in what way “everything must be fulfilled” until dih,noixen auvtw/n to.n nou/n tou/ sunie,nai ta.j grafa,j, which can be translated in the traditional fashion as “he opened their minds so that they might understand the scriptures,” or better, as I have argued elsewhere, “he exposited the scriptures so that they might understand the ‘mind’ of them” (Luke 24:45).27 Again, understanding does not result until after Christ explains, although no new data needs to be added to facilitate the christological reading. 26

Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke, 2 vols., AB 28, 28A (New York: Doubleday, 1981–1985), 2.1568 takes dih n, oigen in the hermeneutical sense and appeals to Acts 17:2-3, which makes use of the same verb with reference to Paul’s scriptural exposition. N.b., in Acts 17:2-3, the author has Paul emphasize the two main parts of the protocreed— death and resurrection. 27 The alternative translation I have proposed takes ta.j grafa,j as the object of dih,noixen (cf. Luke 24:32; Acts 17:2-3) and auvtw/n to.n nou/n as “the ‘mind’ of the scriptures,” or as “the meaning of the scriptures,” rather than the “minds of the disciples.” For a thorough defense of this alternative translation and an analysis of the hermeneutical implications deriving therefrom see Matthew W. Bates, “Closed-Minded Hermeneutics? A Proposed Alternative Translation for Luke 24:45,” JBL 129 (2010): 537–57.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Fourth, something akin to the hermeneutical extension from scriptural protocreed to apostolic mission that we will observe in due course for Paul is also in view in Luke 24:13-49. Luke extends from the two main elements that we observed in the contents of the protocreed (death and resurrection), to locate the apostles and their mission. Luke achieves this by extending Jesus’ speech: “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things . . .” (24:46-48). The kerygmatic content is thus syntactically wed to the apostolic mission. Although nothing definite can be concluded for Pauline hermeneutics regarding the meaning of kata. ta.j grafa,j in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 on the basis of Luke 24:13-49, the passages do appear to be hermeneutically aligned and the evidence is suggestive. Specifically, on analogy with Luke 24:13-49, it is likely that the kata. ta.j grafa,j phrase in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 entails a wide range of scriptural texts, delineates an indirect Christocentric hermeneutic, employs the Christ event as a post hoc interpretative key, and was capable of extension to cover the Gentile mission. Now that the first clause of the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 has been explored, including the probable hermeneutical significance of the kata. ta.j grafa,j expression, we move to the second clause. The second clause of this protocreed, apart from the syntactic structuring device kai. o[ti is just one word in the Greek, evta,fh, “he was buried.” One question as it relates to Pauline hermeneutics is whether or not this isolated word should be regarded as somehow qualified by the kata. ta.j grafa,j found in the first and third clauses of the protocreed, but not in the second or fourth. In other words, was Christ simply buried, or was his burial also somehow “according to the scriptures,” although not explicitly marked as such? The balanced two-by-two paratactic structure of the protocreed suggests that the second and fourth clauses qualify the first and third clauses in a similar way, and that the second and fourth serve a confirming function, offering further proof of the primary statements in the first and third.28 Thus, “he was buried” functions to stress and affirm emphatically the reality of Christ’s death,29 showing that whatever role 28 Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed,’” 51; Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975), 252. 29 So also C. K. Barrett, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, HNTC (New York: Harper, 1968), 339. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 725, and Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1192, also correctly note that it secondarily reinforces the truth claim of the resurrection in the third clause.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


“he was buried” might play within the scriptural testimony, this phrase is dwarfed in significance by the more important event “Christ died in our behalf.” In short, “he was buried” is not syntactically qualified as “in accordance with the scriptures,” but is offered as confirming evidence of a statement that is so qualified. The third clause reads kai. o[ti evgh,gertai th/| h`me,ra| th/| tri,th| kata. ta.j grafa.j (“that he has been raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures”). The shift in tense from the aorist passive in clause one to the perfect passive in clause three is probably intended to stress the ongoing experience of the resurrection (“he was raised in the past and remains raised today”). Much as with clause one, the attempt to correlate the “he has been raised on the third day” of clause three with a specific passage from the scriptures has proven tempting to many scholars, with Hosea 6:2, Jonah 1:17, and 2 Kings 20:5 receiving the most attention.30 However, along with most recent commentators, I do not find any of these specific suggestions plausible as a stand-alone solution.31 Metzger attempts 30

Of these, Hos 6:2 LXX is the most intriguing (“After two days he will heal us, and on the third day we will rise and we will live before him”). This passage was interpreted in terms of the restoration of Israel within the ancient Jewish community using the metaphor of resurrection—e.g., b. Sanh. 97a; b. Roš. Haš. 31a; p. Ber. 5.2; p. Sanh. 11.6; Esth. Rab. 9.2; Deut. Rab. 7.6; Gen. Rab. 56.1; Pirqe R. El. 51 (73b–74a); Gen Rab. 91.7; Midr. Ps. ad Ps 22:5; Yal. 2.16—for a convenient collection of these texts, see Harvey K. McArthur, “ ‘On the Third Day,’” NTS 18 (1971–1972): 81–86. The interpretation of Christ’s resurrection in light of this passage goes back to at least Tertullian (Marc. 4.43.1–2) and has modern advocates (in addition to McArthur) as well: e.g., Matthew Black, “The Christological Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament,” NTS 18 (1971): 1–14, here 5–6; Lindars, New Testament Apologetic, 60–66; Archibald Robertson and Alfred Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 2nd ed., ICC (New York: Scribner’s, 1916), 334. See Schrage, Der erste Brief an die Korinther, 4.41–43; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1195–96, for succinct discussions of the other possibilities. 31 So also Barrett, First Corinthians, 338–40; Schrage, Der Erste Brief an die Korinther, 4.39–43; Fee, First Corinthians, 727; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1195; however, Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 256, favors Hos 6:2 as the impetus for the post hoc creation of the protocreed’s wording. Standing against Conzelmann is the appearance of the third day tradition in a wide variety of sources that do not all seem to be interdependent (Mark 8:31 and par.; 9:31 and par.; 10:34 and par.; 14:58 and par.; 15:29 and par.; Matt 12:40; 27:63-64; Luke 24:7, 21; John 2:19-20; Acts 10:40; 1 Cor 15:4). See Raymond E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels, 2 vols., ABRL (New York: Doubleday, 1994), 1.444, 2.1477–78. There are three basic problems with identifying Hos 6:2 as the uniquely intended text: (1) although the third day tradition was widely known in the earliest church (e.g., in addition to above, see Justin Dial. 51.2; 76.7; 97.1; 100.1; Irenaeus Haer. 4.34.3; 5.31.1–2) there is no evidence that the earliest church through Irenaeus so identified Hos 6:2—e.g., 1 Clem. 26.2; Justin Dial. 97.1; 107.1–2; and Irenaeus Haer. 5.31.1 all identify Ps 3:5-6 LXX and/or the Jonah pattern but not Hosea 6:2; (2) there is no pre-Christian evidence that Hos 6:2 was interpreted in this fashion in the


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

to circumvent the problem by suggesting that “in accordance with the scriptures” modifies “he was raised” alone, rather than the whole phrase “he was raised on the third day.”32 While this is syntactically possible, it is not probable,33 and such a supposition is special pleading in an attempt to remove a perceived difficulty. Rather, the statements made previously with respect to the first clause are apropos here as well—kata. ta.j grafa,j refers to a large number of passages drawn from all the scriptures, and the attempt to narrow this down to one specific passage largely misses the point. Paul himself gives us one example of how the resurrection is kata. ta.j grafa,j in Romans 15:12 (“the root of Jesse indeed will arise [avnista,menoj] to rule over the Gentiles”).34 The fourth clause of the protocreed states kai. o[ti w;fqh Khfa/| ei=ta toi/j dw,deka.35 As was indicated previously, this clause serves to confirm the reality of the third clause, much as the second endorsed the first. The physical reality of the resurrection on the third day is made more certain because “[Christ] appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.” In summary, the four clauses fall into a two-by-two pattern. The two primary clauses explicitly assert that Christ’s death and resurrection are “in accordance with the scriptures.” The two confirming clauses serve as support to these claims, but do not participate in the kata. ta.j grafa,j hermeneutical assertion. The phrase “in accordance with the scriptures” is probably intended to evoke the entire scriptural witness, involving a large number of passages, albeit it is less than clear precisely how. At a minimum, the kata. ta.j grafa,j phrase foregrounds the scriptural witness to the death of the Messiah, who served the salvific purposes of God in eliminating both Jewish and Gentile sin, and who experienced a victorious resurrection. Jewish community (e.g., Qumran); (3) the study of Liebers (see ch. 2 n. 21) provides a better alternative explanation, since his results are grounded in the analysis of similar general references to the scriptures that lack a clear citation or allusion. 32 Bruce M. Metzger, “A Suggestion Concerning the Meaning of 1 Cor xv.4b,” JTS N.S. 8 (1957): 118–23. 33 Metzger’s proposal destroys the parallelism with the preceding clause, unless one wants also to argue that kata. ta.j grafa,j in 15:3 modifies avpe,qanen alone, rather than avpe,qanen u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n—an argument that has no merit. 34 On which, see the subsequent discussion of the work of Whitsett and Kirk. Compare also Eph 4:8. 35 On the text-critical front, the reading of NA 27 has been accepted for both variants, reading ei=ta rather than e;peita (¥ A etc.) or kai. meta. tau/ta (D* F G etc.) and taking dw,deka as original as opposed to e[ndeka (D* F G etc.). This last variant appears to be motivated by a scribal desire to “correct” Paul by highlighting the absence of Judas from the circle of the Twelve in light of texts such as Matt 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9, 33; Acts 2:14.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


A couple of points can be made about the significance of the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5. This kerygmatic protocreed is not a bare statement of historical “fact” (whatever that might mean), but is already a theological interpretation.36 To state that “Christ” rather than “Jesus” died is already to make a theological judgment about the Messiah’s existence, the Messiah’s precise identity, and his salvific role “in behalf of our sins.” Paul’s reference to “our sins,” in light of Paul’s Gentile Corinthian audience, is to include the Gentiles within the saving purview of Israel’s God and Messiah, a manifestly theological judgment. Furthermore, to attach the claim “in accordance with the scriptures,” is to connect the cross of Christ to the salvific purposes of God articulated in the scriptures, purposes directed toward eradicating not just the sin of the Jewish people, but of the Gentiles as well. We have already noted that Paul places the Gentiles within the scope of this protocreed by including his Corinthian audience in the salvific sphere of Christ’s efficacious death “in behalf of our sins.” Yet Paul relates this kerygmatic protocreed to himself and his audience in a further surprising way to great effect, and this move has critical hermeneutical implications. Participating in the Protocreed Paul not only endorses the protocreed, but he also employs it as a foundational structuring device in light of which he can locate his own call, his 36

Lest this study slip into endless semantic confusion, especially in light of the idiosyncratic use of the term “kerygma” within continental scholarship of the last generation (e.g., Bultmann), it is necessary to say a few clarifying words. As is intimated in Bultmann’s famous dictum, “the proclaimer became the proclaimed ” (Theology of the New Testament, trans. Kendrick Grobel [New York: Scribner’s, 1951–1955], 1.33), Bultmann sees the kh r, ugma as ultimately devoid of historical content, but nonetheless powerfully functional as an existential word of address, summoning the hearer to faith. Thus, for Bultmann, the stress is on the active, transformative element that “heralding” can effect. Yet, when Bultmann moves beyond the basic notion of proclamation, and begins to make judgments about the existential character of proclamation, he has dangerously blended lexical semantics with theological judgments. On the other hand, C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), uses kh,rugma in a quite different manner than Bultmann, treating it as a doctrinal summary of what he believes was proclaimed and taught by the earliest apostles. In Dodd’s usage, kh,rugma ultimately approximates didach, (“teaching”) as the essential body of knowledge held in common in the earliest church (see summaries of Dodd’s kerygmatic proposal in ch. 1 and in ch. 2 n. 117). However, as William Baird, “What Is the Kerygma? A Study of 1 Cor 15:3-8 and Gal 1:11-17,” JBL 76 (1957): 181–91, points out, the different emphases in Bultmann and Dodd are not completely incompatible: both transformative potential and christocentric content are in view in Paul’s letters (e.g., Rom 16:25; 1 Cor 1:21; 2:4; 15:14), much as euvagge,lion is both “the power of God for salvation” (du,namij ga.r qeou/ evstin eivj swthri,an— Rom 1:16; cf. 1 Cor 1:17) and also a story about the Christ event (Rom 1:1-4; 1 Cor 15:1-11; 2 Cor 2:12; 1 Thess 3:2; cf. 2 Tim 2:8).


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

missionary activity, the kerygmatic activity of the other apostles, and the believing response of the Corinthian audience. For example, Paul syntactically extends the protocreed beyond its original bounds to include the additional appearances to the five hundred brothers (15:6), to James and all the apostles (15:7), and last of all to Paul himself “as if to a miscarried fetus” (w`sperei. tw/| evktrw,mati—15:8). Paul makes this transition rather effortlessly on the linguistic level by repeatedly echoing the passive verb w;fqh (“he appeared”), which is found in the final clause of the protocreed, as he transitions to his own discourse. Paul also picks up the ei=ta (“then”) of the protocreed in 15:5, and continues it with e;peita . . . e;peita . . . ei;te in vv. 6-11.37 By doing this, Paul in effect writes other apostles (beyond Cephas and the Twelve, who are mentioned in the fourth clause), such as James and himself, into the protocreedal structure, making them active participants in the crucial chain of events expressed in the protocreed. What is more, Paul locates his audience within this chain as well, making them recipients of the kerygmatic content of the protocreed with his “thus you believed” (15:11). Paul’s grafting of his call and mission into the sequence of the core metanarrative as expressed in the protocreed has profound hermeneutical implications for Paul, as will be borne out in the detailed exegesis in subsequent chapters. In anticipation of this point, consider how Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 15 to include himself and his audience within the “he has been raised” element of the protocreed by his citation of Isaiah 25:8/Hosea 13:14 in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 in support of the general resurrection. A Common Apostolic Protocreed? Paul asserts that this protocreed is not his alone, but is held in common with other apostles. Even though modern scholars might prefer to speak of diverse kerygmata, rather than a unified kerygma within the earliest church—and rightly so when properly qualified 38 —with regard to Paul, it 37 I am indebted to Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed,’” for the identification of this structural point, although I disagree with him regarding its significance. On the text-critical issues, see ch. 2 n. 35. 38 For evidence in Paul’s letters themselves for a variety of “gospels” in the early church, consider, e.g., Gal 1:8-9 and 2 Cor 11:3-4, 13. For further discussion see the second chapter “Kerygma or Kerygmata?,” in James D. G. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity, 2nd ed. (London: SCM Press, 1990), 11–32, esp. 21–26 on Paul. Dunn argues, predictably, that there is no single kerygma in the NT but that the various kerygmata all have core elements that nonetheless unify them. Compare also the statement of Christopher F. Evans, “The Kerygma,” JTS N.S. 7 (1956): 25–41, esp. his concluding remarks regarding kerygmata rather than a uniform kerygma.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


cannot be seriously doubted that he believed that all the genuine apostles shared the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 in common as the one true gospel. This is made clear, first of all, by 15:11. Paul asserts continuity with the other apostles regarding the contents of the protocreed when he says, “whether I or those ones, thus we are preaching.” The referent behind “those ones” (evkei/noi) points specifically at “the apostles” in 15:9 as the nearest referent and “James and then all the apostles” in 15:7 as the more distant antecedent;39 moreover, it should not be unduly restricted, but also encompasses Peter, the rest of the Twelve, and probably at least some of the five hundred brothers.40 Paul most often uses “apostle” in a restricted sense, meaning an ambassador of the Lord called to witness to the resurrection (1 Cor 9:1; 15:7), but also, rarely, in a more general manner to denote any ambassador (2 Cor 8:23; Phil 2:25). As such, to the degree that individuals among these five hundred witnesses are acting as ambassadors of Christ in actively testifying to the reality of the resurrection, they would be understood as “apostles” by Paul, although not part of the Twelve—much as Paul himself is not part of the Twelve, but he still considers himself an “apostle.” Moreover, that this protocreed was genuinely held in common by all of the apostles whom the Corinthians happened to know (or even know of) is demanded by the rhetorical requirements of the epistle. The Corinthians had hosted numerous itinerant evangelists, including Apollos (1 Cor 1:12; 3:6; Acts 19:1), Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:18; cf. 1 Cor 16:19), and almost certainly Peter (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5). They also had sent out emissaries, such as the members of Chloe’s group (1 Cor 1:11) and Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (1 Cor 16:17).41 Given their multiple contacts within the Christian world outside of Corinth, one must presume that they would have had ample ground to call Paul’s bluff if his statements regarding the commonality of the protocreed were untrue.42 Thus, given 39 Contra Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 261 n. 111, who puzzlingly states, “We must not ask for a precise definition of the evkei/noi,” because Paul’s point is the relativity of all such human distinctions. Murphy-O’Connor, “Tradition and Redaction,” 587–89, convincingly argues that Paul is creating a bridge from the appearance to the Twelve to the appearance to himself by means of these references. 40 So also, seemingly, Barrett, First Corinthians, 346; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1213. 41 However Fee, First Corinthians, 54, correctly notes that the groups in 1 Cor 1:11 and 16:17 may contain overlapping members. 42 Even if one is not willing to grant that a common apostolic kerygma such as is found in 1 Cor 15:3b-5 was held historically, one must at least grant that Paul was confident that none of the Corinthians could dispute the claim of common apostolic possession, and that Paul himself believed in a core kerygma held by all genuine apostles even in the midst of their distinctive individual kerygmata.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Paul’s rhetorical need to persuade in 1 Corinthians 15, it is highly unlikely that Paul would have asserted that the protocreed was uniformly held by the apostles (“whether I or those ones [i.e., those other apostles], thus we are preaching”—1 Cor 15:11), if in fact the Corinthians might already know (or might otherwise discover) that this was not really the case. Furthermore, Paul claims to have “received” the protocreed, which suggests an origin in the broader church, a claim which source-critical analysis has amply supported.43 As Conzelmann emphatically and summarily states, “it is plain that the authority and content of the creed are not disputed in Corinth.”44 Yet, a couple of potential objections must be addressed. What is to be made of Paul’s seemingly contrary statements about the origin of his gospel in Galatians 1:11-12 compared with 1 Corinthians 15:1-3a? And what of the alleged disharmony between Paul and the “pillars” (James, Cephas, and John) or the “super-apostles” (2 Cor 11–12)?45 Regarding the purported disharmony between Paul and the “pillars,” whatever disparity real or alleged existed between them, there is not even a single shred of evidence suggesting they disagreed over any of the statements found in the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, so this potential problem is totally immaterial to the question of whether or not the kerygma of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 was held in common by the early apostles. Also, there is no evidence that Paul and the “super-apostles” disagreed over any of the items in this protocreed. 43 For example, Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, 103–5; Conzelmann, “On the Analysis,” 15–25; Klappert, “Zur Frage,” 168–73; J. H. Schütz, “Apostolic Authority and the Control of Tradition: 1 Cor 15,” NTS 15 (1968–1969): 439–57; John S. Kloppenborg, “Analysis of the Pre-Pauline Formula 1 Cor 15:3b-5 in Light of Some Recent Literature,” CBQ 40 (1978): 351–67; Murphy-O’Connor, “Tradition and Redaction,” 582–89; Moffitt, “Affirming the ‘Creed,’” 49–73. 44 Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 260. 45 This question is a subset of the larger question of whether or not one faction of the church (e.g., James, Peter, et al.) held a Jerusalem-centered kerygma and another faction (e.g., Paul, Barnabas, et al.) held a Hellenistic kerygma—a distinction with roots that trace back to F. C. Baur and which was made famous in Bultmann’s Theology of the New Testament. Bultmann himself saw Paul as converted through the Hellenistic kerygma and thus frequently at loggerheads with the Jewish faction (see 1.187). Peter Stuhlmacher, “The Pauline Gospel,” in The Gospel and the Gospels, ed. Peter Stuhlmacher (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 149–72, esp. 156–66, has effectively turned this debate upside down with his research into the Semitic origins of “gospel” in early Christianity, finding that “gospel” for Paul is a missionary term with a christological content that he and other Hellenistic emissaries have taken over by and large from the Jerusalem-based church. Although Stuhlmacher does acknowledge some tension between Jerusalem and Paul, he has plausibly shown that the wellspring of the gospel that Paul proclaims is to be located in the apostolic circle at Jerusalem.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


Now, regarding the origins of Paul’s gospel, Paul says in Galatians 1:1112 that he wants the Galatians to know that the gospel that he is proclaiming “is not according to humankind” (kata. a;nqrwpon). Moreover, Paul says, “for I did not receive it from a human nor was I taught it, but [I received it] through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (ouvde. ga.r evgw. para. avnqrw,pou pare,labon auvto. ou;te evdida,cqhn avlla. diV avpokalu,yewj VIhsou/ Cristou/). How can Paul say in 1 Corinthians 15:1-3a that he received the gospel in what is manifestly a human traditioning process and deny the same in Galatians 1:12? The problem is partially mitigated by Galatians 1:18, in which Paul is said to have “visited” (i`store,w) Cephas, remaining for fifteen days.46 It is unclear whether the verb i`store,w means “active inquiry” (its predominant classical sense)47 or “to visit so as to become acquainted with” (which is well attested in the Hellenistic period and beyond).48 Nonetheless, granted the length of Paul’s stay with Peter, even if the latter is primarily intended, by the end of fifteen days the former would certainly be operative!49 As C. H. Dodd has famously quipped, “we may presume they did not spend all the time talking about the weather.”50 Paul would certainly have “received” some tradition from Peter and others on diverse occasions, and admits as much in Galatians 1:18. So, what does Paul mean by his denial of the human origin of his gospel in Galatians 1:12? 46 Most of the earliest and best MSS support Cephas (e.g., î46 î51 ¥* A B), while a minority of early MSS (e.g., ¥2 D F G Y Û) supports Peter. Cephas is undoubtedly the original, and the scribal substitution probably had a clarifying intent in light of passages such as John 1:42. 47 LSJ s.v. i`store,w, def. 1. 48 This option is favored by: BDAG s.v. i`store,w; Chrysostom, who affirms that with i`store,w Paul uses “the very [word] which those examining the great and famous cities say” (o[per o`i ta.j mega,laj po,leij kai. lampra.j katamanqa,nontej le,gousin); J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, 84; Charles J. Ellicott, A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (Andover, Mass.: Draper, 1872), 39; and J. Louis Martyn, Galatians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 33A (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 171. In fact, Martyn strongly favors “to make an acquaintance” over “to get information,” claiming that the latter is “almost certainly to be excluded,” but then, confusingly, goes on in practically the same breath to affirm that Paul did in fact receive human tradition pertaining to the resurrection during this “visit.” 49 So also F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 98, who specifically connects Gal 1:18 with 1 Cor 15:3-5. James D. G. Dunn, The Epistle to the Galatians, BNTC (London: A&C Black, 1993), 73, sagely notes that “the element of ‘inquiry’ in the ‘visit’ is usually hard to exclude,” a sentiment with which I find myself in whole-hearted agreement. On Paul’s relationship to Peter (Cephas) and his interaction with Jerusalem in light of the “traditioning” process, see esp. Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript, 262–80. 50 Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, 16.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

The best solution is to recognize that the bedrock of Paul’s gospel is the resurrected living Lord Jesus, whom Paul claims to have encountered in person.51 His gospel is of divine origin in the sense that the bedrock was not “received from humankind” nor “according to humankind.”52 That is, Paul’s access to the core truth claim of the gospel was not derivative nor parasitic on any mere human, which is his point in Galatians 1:12. Yet, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-11, Paul acknowledges that the resurrected Christ indeed appeared to others as part of a chain of public events that stretches back to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on the third day. Paul has a claim on the bedrock event, but not an exclusive claim. And although Paul was a direct witness of the resurrection, he was not of these other events, and thus he must have “received” them through the human traditioning process. These additional “received” events cohered with and confirmed his bedrock experience, and were smoothly added onto the bedrock to form one unified gospel. Thus, the discrepancy between Galatians 1:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 regarding the source from which he “received” his gospel is explicable if Paul’s gospel is logically, but not ontologically, separable into “bedrock” (divinely revealed) and “subsequently integrated” (received by human tradition) components.53 51

So Lightfoot, Galatians, 82; Dunn, Galatians, 64; and Bruce, Galatians, 91–92, who stresses that the inward appropriation of the external Damascus experience is here being emphasized. Contra Hans D. Betz, Galatians, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), 64–65, 71, who takes evn evmoi, (1:16) as a reference to an internal ecstatic vision rather than an external manifestation. Betz is followed by Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians, WBC 41 (Dallas: Word Books, 1990), 31. The problem with the Betz/Longenecker solution is that it ignores the context of Gal 1:13-17, which is an articulation of Paul’s conversion experience (see Lightfoot), which is elsewhere declared by Paul to be an external viewing (1 Cor 9:1, 15:8). 52 Baird, “What Is the Kerygma?,” 181–91, esp. 190, suggests a slightly different solution, arguing that the form of the kerygma was transmitted through human channels, but that the divinely initiated encounter with the dynamic kerygma could not be transmitted in this way. Baird’s solution has more to do with reconciling Dodd with Bultmann than with Paul’s own distinctions. 53 Martyn, Galatians, 148–51 (comment 10), helpfully distinguishes between the revelation of Jesus Christ as an apocalyptic event (e.g., Gal 1:16) and reception of the gospel through the human chain of tradition (e.g., 1 Cor 15:3-5). However, Martyn substantially overplays his hand when he claims “[the gospel] subjects tradition to itself; it does not subject itself to tradition” (150) and states “at every juncture without exception apocalypse takes primacy over tradition” (151). Martyn has set up a false dichotomy in Paul’s letters between the divinely revealed portions of Paul’s gospel and the humanly received portions, artificially setting them in opposition rather than harmony. For instance, it is highly probable that Paul received the “on the third day” item of his gospel by human means not by divine revelation, yet Paul does not place this piece of tradition in antagonistic relationship to the divinely revealed portion, rather he embraces this as a core element in his gospel. An integrative metaphor that stresses continuity is more apt (such as the foundation of a building in relationship to its superstructure). In a related manner, Michael Winger, “Tradition, Revelation, and Gospel: A Study in

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


In sum, the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 was not endorsed by Paul alone, but rather, Paul affirms it was upheld by a great number of other apostles. Furthermore, the rhetorical requirements of 1 Corinthians 15 suggest that the protocreed was upheld by at least as many apostles as the Corinthians could conceivably know. In this qualified sense, the protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 has a genuine claim to the adjective apostolic. Summary: The Protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 The rhetorical necessities of Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 show that there is no disjuncture between the kata. ta.j grafa,j christological hermeneutic evidenced in the kerygmatic protocreed and Paul’s own hermeneutic. Moreover, the rhetorical requirements also point to the apostolic nature of the protocreed. The protocreed consists of four clauses arranged in a two-by-two structure, forming a basic narrative. The first clause (“Christ died in behalf of our sins”) and the third clause (“he has been raised on the third day”) are both affirmed as kata. ta.j grafa,j, while the second and fourth provide certification. Although Paul does not spell out precisely what he means by “according to the scriptures,” the individual elements give a theological interpretation of certain crucial events in the life of Jesus, setting up a dialectic between the Christ event and scriptural text. The close proximity of Luke 24:13-49 to the elements of the protocreed gives some suggestive hints regarding what Paul might have meant by kata. ta.j grafa,j. Analogy with Luke suggests that kata. ta.j grafa,j in Paul most likely refers to a christocentric interpretation of numerous passages in which a post-Easter key was necessary to “see” the latent pattern in the preexisting scriptural witness. Regardless, it is clear that Paul connects the death of Jesus, whom he regarded as the Messiah, to the salvific purposes of God articulated in the scriptures, and that this salvation preeminently entailed the removal of the sins of both Jews and Gentiles. In sum, the hermeneutical stance of the protocreed is not only endorsed by Paul, it forms the core of his metanarrative in such a way that he extends its tenets such that his own life and mission become aligned with the key events expressed therein. Galatians,” JSNT 53 (1994): 65–86, argues that Paul opposes human tradition as a general principle and strains to restrict “gospel” to event, rather than verbal content (see esp. 84). Yet Winger’s attempt to take 1 Cor 15:3-5 as the effect of the preaching rather than the content is totally unconvincing. Moreover, this view flounders in light of passages such as Gal 1:11 and 1 Cor 9:18, in which the verb euvaggelizo,mai takes the nominal euvagge,lion as its object (or the nominal is the subject of the verb in a passive construction).


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Romans 1:1-6: The “Pre-Promised” Gospel and Protocreedal Hermeneutics In accordance with the results of the analysis of 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 in the preceding section, a treatment of Romans 1:1-6 confirms the centrality of pre-Pauline kerygmatic narrative structures for Paul’s hermeneutic, although this point has not been fully recognized in previous scholarly efforts.54 The kerygmatic sequence in Romans highlights different aspects of the christocentric narrative, but in a fashion that complements the sequence found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-11. The Structure and Extent of the Preformed Material in Romans 1:1-6 Paul begins his most famous epistle with a startling hermeneutical claim regarding the relationship between the gospel and the scriptures: 1

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, a called apostle, having been set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which was promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3[the gospel] concerning his son who came into existence by means of the seed of David in accordance with the flesh, 4[and] who was appointed Son-of-God-in-Power in accordance with the Spirit of Holiness by means of the resurrection from among the dead—Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we received grace and apostleship for the 54 As in the case of 1 Cor 15:3-5, scholarship has not in general sufficiently recognized the significance of the traditional material in Rom 1:3-4 for Paul’s hermeneutic. A partial exception is Hays, “Christ Prays the Psalms,” 109. Hays suggests in passing that the christological component of Paul’s hermeneutic might be grounded in Rom 1:2-4, but does nothing to develop this theme; Wagner, Heralds, 319, makes much the same observation. However, subsequent to the drafting of this chapter, a major attempt to take account for the hermeneutical import of Rom 1:4 for Paul has come to my attention via one of Hays’ students—J. R. Daniel Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008). Kirk’s generally excellent treatment (see my full review in BTB 40 [2010]: 168–69) focuses on the theme of resurrection in Romans, especially as this is announced in Rom 1:4 and 15:12. As Kirk works through the book of Romans, he is able to show that resurrection serves as a hermeneutical and theological key with regard to many specific moments of scriptural exegesis in Romans. Although our projects are largely complementary, my proposal differs from Kirk’s in two essential ways. First, within my reconstruction of Paul’s hermeneutic, it is the apostolic kerygma that is the primary generative force for Pauline hermeneutics, not resurrection alone. Resurrection is a key portion of the apostolic kerygma, arguably the key portion, but nonetheless my kerygmatic proposal posits that other stages in the christological narrative are equally pre-promised in the scriptures in addition to resurrection (e.g., coming into human existence, death in behalf of sins, exaltation to the right hand, etc.). Second, Kirk’s project is restricted to Romans, and thus does not claim that resurrection provides a hermeneutical key beyond the book of Romans, whereas my project has the whole Pauline corpus in scope.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


obedience of faith among all the nations for the sake of his name, 6among whom also are you who are called of Jesus Christ. (Rom 1:1-6)55

Unlike in the case of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, in Romans 1:1-6 there is no explicit indication that Paul is directly utilizing traditional early Christian material. Yet most scholars have isolated a block of pre-Pauline material within Romans 1:3-4, although not everyone is in agreement with the form-critical consensus.56 Yet even for those who agree that a block of pre-Pauline material is in view, disagreement prevails over the exact Sitz im Leben and form of the pre-Pauline tradition. For example, Jewett favors “confession” or “credo,” MacLeod “hymn,” Käsemann “a liturgical fragment,” and Hunter calls it (rather delightfully) “a kind of potted creed.” It is probably safe to say that “creed” remains the predominant classification.57 As in the case of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, all that can be said with certainty is that the material is kerygmatic, since 1:3-4 modifies euvagge,lion in 1:1. The most thoroughgoing recent defense of the existence of a pre-Pauline tradition in 1:3-4 has been advanced by Robert Jewett in his Romans commentary, which is an update of his own previously articulated position.58 Jewett provides a convenient structural rendering of the Greek text of Romans 1:3-4, which has been replicated below for ease of discussion:59 55

Text (Rom 1:1-6): [1] Pau/loj dou/loj Cristou/ VIhsou/( klhto.j avpo,stoloj avfwrisme,noj eivj euvagge,lion qeou/( [2] o] proephggei,lato dia. tw/n profhtw/n auvtou/ evn grafai/j a`gi,aij [3] peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/ tou/ genome,nou evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d kata. sa,rka( [4] tou/ o`risqe,ntoj ui`ou/ qeou/ evn duna,mei kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n( VIhsou/ Cristou/ tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n( [5] diV ou- evla,bomen ca,rin kai. avpostolh.n eivj u`pakoh.n pi,stewj evn pa/sin toi/j e;qnesin u`pe.r tou/ ovno,matoj auvtou/( [6] evn oi-j evste kai. u`mei/j klhtoi. VIhsou/ Cristou/. 56 Those who opine against Paul’s direct borrowing of a preformed protocreed include Christopher G. Whitsett, “Son of God, Seed of David: Paul’s Missionary Exegesis in Romans 1:3-4,” JBL 119 (2000): 661–81; J. M. Scott, Adoption as Sons of God: An Exegetical Investigation into the Background of UIOQESIA in the Pauline Corpus, WUNT 48 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1992), 229–36; and quite tentatively, V. S. Poythress, “Is Romans 1:3-4 a Pauline Confession After All?,” ExpTim 87 (1975–1976): 180–83. 57 Robert Jewett, Romans: A Commentary, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), 107; David J. MacLeod, “Eternal Son, Davidic Son, Messianic Son: An Exposition of Romans 1:17,” BSac 162 (2005): 76–94, esp. 81; Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 10; Hunter, Paul and His Predecessors, 24. 58 Jewett, Romans, 97–99, 103–8, on which, see his earlier work, “The Redaction and Use of an Early Christian Confession in Romans 1:3-4,” in The Living Text: Essays in Honor of Ernest W. Saunders, ed. D. E. Groh and R. Jewett (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1985), 99–122, which contains an exceptionally helpful review of the early literature. Regarding uncharacteristic vocabulary, o`risqe,ntoj and pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj do not occur elsewhere in the Pauline corpus. 59 Jewett, Romans, 98. As will become clear, ultimately I would modify Jewett’s outline by placing evn duna,mei on the same line as tou/ o`risqe,ntoj ui`ou/ qeou/— see ch. 2 n. 94.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

3a 3b 3c 3d 4a 4b 4c 4d 4e

peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/ tou/ genome,nou evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d kata. sa,rka( tou/ o`risqe,ntoj ui`ou/ qeou/ evn duna,mei kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n( VIhsou/ Cristou/ tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n

Jewett isolates twelve points that speak in favor of Paul’s use of preformed material in Romans 1:3-4, the weightiest of which are the participial constructions at the head of the subordinate clauses (3b and 4a; cf. 2 Tim 2:8), the formal parallelism between various elements (3b and 4a, 3c and 4d, 3d and 4c), and the presence of expressions that are uncharacteristic of Paul.60 Yet none of the evidence is absolutely definitive, and 1:3-4 could possibly be Paul’s own creation in which he is simply employing conventional received language.61 Hence, an absolutely certain decision regarding whether Paul is working with preformed material in Romans 1:3-4 or whether he is simply employing customary language is unattainable. However, in light of the weightiest points of Jewett, and especially due to analogous protocreedal material in Ignatius To the Smyrneans 1.1 and 2 Timothy 2:8, 62 I side with the vast majority in seeing Paul’s use of 60

Jewett, Romans, 98. So esp. Poythress, “Romans 1:3-4,” 180–83. 62 Consider the creed-like introduction that resembles Romans 1:3-4 in Ignatius’ letter to the Smyrneans (1.1): “I glorify Jesus Christ . . . having been fully persuaded with respect to our Lord that he truly existed by means of the family of David according to the flesh, [and that he truly was] Son of God according to the [divine] will and power, having been truly born by means of a virgin . . .” (Doxa,zw VIhsou/n Cristo.n ) ) ) peplhroforhme,nouj eivj to.n ku,rion h`mw/n avlhqw/j o;nta evk ge,nouj Daui.d kata. sa,rka( ui`on. qeou/ kata. qe,lhma kai. du,namin( gegennhme,non avlhqw/j evk parqe,nou ) ) )). Greek text in Michael W. Holmes, ed. and rev., The Apostolic Fathers, 2nd ed., ed. and trans. J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992). Is Ignatius directly dependent on Paul here, or is he preserving an independent protocreed that shows overlap with Rom 1:3-4? A decision is difficult. Ignatius does not demonstrate clear knowledge of Romans elsewhere, although he certainly makes use of 1 Corinthians, and almost certainly Ephesians, with 1–2 Timothy remaining probable (see Paul Foster, “The Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch and the Writings That Later Formed the New Testament,” in The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, ed. Andrew F. Gregory and Christopher Tuckett [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005], 159–86, here 172). Moreover, several additional considerations speak in favor of independence in this particular case: (1) the use of evk ge,nouj, rather than evk spe,rmatoj; (2) o;nta, rather than tou/ genome,nou; (3) lack of tou/ o`risqe,ntoj; (4) addition of kata. qe,lhma; (5) du,namij is of God rather than descriptive of 61

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


preformed tradition as, in the words of Cranfield, “highly probable.”63 At the very least, even the dissidents agree that Paul is using language that is already traditional, which helps mitigate the concern that a false judgment here should result in an unstable foundation for what follows.64 Thus, it is likely that 3a (peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/) and 4e (VIhsou/ Cristou/ tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n) form the Pauline framework, which houses the preformed material, 65 and this will be the position I adopt. Thus, it can be posited that Paul probably used a preformed tradition in Romans 1:3b-4d, and that the Sitz im Leben of this preformed tradition was kerygmatic, although this is not to disavow its use in other social settings. Once again, with the caveats previously offered regarding 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, this preformed material will be referred to as a protocreed. The Relationship of Paul to the Protocreed Even if it is deemed highly probable that Paul used a protocreed in Romans 1:3b-4d, the question of Paul’s relationship to this creed remains open. Did Paul wholeheartedly endorse this protocreed, including the hermeneutical implications that derive from it, or did he have a less-embracing posture? Perhaps Paul even may have felt the need to modify or augment portions of the protocreed to make it more palatable to his own or his audience’s theological appetite. Christ’s exalted position; (5) lack of kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj; (6) discussion of resurrection (not quoted above) in Smyrn. 1.1 is delayed by the appearance of intervening material and is phrased differently (dia. th/j avnasta,sewj vs. evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n); (7) much of the material in Ignatius’ protocreed had to come from elsewhere besides Rom 1:3-4 regardless, due to its more expansive nature. Thus, perhaps it is unsurprising that W. R. Inge, “Ignatius,” in The New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, ed. Oxford Society of Historical Theology (Oxford: Clarendon, 1905), 63–83, here 70, gives this his second-lowest rating (c) in terms of probability that Ignatius is reflecting acquaintance with Rom 1:3-4. Ignatius’ independence from Rom 1:3-4, should it be accepted, strengthens the case for the availability to Paul of preformed material, such as is found in Rom 1:3-4, since it becomes more likely that such material was available in the church at large (even granting the later date of Ignatius)—cf. 2 Tim 2:8. 63 C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 2 vols., ICC (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975–1979), 1.57. 64 For example, Whitsett, “Son of God,” 664, sees Paul as working with already traditional exegeses of 2 Sam 7 and Ps 2; Poythress, “Romans 1:3-4,” 180, acknowledges that Paul at the very least used “a number of traditional expressions.” 65 In a rare display of agreement within the guild, this point is almost universally acknowledged. One exception is Bultmann, Theology, 1.49, who regards Rom 1:3a (peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou) as part of the preformed material. Contra Bultmann, note that 1:3a stands outside the parallel structure, making this unlikely. With respect to the end of the protocreedal block, a shift out of the preformed material is intimated by the first-person genitival qualification in 1:4e “our Lord” and that the first-person plural is continued in 1:5, which is definitely outside the preformed material, making it likely that 1:4e is Paul’s contribution as well.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Numerous proposals regarding the original form and subsequent redaction of the protocreed have been put forward.66 Much has been made of the qualification of “from the seed of David” as kata. sa,rka, which has been taken as the key indicator of multiple communities or individuals behind the text, giving redactional hypotheses free rein. 67 For example, Jewett isolates an “original” Jewish–Christian confession, a subsequent Hellenistic redaction, and a final redaction by Paul himself. However, in so doing, Jewett strains credulity. The slender thread of data in Romans 1:3-4 cannot easily bear the heavy weight of such a complex double-redaction hypothesis. Moreover, apart from the crucial fact that it is improbable that kata. sa,rka is derogatory here68 —which indicates that Jewett (and others) are building on a false premise—it is also unlikely that Paul would have idiosyncratically modified a common confession as part of the exordium when writing to an unknown congregation, as Jewett proposes. In so doing, Paul would have appeared to be a maverick and would have risked offending the congregation, 69 undermining the goodwill he is trying to establish with the Roman congregation in support of his mission to Spain. In addition, there are several specific signals (to be discussed in due course) that suggest this protocreed is not the redactional product of multiple influences, but the common property of the early church in a more universal sense. As was discussed in chapter 1, Koch has argued that there is a hermeneutical disjuncture between the pre-Pauline community, which saw the scriptures as a prior announcement of the Messiah (Rom 1:2-4), and Paul himself, who believes that the scriptures primarily bear witness to the present possession of the righteousness of God (Rom 3:21).70 Koch is guilty of creating a false dichotomy here, since the announcement of the Messiah and the present possession of righteousness are not mutually exclusive categories that demand the unnecessarily complex hypothesis of a separate party for each perspective.71 Furthermore, since Paul regards the 66

The literature is too extensive to review here, but see Jewett, “Redaction,” 103–13. Eta Linnemann, “Tradition und Interpretation in Röm 1:3f,” EvT 31 (1971): 264–76; Robert Jewett, Paul’s Anthropological Terms: A Study of Their Use in Conflict Settings (Leiden: Brill, 1971), 136–37; James D. G. Dunn, “Jesus—Flesh and Spirit: An Exposition of Romans 1:3-4,” JTS N.S. 24 (1973): 40–68, here 43–51. 68 See the detailed exploration of the clauses for evidence. 69 James D. G. Dunn, Romans, 2 vols., WBC 38AB (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), 1.5, 13, makes the same point. 60 Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 322–53. 71 The comment of N. T. Wright, Romans, NIB 10 (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 416, seems apropos here: “it must be stressed, here and elsewhere, that the reason why Paul quoted things, if he did, was that they expressed exactly what he intended to say at the time.” 67

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


“gospel” (euvagge,lion) of 1:1 as that for which he was personally “set apart” (avfwrisme,noj), such a claim runs into immediate difficulties. Paul seems to identify with this pre-Pauline protocreed in a close, personal manner, and he stresses the divine nature of the gospel, all of which makes such a hermeneutical disjuncture unlikely, as will become more evident in the detailed look at the key elements of Romans 1:1-4 that follows. The Hermeneutical Function of the Protocreed In terms of syntax, Paul modifies the euvagge,lion of 1:1 in three ways.72 The “gospel” is said to be: (1) “of God,” (2) “promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures” (proephggei,lato dia. tw/n profhtw/n auvtou/ evn grafai/j a`gi,aij), and (3) “concerning his son, who . . .” The third modifier is Paul’s introduction to the protocreed, which is best understood as delineating the content of the “gospel.”73 In this subsection, the hermeneutical significance of (1) and (2) will be evaluated, in anticipation of the discussion of (3) in the following subsection. First, the euvagge,lion is said to be “of God.” The universal element in this claim should not be missed. Despite the strong personal attachment to the gospel that Paul evidences in 1:1, Paul does not here say euvagge,lio,n mou, although he is capable of this expression (Rom 2:16; 16:25; cf. 2 Tim 2:8), but rather, euvagge,lion qeou/.74 The effect is to underscore that the content of the gospel he will outline in 1:3-4 is not idiosyncratic nor the private, personal possession of any single individual, but objectively determined by God and thus universal, at least from Paul’s perspective. This catholic emphasis was already anticipated in our form-critical conclusions regarding the relationship of Paul to the protocreed, and this emphasis suggests the contents of Romans 1:3b-4d (the protocreed) are 72

See ch. 2 n. 7 and n. 36 on kh,rugma and euvagge,lion in Paul. So also Cranfield, Romans, 1.57; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 33 (New York: Doubleday, 1993), 233. 74 Whether the dynamic (“active proclamation” suggested by 1:1) or the static (“kerygmatic content” suggested by vv. 2-4) aspect of euvagge,lion is to the fore in 1:1 cannot be ascertained with certainty, but it would be a false either/or to claim that both nuances cannot be present. Frédéric L. Godet, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, trans. A. Cusin, rev. and ed. Talbot W. Chambers (repr., Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1977), 75, illustrates the dynamic sense; Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 43, favors a subjective genitive for qeou/ (“sent by God”); Cranfield, Romans, 1.55, labels this as a genitive of origin (implying that God is the source of the gospel); Jewett, Romans, 102, uses language suggesting possession and origin. Regardless, the difference is slight, and it is vital to remember that such distinctions are our own categories, not Paul’s. Regardless of the precise nuance of euvagge,lion in 1:1, everyone agrees that the content of euvagge,lion is given in 1:3-4, which is the more important point for our purposes. 73


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

common to the church at large, rather than Paul’s own formulation, much as we saw regarding 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5. Second, the euvagge,lion is declared to have been “promised beforehand” or better “pre-promised” (proephggei,lato). That the gospel was prepromised and not merely pre-announced is significant, inasmuch as it implies that God had not merely predicted the gospel or declared it would eventually emerge, but had somehow obligated himself to effect the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this on account of certain things written in the scriptures. This message of God’s self-imposed obligation to enact the gospel is said to be transmitted “through his prophets” (dia. tw/n profhtw/n auvtou/). As Dunn correctly notes, the construction “the prophets” is common, but the qualification “his prophets” is unusual,75 and it reinforces here that the gospel derives from God as part of a larger divine economy in which the prophets are “his prophets,” that is, they are under God’s control. Recent studies concur that “prophets” is not to be restricted to canonical divisions (ancient or modern), but is inclusive of all the ancient worthies, such as Moses, David, and Solomon, who would be excluded if this term were understood as indicating a canonical division by Paul;76 this conclusion is warranted in light of Paul’s actual pattern of scriptural usage (e.g., Rom 10:19; 11:9-10; 15:3; 1 Cor 9:9), as well as supplemental evidence from elsewhere in the NT (cf. Acts 2:30; 3:21-22; 7:37). As further confirmation that “prophets” is to be understood in the broader sense of ancient Jewish worthies, Paul affirms that God’s prophets announce God’s self-imposed obligation to bring about the gospel “in the holy scriptures” (evn grafai/j a`gi,aij), a term that is not delimited to a subsection of the canonical corpus, but embraces the whole.77 Although Paul’s usual word for the scriptures is grafai,, nowhere else in Paul or the LXX/ NT is any form of the nominal grafh, modified by the adjective a[gioj, so this combination is rare.78 By juxtaposing these two words, Paul emphasizes that the scriptures are “sacred” or “holy,” that is, set apart from common human use, as is fitting for things that pertain to the Deity.79 Again, Paul appears to be underscoring God’s sovereignty over the economy of 75

Dunn, Romans, 1.10. The main occurrences of “God’s prophets” (or the like) in the NT are Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21. See 1 Kgs 18:4, 13; 2 Kgs 17:13; 2 Chron 36:16; 2 Macc 5:14; Sir 46:13 for the LXX. 76 Cranfield, Romans, 1.56; Moo, Romans, 44; Dunn, Romans, 1.11; Jewett, Romans, 103. 77 Of course, this is not to say that the specific books Paul included within his canonical “whole” is thereby known. 78 Although cf. i`era. gra,mmata in 2 Tim 3:15 as the closest analogy. 79 See Otto Procksch and Karl G. Kuhn, “a[gioj( ktl,” TDNT 1:88–115; BDAG s.v. a[gioj def. 1.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


salvation, which is now shown to extend to the entirety of the “holy” scriptures, in which the gospel has been pre-promised through God’s prophets. In so doing, Paul implies that the “gospel” itself belongs within the sphere of holiness surrounding God, since it is promised in advance “in the holy scriptures.” Thus, the language of “pre-promise” coheres with the kata. ta.j grafa,j of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, but adds the vital nuance of God’s divine obligation to fulfill his self-imposed commitments. Now, let us turn to the content of the gospel itself, as it is set forth in Romans 1:3-4. A Detailed Exploration of the Clauses Human Existence and Son-of-God-in-Power

In his hermeneutically pregnant statement in 1:2, Paul has already made it clear that God had obligated himself to effect the gospel by way of a prior promise that was itself mediated by the ancient worthies as found in the sacred scriptures. Thus, and this is a key point for Pauline hermeneutics, the content of the gospel announced in Romans 1:3-4 is that which Paul affirms to have been pre-promised in the scriptures. What is the content of this pre-promised gospel? In anticipation of the concluding results, the gospel articulated in Romans 1:3-4 emphasizes two transitions in the divine life of God’s son, his coming into human existence in the line of David and his installation as “Son-of-God-in-Power,” and it is especially these two transitions that are emphatically promised beforehand in the scriptures. Moreover, contrary to the opinion of a number of prominent biblical scholars,80 this passage shows no evidence of a pre-Pauline adoptionist Christology. In 1:3, Paul explicates the content of this gospel and begins with the most crucial information—the gospel concerns God’s son (peri. tou/ ui`ou/ auvtou/). Thus, just as in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, a thoroughly christological hermeneutic is inescapably articulated here. The entire protocreed is subordinate to ui`ou/, expanding upon the manner in which the pre-promised content of the gospel concerns the son of God, a title that has messianic overtones on its own, apart from the further Davidic qualifications that make this explicit.81 The balanced elements that appear in the two clauses 80 For example, Bultmann, Theology, 1.49–50; James D. G Dunn, Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1980), 33–36; Käsemann, Romans, 11–12; Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 48. 81 For example, 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7 LXX; 88:26-27 LXX; 4 Ezra 7:28-29; 13:32; 37, 52; 14:9; 1 Enoch 105:2; 4QFlor 1:11–13; 4QapocrDan (debated); 4Q369; see Jarl Fossum, “Son of God,” ABD 6:128–37; John J. Collins, The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of the Dead


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

of the protocreed suggest the two clauses intend to highlight two different transitions in Christ’s life via contrast, and these two clauses will be discussed in sequence. The first clause reads: “who came into being by the seed of David in accordance with the flesh” (tou/ genome,nou evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d kata. sa,rka). Within the first clause, the two stages presupposed in the life of God’s son are a preexistent stage and a human stage, and the stress falls on the implications that result from entering the human stage. The preexistence of Christ is affirmed elsewhere by Paul—that is to say, in moments in which Paul is probably utilizing preformed material (1 Cor 8:6; Phil 2:6-11; cf. Col 1:15-20), when Paul is speaking in his own words (Rom 8:3; 1 Cor 10:4; 10:9; Gal 4:4), and in his exegesis (Rom 10:6)—so this determination is characteristic of both Paul and his sources.82 If Paul (via the author of the protocreed) had intended to signal the normal human birthing process alone, it is likely that the verb genna,w would have been selected rather than gi,nomai, although the semantic fields overlap, so it cannot be decisively proven that Paul (via the author of the protocreed) intentionally made this distinction.83 In Paul, and in the rest of the NT for that matter, the verb gi,nomai, which is usually glossed “to become” or “to come into being,” nearly always refers to a change in status or mode of existence, and only very rarely to natural reproduction, substantially undermining the adoptionist position.84 Moreover, the earliest interpretations of Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature, ABRL (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 157–72, esp. 163–67. 82 See the lucid discussion of preexistence in Paul in Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2007), 500–512; also Larry W. Hurtado, “Pre-Existence,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, ed. Gerald F. Hawthorne and Ralph P. Martin (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993), 743–46, gives a helpful concise treatment. 83 So also Cranfield, Romans, 1.59; Moo, Romans, 46; contra Godet, Romans, 77. Ulrich Wilckens, Der Brief an die Römer, 3 vols., EKKNT (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1978– 1982), 1.65, sees support in 1:3 for preexistence, but does not appeal to the gi,nomai/genna,w distinction. Fitzmyer, Romans, 234, favors preexistence but surprisingly denies that this on its own supports the notion of virginal conception. Jewett, Romans, 104–5, opines that the pre-Pauline creed was adoptionist (I think his case is exceedingly weak here) but that Paul subverts this by positing preexistence, so he ultimately agrees that preexistence is in view at this juncture. In the classical and Hellenistic literature, gi,nomai (or gi,gnomai) can refer to the normal birthing process (see LSJ s.v. gi,gnomai def. 1; BDAG s.v. gi,nomai def. 1). See below for additional discussion. 84 In the NT (667 total instantiations) there is only one clear example (Matt 21:19) and one plausible example (John 8:58) in which gi,nomai is used with reference to the natural reproductive process in the NT, excluding the seven agreed-upon letters of Paul. Internal to Paul there are only three occurrences (out of 118 in the seven “undisputed” letters) in which gi,nomai could plausibly refer to the natural birthing process in Paul—Rom 1:3, Gal 4:4, and 1 Cor

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


Romans 1:3-4 firmly support the emphasis on “coming into existence” for Paul.85 Thus “change in status” is far and away the most likely intended, primary meaning for Paul, although “natural birth” may be a possible secondary meaning.86 15:37—and in all three of these cases this meaning is probably not primary. In 1 Cor 15:37 to. sw/ma to. genhso,menon (“the body which will be”) probably just refers to a future state, not implying anything about the process of reproduction. Galatians 4:4 is highly relevant to Rom 1:3 and equally controversial: o[te de. h=lqen to. plh,rwma tou/ cro,nou( evxape,steilen o` qeo.j to.n ui`o.n auvtou/( geno,menon evk gunaiko,j( geno,menon u`po. no,mon. I would translate Gal 4:4 as follows: “but when the fullness of time arrived, God sent his son, having come into being by means of a woman, having come into being under the law.” God speaks of sending his son once the fullness of time had arrived, which implies that the son already existed prior to the arrival of this fullness of time. So a transition in state from preexistence to human existence is in view in Gal 4:4, and so the emphasis appears to be on change of status rather than human mechanism— although it is likely that the natural birthing process is in view as well as a secondary nuance. More specifically, Paul clearly uses gi,nomai with regard to changing state or status—e.g., Rom 2:25; 4:18; 6:5; 7:4; 9:29; 11:5, 17, 25; 15:8; 1 Cor 3:18; 4:9; 9:20, 22; 13:11; Gal 3:13; cf. Col 1:23—and numerous other occurrences probably fall into this category—e.g., Rom 7:3, 13; 10:20; 15:16; 16:7. In contrast, genna,w is the favored term for natural reproduction in Paul (six times). So, using the NT as the database to assess probability by comparing the relative frequency of gi,nomai (one fairly certain case and one plausible case for two total) vs. genna,w (ninety-seven fairly certain cases) genna,w is almost fifty times more likely to have been selected to refer to normal human reproduction than gi,nomai, assuming for the sake of argument that the semantic context equally permits either instantiation. 85 Irenaeus juxtaposes Rom 1:1-4 with Rom 9:5 and Gal 4:4-5 (all of which he directly cites) in order to affirm that these texts plainly indicate “one God, who did by the prophets make promise of the Son, and one Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to his birth from Mary [qui de semine Dauid secundum eam generationem quae est ex Maria || to n. e kv spe r, matoj Daui.d kata . th n. e kv Mari,a j ge n, nhsin]; and that Jesus Christ was appointed the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, as being the first begotten in all the creation; the Son of God being made the Son of man [Filius Dei hominis Filius factus || to.n `Uio.n tou/ Qeou/ avnqrw,pou `Uio.n gegono,ta] . . .” (Haer. 3.16.3; Latin text and proposed Greek reconstruction in Rousseau and Doutreleau, SC 211; trans. ANF). Thus, not only does Irenaeus construe the e kv spe r, matoj Daui.d as referring to Mary’s lineage, Irenaeus also affirms that these texts announce preexistence, since the “Son of God was made the Son of man.” Likewise, in Haer. 3.22.1, Irenaeus uses Rom 1:3-4 and Gal 4:4 (cf. 3.16.7 on Gal 4:4) as evidence that the preexistent Son was really born of woman and truly took on human flesh. A less certain yet plausible interpretation of Rom 1:3-4 can be found in Ignatius, who presupposes preexistence while using similar evk spe,rmatoj Daui,d phraseology when he affirms (Eph. 18.2): “Our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary in accordance with the economy of God—on the one hand by the seed of David, but on the other by the Holy Spirit” (o` ga.r qeo.j h`mw/n VIhsou/j o` Cristo.j evkuoforh,qh u`po. Mari,aj katV oivkonomi,an qeou/( evk spe,rmatoj me.n Daui,d pneu,matoj de. a`gi,ou\ [Greek text in Holmes; cf. Eph. 20.2]). However, it is unclear whether Rom 1:3-4 is being interpreted by Ignatius here, especially since he knows of other similar material (cf. Smyrn. 1.1, on which see ch. 2 n. 62). It is rated as (c), that is, as “having a lower degree of probability,” by the source-critical analysis of Inge, “Ignatius,” 70. 86 Apart from speculative redactional hypotheses and general probability based on relative frequency of word appearance in the literature in general, we have no means by which we


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

So Paul says that Jesus made the transition from preexistence to human existence by means of the seed of David (evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d), where spe,rma is a common Semitic idiom for “offspring” or “tribal group” and therefore does not necessarily imply the transfer of physical semen— rather, Mary’s contribution is probably in view.87 Paul (via the author of the protocreed) is asserting that the son of God took on human existence within the genealogical line of David, a tradition common to the NT (cf. Matt 1:1-17; Luke 1:32; 3:31; Acts 2:30; Rev 5:5) and affirmed elsewhere in the Pauline corpus (15:12; 2 Tim 2:8; cf. Rom 9:5). The most likely scriptural background for the evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d phrase in Romans 1:3-4 is 2 Samuel 7:12-14, in which God promises David, “I will raise up your seed after you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom” (avnasth,sw to. spe,rma sou meta. se,( o]j e;stai evk th/j koili,aj sou( kai. e`toima,sw th.n basilei,an auvtou/—2 Sam 7:12). Not only does the key word spe,rma appear in both Romans 1:3 and 2 Samuel 7:12, the language of divine sonship is also a prominent feature, as the oracle continues in 2 Samuel 7:14: “I will be his Father and he will be my son” (evgw. e;somai auvtw/| eivj pate,ra kai. auvto.j e;stai moi eivj ui`o,n)—a might determine the precise nuance the original author of the protocreed would have intended by gi,nomai, whether the stress was on the natural human birthing process or on the transition in status from preexistence to human existence. However, “transition in status” should be favored as the primary meaning, not just for Paul, but also for the author of the protocreed for three reasons: (1) gi,nomai is more frequently used in this way in the NT as whole, (2) genna,w was not used, which would have carried the primary meaning of human birth alone more readily, if perchance that was intended (see ch. 2 n. 84 on points [1] and [2]), and (3) it is prima facie more likely that Paul understood and agreed with the original protocreed than that he misunderstood it, disagreed with it, or is attempting to subvert it. 87 Here evk is best viewed as instrumental (“by means of the seed of David”), since the prepositional phrase gives the mechanism by which the change in status transpired. This interpretation is frequently avoided for what appear to be tendentious theological reasons (i.e., to protect the virgin birth); however, such attempts miss the idiomatic nature of the phrase, which does not necessarily entail the transfer of semen (see also Fitzmyer, Romans, 234). In line with the idiomatic quality of this phrase, evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d was in fact understood from the earliest records to refer to Mary’s human contribution to Jesus’ lineage, not the transfer of male semen (Ignatius Eph. 18.2 [text in ch. 2 n. 85]; Justin Dial. 100.3; Irenaeus Haer. 3.16.3 [text in ch. 2 n. 85]; Epid. 36; cf. Matt 1:20; Luke 3:23; Ignatius Smyrn. 1.1 [text in ch. 2 n. 62]; Eph. 7.2; Trall. 9.1; Justin Dial. 45.4; 54.2). An instrumental sense also remains most probable, since it preserves the parallelism with evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n in the second clause, which is more clearly instrumental (contra Cranfield, Romans, 1.63, who declares it as temporal [“since” or “from the time of ”], but in so doing destroys the parallelism with the first clause, in which evk cannot be temporal). Moo, Romans, 50 n. 53, takes evk/evx as indicating “origin,” but this also abrogates the parallelism between the clauses, since evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d does not thereby correspond to the preexistent stage in the way that existence among the dead correlates with evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n.

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statement that resonates powerfully with the expression “was appointed Son-of-God-in-Power” in the protocreed of Romans 1:4. This language of the divine sonship of the Davidic seed is also developed in texts such as Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 71:1 LXX. Paul (by way of the author of the protocreed) is therefore stating here that the Messiah’s Davidic sonship was “promised in advance” in the holy scriptures, and although this belief was not universally held in pre-Christian Judaism, there is ample evidence that Paul was not alone in reading the scriptures in this manner.88 The Davidic descent of God’s son is further qualified as being kata. sa,rka, and the precise manner in which this is to be understood is debated. One thing that is clear is the sphere of the flesh is associated with physically oriented human existence, especially human fragility, bodily appetites, and material decay, 89 although the implications with respect to Romans 1:3 are not that this phrase should be taken as a negative or pejorative qualification of Davidic descent.90 Rather, in light of Romans 9:5, which is the closest analogue to Romans 1:3 in the Pauline corpus, and which employs kata. sa,rka in terms of Christ’s human ancestry from Israel (“from whom is the Christ according to the flesh”—evx w-n o` Cristo.j to. kata. sa,rka), it is evident that Romans 1:3 is not denigrating Jesus’ Davidic ancestry as such.91 Rather Paul is hereby stressing that the 88 Matt 22:42-45 and par.; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:30; 2 Tim 2:8; Rev 5:5; Pss. Sol 17.23; 1 QM 11.1-18; 4QFlor 1.11-14; 4QPBless 5.1-7; 4QTest 9-13; 4 Ezra 12:31-32; T.Jud. 24.1-5. For discussion of 2 Sam 7:12-14 in Rom 1:3-4, see Otto Betz, What Do We Know about Jesus?, trans. Margaret Kohl (London: SCM Press, 1968), 93–103. For a more general treatment of the exegetical basis of Paul’s Davidic Christology, see Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology, 540–43. 89 See Eduard Schweizer, “sa,rx.,” TDNT 7:98–151 esp. 125–35 (on Paul); also see Dunn, Theology, 62–73. 90 Contra Dunn, “Jesus,” 49–51; Dunn, Romans, 1.12–13, and Jewett, Romans, 106, who think the kata. sa,rka qualification was added to deprecate the Davidic origins of the Messiah at a second stage in the protocreed’s development under the influence of Hellenistic modes of thought. 91 So also C. K. Barrett, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, BNTC (New York: Harper & Row, 1957), 18; Cranfield, Romans, 1.59–60, who aptly suggests the neutral gloss “as a man” for kata. sa,rka in Rom 1:3; Wilckens, Römer, 1.65; Käsemann, Romans, 11; Moo, Romans, 47. Out of seventeen occurrences of kata . sa r, ka in the seven letters, five do not include any obviously derogatory connotations in context: Rom 1:3, Rom 4:1 (“Abraham our forefather according to the flesh”—VAbraa.m to.n propa,tora h`mw/n kata. sa,rka), Rom 9:3 (“those of my own race according to the flesh”—tw/n suggenw/n mou kata. sa,rka), Rom 9:5, and 1 Cor 10:18 (“Israel according to the flesh”—to.n VIsrah.l kata. sa,rka); ten occurrences are more clearly negative; two occurrences are ambivalent (Gal 4:23, 29). In the broader Pauline corpus, Eph 6:5 and Col 3:22 are not pejorative (“masters according to the flesh”—toi/j kata. sa,rka kuri,oij). See also the neutral, perhaps even positive, use of kata. sa,rka in the close parallel in Ignatius Eph. 20.2: “Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David according to the flesh, being the Son of man and the Son of God” (VIhsou/ Cristw/|( tw/| kata. sa,rka evk ge,nouj Dauei,d( tw/| ui`w/| avnqrw,pou kai. ui`w/| qeou/ [Greek text in Holmes; cf. Rom. 7.3; Smyrn. 1.1]).


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

son of God entered the sphere of human existence (kata. sa,rka) and in so doing took on all the weakness, decay, and fragility that fully embodied human life necessarily entails. In summary, the first clause of the protocreed assumes the preexistence of the son of God, but does not dwell on this, focusing instead on the son’s transition to the weak, frail state of human physical existence within the messianic line of David. It is vital to keep in mind that these very things were “pre-promised through [God’s] prophets in the holy scriptures,” according to Paul’s hermeneutically oriented statement in verse 2. The second clause of the protocreed, which reads tou/ o`risqe,ntoj ui`ou/ qeou/ evn duna,mei kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n (“who was appointed Son-of-God-in-Power in accordance with the Spirit of Holiness by the resurrection from among the dead”), stands in a balanced, yet contrasting, relationship to many of the elements in the first. The second clause also assumes two different stages in the existence of God’s son, and just as in the first clause, it underlines the implications that result from the transition from the first to the second. The two stages are existence among the dead and existence in an exalted postresurrection state, presumably in the heavenly realm. The participial phrase that heads the second clause, tou/ o`risqe,ntoj, emphasizes a transition in status facilitated by God.92 In this case, it is a change in status via “appointment” or “installation” to a new (or newly recovered) office. However, the attainment of this appointment stands as the culmination of the postresurrection transfer of the son of God “from the realm of the dead ones” (nekrw/n)93 to this office. The balanced pairing with the other clause strongly favors taking evn duna,mei as a modifier of ui`ou/ qeou/, rather than tou/ o`risqe,ntoj, since failure to do so results in dissymmetry.94 The best translation is the somewhat awkward, “who was appointed Son-of-God-in-Power,” and although this exact phrase is found nowhere else in the Pauline corpus, similar ideas are elsewhere present (Rom 8:34; 2 Cor 4:14; Phil 2:5-11; cf. Eph 1:20; Col 3:1). Since it was determined previously that kata. sa,rka referred to existence within the sphere characterized by physical human weakness, it 92



The verb o`ri,zw is a so-called “divine passive” in Rom 1:4—i.e., God is the assumed

On Jesus’ existence in the realm of the dead, see e.g., Rom 4:24; 14:9; 2 Cor 4:14; Gal 1:1; 1 Thess 1:10 (cf. Acts 2:24-32; 1 Pet 3:18-20; Rev 1:18). 94 Note in Jewett’s structural outline replicated above 1:4b lacks symmetry, a problem that disappears if 1:4b is taken as a continuation of 1:4a, rather than being given its own line. For further evidence that this is the proper placement, see the discussion in Cranfield, Romans, 1.62.

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can be inferred that kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj indicates existence within the sphere characterized by the pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj qualities. The phrase pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj, found in Romans 1:3, is very rare,95 but since this is probably part of the protocreed received by Paul, we cannot surmise that the more typically Pauline pneu/ma a[gion has been deliberately avoided.96 Thus, whatever the prehistory of this material, for Paul, the Holy Spirit is probably in view here,97 and Paul construes the protocreed to be claiming that the (here unspecified) qualities associated with the Holy Spirit characterize the “Son-of-God-in-Power” stage of existence. Just as the newly acquired human stage was described as attained by means of “the seed of David” (evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d) in the first clause, so also the evx avnasta,sewj nekrw/n indicates that the freshly obtained (or perhaps reobtained) “Sonof-God-in-Power” stage is achieved by means of “the resurrection from among the dead ones.”98 In summary, when this protocreed is considered as a whole, a four-stage narrative is in view: (1) preexistence, (2) becoming human, (3) existence among the dead ones, and (4) appointment as “Son-of-God-in-Power.” Yet the overwhelming emphasis is on the mode of existence that characterizes stages 2 and 4, while stage 1 can only be inferred and stage 3 is barely mentioned. On the human stage, Davidic descent and solidarity with human physical frailty is affirmed; on the “Son-of-God-in-Power” stage, the resurrection and continuity with the qualities of the Spirit of Holiness are underscored. The Son of God who preexisted as Son of God—and hence was not adopted at the time of his resurrection—took on human flesh by the agency of a Davidite (probably intending Mary), entered the abode of the dead, and was finally installed as Son-of-God-inPower by means of the resurrection. Most vitally, the “gospel,” and hence 95 Pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj occurs only in T. Lev. 18:11 (kai. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj e;stai evpV auvtoi/j) and on a Jewish amulet (see Erik Peterson, “Das Amulett von Acre,” in Frühkirche, Judentum und Gnosis: Studien und Untersuchungen [Freiberg: Herder, 1959], 346–54, esp. 351–52). The phrase has Semitic roots ( vdq xwr, e.g., Ps 51:13; Isa 63:10-11) and it shows up frequently in the Dead Sea Scrolls (fifty-four times according to my BibleWorks search; e.g., 1QS 8.16; 9.3). 96 Contra those who reject the translation “Holy Spirit,” such as William Sanday and Arthur C. Headlam, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 5th ed., ICC (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1902), 9; Käsemann, Romans, 11; Fitzmyer, Romans, 236. For pneu/ma a[gion, see Rom 5:5; 15:13; 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 13:13. 97 So also Godet, Romans, 80; Barrett, Romans, 19; Cranfield, Romans, 1.64; Wilckens, Römer, 1.65; Moo, Romans, 50; Fee, God’s Empowering Presence, 482–84; Jewett, Romans, 106 (although he believes the qualifier a`giwsu,nh to be a Pauline redaction). Dissenting opinions are expressed by Sanday and Headlam, Romans, 9; Käsemann, Romans, 11; Fitzmyer, Romans, 236. 98 See discussion in ch. 2 n. 87, in which it is argued that the prepositional phrase does not denote temporal sequence or origin, but rather instrumentality.


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the content of this protocreed, is said by Paul to be “promised in advance” in the holy scriptures. After the conclusion of the protocreed, Paul adds his own words: “Jesus Christ our Lord” (VIhsou/ Cristou/ tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n).99 In so doing, Paul clarifies the identity of God’s “son” (1:3a) and also invites his audience to draw a connection between the protocreedal office of “Son-of-God-inPower” and Paul’s own designation of Jesus Christ as “Lord.” This correlation sets up a cascade of associations for the reader, who is now able to assimilate the office of “Son-of-God-in-Power” to that of the Lordship of Jesus, who is elsewhere said to be reigning at the right hand of the Father, and who has been authorized as eschatological judge (Rom 2:16; 8:34; 14:9; cf. Ps 109:1 LXX). Participating in the Protocreed Much as in 1 Corinthians 15:6-11, in Romans 1:5-6 Paul locates himself, his coworkers, and his audience in relationship to the protocreedal narrative, and in so doing he is in effect writing himself and others into the narrative that extends chronologically outward from the kerygmatic protocreed. Again, just as in 1 Corinthians 15:3-11, there is no syntactical break in Romans 1:2-6 between the protocreed and Paul’s extension of it. Seemingly, in same breath, Paul goes on from the protocreed proper to Romans 1:5 in order to explain that the Lord Jesus Christ “through whom we received grace and apostleship for the obedience of faith among all of the nations”100 is the means by which certain effects have been achieved for Paul, his coworkers, the Gentiles, and Paul’s Roman audience. Since Paul alone is named as the author of this epistle in 1:1, the shift to the first-person plural “we received” (evla,bomen) is unexpected in 1:5. Whom does Paul include in this “we”? Proper identification of the precise referent is absolutely critical in this case to the claim that Paul integrates his coworkers into the extension to the protocreed, necessitating a more extensive discussion. The first-person plural can be explained in three possible ways: (1) Paul is including his audience and including his coworkers, (2) Paul is employing an epistolary plural,101 or (3) Paul is excluding 99 Besides the shift to the first person, it is probable that this phrase is Paul’s own on stylistic grounds, since the phrase appears twenty-six times (with variations in word order) in the seven letters. 100 Text (Rom 1:5): diV ou- evla,bomen ca,rin kai. avpostolh.n eivj u`pakoh.n pi,stewj evn pa/sin toi/j e;qnesin u`pe.r tou/ ovno,matoj auvtou/. 101 The epistolary plural or editorial “we” is the use of the first-person plural by the author, when in reality the author is speaking for himself or herself alone. See BDF §280, and Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


his audience but including his coworkers. That Paul excludes his audience from the “we” is evidenced by two observations. The objects Paul says “we have received” are “grace and apostleship” (ca,rin kai. avpostolh.n) and the purpose is “for the obedience of faith among all the nations” (eivj u`pakoh.n pi,stewj evn pa/sin toi/j e;qnesin). First, his audience clearly has not received “apostleship,” so it is unlikely that they are included in the “we.”102 Second, the purpose for which these objects were received was to effect the “obedience of faith among all the nations,” a group that includes the letter’s audience (v. 6), making the audience the ultimate recipients of the action envisioned in the purpose clause. Thus, the subject (“we”) received something to effect a change in the audience, but not in a reflexive manner. So both factors suggest the audience is excluded from the “we,” eliminating the first option. Second, what of the second possibility, an epistolary plural? It is of course true that Paul is theoretically capable of using the epistolary plural, since the practice is adequately attested in the Hellenistic age,103 and there is little doubt that Paul did make use of this technique on occasion, given the number of possible instances in his letters.104 The question is, Did he use it here? The epistolary plural is difficult to classify in the Pauline corpus, because Paul is part of a larger missionary team, and he usually has other cosenders listed in the letters in which the epistolary plural is allegedly clearly exemplified.105 Moreover, even when Paul does not have an explicit cosender, as is the case with Romans, others are nonetheless involved at least to some degree in the composition process (e.g., Tertius Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 394–96 for category description. BDF denies that Rom 1:5 is an epistolary plural, while Wallace lists this as a “(relatively) clear” example. 102 Contra Barrett, Romans, 21, who says “Paul speaks both as a Christian and as an apostle.” It is not likely that a more generic “apostleship” understood as spiritual gift for the Christian community is in view here, as is argued by Fitzmyer, Romans, 237. His appeal to 1 Cor 12:28 is totally unconvincing, since “apostles” is not a category to which all belong (cf. 12:29!); moreover, in Rom 1:5, the apostleship is purposed toward bringing about the u`pakoh.n pi,stewj among the nations. Paul’s only other two uses of the specific term avpostolh, are in 1 Cor 9:2 (the Corinthians are the seal of Paul’s “apostleship”) and Gal 2:8 (God is said to be working through Peter in the “apostleship of the circumcision”). 103 See the evidence cited in James H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, 4 vols., 3rd ed. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1908–1976), 1.86–87; A. T. Robertson, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament in Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman, 1934), 407–8. 104 Possible examples of the epistolary plural in Paul include Rom 3:28; 2 Cor 3:1-6, 12; 4:1-6; 5:11-16; 7:12-16; 8:1-8; 9:1-5; 11:6, 12, 21; Gal 1:8-9 (per Wallace, Greek Grammar, 396). 105 So BDF §280. 106 See E. Randolph Richards, The Secretary in the Letters of Paul, WUNT 42 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1991), 23–67, 169–201.


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in Rom 16:22).106 Furthermore, a lone writer may be speaking as a representative of an unnamed larger group with whom he or she has solidarity (cf. Rom 3:28; Gal 1:8-9). In these instances, is the solitary author really alone in expressing opinions, so that the epistolary plural is an appropriate designation? Black-and-white category descriptions can dangerously exclude the middle ground. Regardless, as Wallace points out, the category is quite rare and any possible case should be assumed exclusive or inclusive rather than epistolary, unless compelling evidence can be brought forward.107 And I do not think the evidence is sufficient in this case.108 For all of these reasons, but especially because the case for an “inclusive we” vis-à-vis Paul’s coworkers is more compelling (as further discussion will show), the classification of Romans 1:5 as an epistolary plural is best avoided here.109 This leaves the third option, that Paul excludes his audience but includes his coworkers in the “we” of evla,bomen, perhaps seeing himself as 107

Wallace, Greek Grammar, 394. In fact, Wallace himself makes the strongest case for an epistolary plural in Rom 1:5. He makes two points in favor of this conclusion, but I do not believe either are valid. First, Wallace notes that Paul mentions only himself as the author in 1:1, and so the plural in 1:5 is somewhat unexpected, making the epistolary plural probable. The shift is indeed unexpected, but does not speak uniquely in favor of the epistolary plural over other solutions. The “exclusive we” and the “inclusive we” are equally capable of explaining this shift, since neither the other apostles nor the audience are writing the letter in 1:1, so their exclusion here is totally expected in 1:1, but they are potentially involved in the actions of 1:5, in which case their inclusion would be fully expected, so there is no reason to prefer the much rarer “editorial we” option. Second, Wallace asserts that Paul’s singularly unique apostleship to the nations would preclude him from suggesting that others have been given “grace and apostleship for the obedience of faith among all the nations.” Even though Paul viewed himself as specially chosen for the mission to the Gentiles (Rom 15:16; Gal 1:16, 2:7, 2:9; cf. Acts 9:15; 1 Tim 2:7), there is no evidence to suggest that Paul believed that other apostles were not likewise commissioned by God to effect u p` akoh n. pi,stewj among all the nations—N.b. Rom 11:13 should be translated “an apostle to the Gentiles” (cf. NRSV; Jewett, Romans, 678) not “the apostle to the Gentiles” (NIV). On the contrary, there is evidence in Romans itself that points in the opposite direction (see Rom 10:8; 10:16; 16:7; 16:9). In short, neither point raised by Wallace in favor of the “editorial we” is valid, and the “external we” or the “internal we” should therefore be favored by default as the less-rare categories. 109 Contra Godet, Romans, 81–82; Robertson, Greek Grammar, 408; Maximillian Zerwick, Biblical Greek, trans. Joseph Smith (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1963), §8; Cranfield, Romans, 1.65; Wilckens, Römer, 1.66; Käsemann, Romans, 14; Moo, Romans, 51; Wallace, Greek Grammar, 394. 110 So also Sanday and Headlam, Romans, 10; BDF §280 (although for inadequate reasons); Dunn, Romans, 1.16; Theodor Zahn, Der Brief des Paulus an Die Römer, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament 6 (Leipzig: Deichert, 1910), 43–44 (per Jewett); and Jewett, Romans, 109, who believes that exigent circumstances best explain all shifts between the first-person plural and singular. He gives the following rationale for 1:5: “Paul wishes to convey solidarity with the apostles whose emissaries had established the house and tenement churches in 108

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


their chief representative, and this option is unproblematic.110 Moreover, we can be specific about the identity of these coworkers. They are those who have received ca,rin kai. avpostolh.n (“grace and apostleship”) and who are engaged in trying to effect u`pakoh.n pi,stewj (“the obedience of faith”) among the nations.111 While the first item, “grace,” is not delimiting, the other two items are quite specific, indicating not just apostleship, but apostles who are active in the Gentile mission.112 So the “we” in 1:5 includes Paul and his coapostles, who are likewise engaged in the mission to the nations. Additional support for this interpretation is found in the first-person plural references to other heralds, as well as the mention of other apostles in Romans.113 Thus, just as in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, a special connection is forged by Paul between the protocreed and the notion of apostolicity. Finally, let me offer a word concerning the original audience of Romans. Although Paul does not include his audience within the “we” of Romans 1:5, he does go on to locate his audience within the extension to the protocreed in Romans 1:6, as is made clear when he says, “you also are Rome in the decades before the writing of this letter. . . . The missionaries who reached Rome obviously shared Paul’s calling to a Gentile mission.” Jewett’s specific explanation here is a bit fanciful, but he has the right collaborative sentiment. 111 The precise nuance of u`pakoh.n pi,stewj in Rom 1:5 and Rom 16:26 continues to garner debate. Rom 15:18 makes it clear that the “obedience of the nations” is the primary purpose of the Pauline mission and involves the submission of the Gentiles to the gospel of Christ in word and deed; hence, as Gerhard Friedrich, “Muß u`pakoh. pi,stewj Röm 1:5 mit ‘Glaubensgehorsam’ übersetzt werden?” ZNW 72 (1981): 118–23, argues, the two terms in the phrase should not be collapsed into one another. That is, u`pakoh.n pi,stewj should not be reduced to “faith” by reading this as an epexegetical genitive, “the obedience which is faith” as do, e.g., Wright, Romans, 420; Käsemann, Romans, 14; and Cranfield, Romans, 1.66. But “faith” should not be reduced to “obedience,” as is done by Bultmann, Theology, 1.314–17. Don B. Garlington, The Obedience of Faith: A Pauline Phrase in Historical Context, WUNT 38 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1991), 233–53, describes the manner in which “obedience of faith” in the broader Jewish milieu was bound up with Jewish identity, and goes on to contrast this with Paul’s position. He calls the “obedience of faith” in Rom 1:5 “a Pauline manifesto that to be acceptable to God as a faithful covenant-keeper, it is no longer necessary to become and then remain Jewish; the privileges entailed in Israel’s identity as the people of God can be had by virtue of faith alone in the risen Christ, the Seed of David and the powerful Son of God” (247). For Paul genuine obedience results from the enabling presence of the Spirit, which in turn comes through pi,stij (Rom 8:1-4, 12-13; 2 Cor 3:17; cf. Rom 6:12-18); thus Wallace, Greek Grammar, 106, is probably correct to suggest a genitive of production, and I would gloss this “the obedience which is produced by pi,stij”—cf. option 4 in Cranfield. 112 See the previous discussion in the section, “A Common Apostolic Protocreed?” and ch. 2 n. 10 on the different ways in which Paul uses the terms “apostle” and “apostleship.” 113 For example, Rom 10:8 (“the word of faith which we are proclaiming”); 10:16 (“our audible message”); 16:7 (“prominent among the apostles”); 16:9 (“our coworker in Christ”).


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

among those who are called of Jesus Christ” (evn oi-j evste kai. u`mei/j klhtoi. VIhsou/ Cristou/). In this manner, in Romans 1:5-6, Paul has syntactically extended the protocreed found in Romans 1:3-4 in order to locate himself, his fellow apostles, his audience, and his mission within the sequence defined by this foundational christocentric story. This is precisely what we observed regarding 1 Corinthians 15:3-11. The protocreed serves as a metanarrative around which Paul organizes his entire world by chronologically extending the narrative sequence of the kerygmatic protocreed into his present. The profound hermeneutical implications of this extension will become evident as this study progresses. In the meantime, it should be observed that the close association between the contents of the euvagge,lion (“gospel”), as manifested in the protocreed of Romans 1:3-4 and apostolic proclamation of this gospel in view in Romans 1:5-6, warrants the identification of this protocreed as apostolic kerygma, at least insofar as Paul presents it. Summary The Protocreed in Romans 1:1-6 I have agreed with the majority that Paul makes use of preformed material in Romans 1:3b-4d. Regardless of which elements of the preformed material may or may not have been augmented or suppressed by Paul in writing Romans 1:3-4, the important point is that the protocreed now extant is unabashedly affirmed by Paul within the exordium of this important letter. Paul stresses the universal applicability of the contents of the protocreed by describing the “gospel” as God’s very own and by affirming the gospel was pre-promised through God’s prophets in the sacred scriptures. The suggestion that Paul is hermeneutically or theologically at odds with the pre-Pauline material utilized in Romans 1:3-4 is unwarranted. Thus, for Paul, the scriptures indicate that God had voluntarily obligated himself by previously made promises to bring about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Within the protocreed of Romans 1:3b-4d, a four-stage narrative is in view, all of which concerns God’s son, including (1) preexistence, (2) becoming human, (3) existence among the dead ones, and (4) appointment as “Son-of-God-in-Power.” Davidic lineage as a messianic qualification and solidarity with human frailty are emphasized regarding stage 2. Resurrection, existence characterized by the Spirit of Holiness, and attainment of the office of “Son-of-God-in-Power” are stressed in stage 4. It is this entire protocreedal content that Paul claims was “promised in advance” in the scriptures, making this a hermeneutically significant statement.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


In the wake of the protocreed (i.e., in Rom 1:4e), God’s son is identified by Paul as Jesus Christ “our Lord,” which further illuminates the office of “Son-of-God-in-Power” articulated within the protocreed. Moreover, Paul chronologically stretches the narrative sequence of the protocreed into his own era in order to locate himself, his coapostles, his audience, and the mission to the nations within its purview. The close relationship between Romans 1:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:311 has been illustrated throughout the discussion, and the similar stance vis-à-vis the scriptures espoused in both passages shows the centrality of these pre-Pauline protocreedal structures to Pauline hermeneutics. Next, I will synthesize these two protocreeds into one kerygmatic master narrative in order to expose which elements are central and to create a synthetic framework for future discussion.

Synthesizing the Protocreeds of 1 Corinthians 15:3-11 and Romans 1:1-6 Since various elements of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 and Romans 1:3-4 are identified as being “according to the scriptures” or “promised in advance” in the scriptures, and some of these elements are unique, whereas others overlap between the passages, it is desirable to combine them into a master story that can be used as a reference point to simplify discussion going forward. Of course, there are dangers in attempting such a synthesis, the foremost being that a reader might take this artificial creation, and project it back on the pre-Pauline church as a reified master kerygmatic narrative actually held by some individual or group. Even asserting that Paul himself had consciously synthesized these two protocreeds in his own mind is risky, although the risk is substantially mitigated, inasmuch as he does indeed uphold all of the individual elements that make up the synthesized master story. Combining the elements from the two protocreeds isolated in the preceeding discussion does have the advantage of showing the points of continuity and idiosyncrasy between the two protocreeds. It also has the merit of laying out in narrative form the various items Paul holds to be “in accordance with the scriptures” or “promised in advance.” I will compromise between these two concerns by synthesizing these two protocreeds plus their syntactical extensions, while still retaining their individual groupings. The following twelve-stage chart should serve as a visual guide to what follows.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Comparing the Protocreeds of 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 and Romans 1:2-4 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 1.


(Human Life)*




Death for Sins


(Existence among the Dead)*


Resurrection on the Third Day


Initial Appearances*


1 Cor 15:5-11 extension 9. 10.



Human Life in the Line of David (Death for Sins)* (Burial)*

Existence among the Dead Resurrection

Installation as Son-of-God-in-Power Rom 1:5-6 extension

Subsequent Appearance to Others*

(Subsequent Appearance to Others)*

Apostolic Commissioning*

Apostolic Commissioning*

Appearance to Paul*


Romans 1:2-4

Mission to the Nations*

(Appearance to Paul)*

Mission to the Nations*

Notes: –Material placed in parentheses is presupposed although not overtly stated. –An asterisk denotes that the item is not labeled by Paul as “in accordance with the scriptures” or “pre-promised” in these protocreeds (although he may have nonetheless regarded the item as such, and in some cases certainly did on the basis of other evidence).

Although there are additional Pauline passages that could be fruitfully employed to flesh out various elements of these protocreeds or even to add stages to the master narrative,114 none of these additional passages are explicitly said to be “according to the scriptures” (or the like),115 and thus 114

See esp. Rom 4:24-25; 8:34; 10:8-9; 14:9; 1 Cor 8:5-6; 12:3; 2 Cor 13:4; Gal 3:20; Phil 2:6-11; cf. 1 Thess 4:14; Eph 4:10; 5:14; Col 1:15-20; 1 Tim 2:5; 2 Tim 2:8. 115 An explicit statement about the scriptures is also made in Rom 16:25-27, which speaks of the gospel/kerygma as “the revelation of the mystery having been kept silent for time eternal, but now made manifest through the prophetic writings . . . having been made known for the obedience of faith for all the nations” (avpoka,luyin musthri,ou cro,noij aivwni,oij sesighme,nou fanerwqe,ntoj de. nu/n dia, te grafw/n profhtikw/n . . . eivj u`pakoh.n pi,stewj eivj pa,nta ta. e;qnh gnwrisqe,ntoj). However, this doxological passage is a special case, due to its floating textual history. Most often it appears after 16:23 or 16:24 (which is also textually

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


it is prudent to exclude them from the reconstruction to provide a more certain foundation tailored for an analysis of Pauline hermeneutics. The Eight-Stage Master Kerygmatic Narrative The Christ Story When the elements of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 and Romans 1:3-4 are combined the following eight-stage master kerygmatic narrative results. Stage 1. Preexistence This stage can be inferred from Romans 1:3, through Paul’s use of gi,nomai to emphasize change in status (cf. Gal 4:4).116 The “coming into being” (Rom 1:3) of the Christ is one of the items affirmed as “promised in problematic) including î61 ¥ B C D 81 365 630 1739 2464. Origen testifies that Marcion cut off his edition of Rom at 14:23, at which location the text of 16:25-27 appears in several manuscripts (Y 0209vid Û mvid sy h; Orlat mss). This has given rise to the theory that this doxology was created in the second century, either within Marcionite circles, or more plausibly, as an orthodox response to Marcion’s abridgement. The doxology even appears in one very important early MS (î46) after 15:33. There are several words and phrases in the doxology that are uncharacteristic of Paul, but this evidence is inconclusive regarding authorship, given the miniscule amount of data involved. If this passage is indeed by Paul, then it adds the important nuance that the “prophetic scriptures” have proven to be instrumental in unveiling the divine mystery (i.e., the formation of one people of God from the Jews and Gentiles—Rom 11:25; cf. Eph 1:9-10; 3:3-6; Col 1:26-27). Whether that mystery extended to the content of the scriptures themselves, as announced prior to the historical realization of the gospel events, is less clear, but seems to be a fair inference (so also Cranfield, Romans, 2.812 [note, however, that Cranfield deems this passage a second-century interpolation]). If it is secondary, it is nonetheless evidence for how an early Paulinist understood Paul’s hermeneutic. However, given the disputed status of the text, it is best left as a secondary consideration in the quest for Paul’s hermeneutic. The best recent literature on this text includes Jewett, Romans, 997–1011; Raymond F. Collins, “The Case of a Wandering Doxology: Rom 16,25-27,” in New Testament Textual Criticism and Exegesis: Festschrift J. Delobel, ed. A. Denaux (Leuven: Peeters, 2002), 293–303; I. Howard Marshall, “Romans 16:25-27: An Apt Conclusion,” in Romans and the People of God: Essays in Honor of Gordon D. Fee on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, ed. Sven K. Soderlund and N. T. Wright (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 170–84; Larry W. Hurtado, “The Doxology at the End of Romans,” in New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis: Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger, ed. Eldon J. Epp and Gordon D. Fee (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 185–99; J. K. Elliott, “The Language and Style of the Concluding Doxology to the Epistle to the Romans,” ZNW 72 (1981): 124–30 (arguing for a second-century Paulinist); Harry Y. Gamble, The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans: A Study in Textual and Literary Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977). Jewett, Collins, Elliott, and Gamble side against Pauline authorship while Marshall sides for Pauline authorship and Hurtado espouses “scholarly ‘agnosticism’” (199), claiming that the matter must be left open, but all the while he undercuts the non-Pauline position. 116 See the defense of this position in the section detailing the content of the protocreed in this chapter.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

advance” in Romans 1:2. However, preexistence is not present nor implied in any way in the 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 sequence. Stage 2. Human Life in the Line of David This item is stressed by Paul in Romans 1:3, in terms of Jesus’ solidarity with weak humanity within the royal Davidic line with his kata. sa,rka language. More specifically, the transition of the Christ from preexistence to human life transpired by means of the seed of David (evk spe,rmatoj Daui.d), which probably refers to Mary’s Davidic ancestry and her role in bringing the Christ into the world, while also simultaneously alluding to the scriptural promises to David (esp. 2 Sam 7:12-14). It is exceedingly clear that Paul viewed this element of the narrative as pre-promised in the scriptures, because it is this stage that receives the greatest emphasis in Romans 1:3. However, it is not in view in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, except by implication as a necessary prelude to stage 3. Stage 3. Death in Behalf of Our Sins The death of Christ “in behalf of our sins” (u`pe.r tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n) is explicitly and emphatically affirmed as being “in accordance with the scriptures” in 1 Corinthians 15:3b. This stage does not overlap with stage 5, except inasmuch as cause (here: death) always relates to effect (existence in the realm of the dead). Thus, this item is not additionally attested in Romans 1:3-4 as being “pre-promised,” although death can be fairly inferred, since stage 5 is mentioned, and the cause is easily and naturally deduced from the effect. Stage 4. Burial This stage is only mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:4, and even there is not said to be kata. ta.j grafa,j. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, the affirmation “he was buried” primarily serves as proof for the reality of stage 3. Stage 5. Existence among the Dead Ones Although this element is explicitly acknowledged by Paul in Romans 1:4, not much weight is placed on it, since his main emphasis is on the implications that result due to the transfer of God’s son out of this state. Moreover, this item is not acknowledged as part of the sequence in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, although one might argue it is implied as the result of stage 3 and the natural corollary of stage 4. Nonetheless, this item is part of the “gospel” that Paul straightforwardly affirms to be pre-promised in the scriptures in Romans 1:4, and should be regarded as such.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


Stage 6. Resurrection The prominence of this stage in the narrative sequence is very secure, being affirmed in both 1 Corinthians 15:4 and Romans 1:4. It is in fact the only element explicitly affirmed in both protocreeds, although the affirmation of the resurrection obviously presupposes other stages, such as death and burial. There is a specific emphasis on the third day (evgh,gertai th/| h`me,ra| th/| tri,th|) in 1 Corinthians 15:4, with the forthright claim that this also is kata. ta.j grafa,j. The resurrection is also highlighted in Romans 1:4 as the source that provides the impetus for the transfer between stages 5 and 8. Thus, it is clear that the resurrection stage is firmly attested in the two protocreeds analyzed earlier in the chapter, and this stage seems to hold the most hermeneutical weight. Stage 7. Initial Appearances This element in the sequential story occurs only in 1 Corinthians 15:4, where it is not explicitly said to be “in accordance with the scriptures.” Much as stage 4 (“he was buried”) served to endorse stage 3, the “he appeared” of stage 7 acts to confirm the reality of stage 6, the resurrection. Within the bounds of the protocreed, the appearances are said to be “to Cephas,” and then “the Twelve.” Although it is evident that Paul regarded this part of the sequence as historically true, it is doubtful that Paul regarded this stage as kata. ta.j grafa,j. Stage 8. Installation as “Son-of-God-in-Power” The final sequence in the master kerygmatic narrative is the appointment of the Son to the position of “Son-of-God-in-Power,” as attested by Romans 1:4. There is no corresponding element in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5, but given the centrality of this notion to Romans 1:4, Paul clearly regarded this development as pre-promised in the scriptures. Bound up with this installation is the solidarity of Jesus with the characteristics of the realm of the Holy Spirit (kata. pneu/ma a`giwsu,nhj), a qualification that should not be overlooked, since it is also part of the pre-promised gospel. Thus, when these two hermeneutically central protocreeds are combined into one master sequence, the result is an eight-stage narrative about Christ incorporating the following elements: (1) preexistence, (2) human life in the line of David, (3) death in behalf of our sins, (4) burial, (5) existence among the dead ones, (6) resurrection, (7) initial appearances, and (8) installation as “Son-of-God-in-Power.” Stages 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 are clearly affirmed by Paul as being “in accordance with the scriptures” or “pre-promised” in the scriptures, whereas the scriptural status of stages 4


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

and 7 remain undetermined. Subsequent analysis will refer to this eightstage sequence as the master kerygmatic narrative that has been reconstructed in Paul.117 The Four-Stage Extension to the Master Kerygmatic Narrative The Apostolic Mission Yet Paul also linguistically and syntactically extends the protocreeds of 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 and Romans 1:3-4 in order to locate himself, his coworkers, his audience, and his mission in relationship to these protocreeds. What additional elements can be detected in this extension to the protocreeds? Stage 9. Subsequent Appearances to Others The original protocreed of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 gave notice of the appearance to Cephas and to the Twelve, but in the subsequent verses Paul deliberately structures his language in order to extend this list of witnesses to include more than five hundred of the brothers, James, and “all the apostles” (15:6-7). Appearances are nowhere mentioned in Romans 1:1-6, but are seemingly assumed by Paul (see stage 11 below). Stage 10. Appearance to Paul An appearance was also made to Paul (1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1), who marks off his experience as unique with the following words: “then last of all, as if to a miscarried fetus he appeared also to me” (e;scaton de. pa,ntwn w`sperei. tw/| evktrw,mati w;fqh kavmoi). The phrase w`sperei. tw/| evktrw,mati has generated much debate, with some preferring to see evktrw,ma (“miscarried 117 Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, 17, also reconstructs Paul’s kerygma, summarizing it in this fashion: “(1) The prophecies are fulfilled, and the new Age is inaugurated by the coming of Christ. (2) He was born of the seed of David. (3) He died according to the Scriptures, to deliver us out of the present evil age. (4) He was buried. (5) He rose on the third day according to the Scriptures. (6) He is exalted at the right hand of God, as Son of God and Lord of quick and dead. (7) He will come again as Judge and Saviour of men” (the quotation is direct, except I have added numbers for ease of comparison). Methodologically, the chief difference between my reconstruction and Dodd’s is that I have deliberately restricted my analysis of the Pauline kerygma to narrative stages that are explicitly aligned by Paul with the scriptures, a choice necessitated by my intention to explore the hermeneutical function of Paul’s kerygma. On the other hand, Dodd draws from all sources he deems kerygmatic in Paul. Thus, my reconstruction should not be regarded a complete picture of Paul’s kerygma nor a critique of Dodd’s portrait, but rather an isolated subset of the kerygma that is explicitly aligned by Paul himself with the scriptural witness. In terms of content, the largest discrepancy in my sequence vis-àvis Dodd’s is the inclusion of a preexistence stage and the exclusion of the final eschatological horizon of return as judge.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


fetus”) as a term of insult used by Paul’s opponents, perhaps redeployed sarcastically by Paul.118 Yet there are no rhetorical cues that would suggest he is employing here his opponents’ deprecating terminology, so it is better to see this as Paul’s own language about himself.119 Others stress the chronological disjuncture between the appearance to Paul (post-ascension) and the other apostles (pre-ascension) on the basis of the words “then last of all” (e;scaton de. pa,ntwn), which might make Paul’s “birth” as an apostle “untimely” or freakishly “sudden.”120 However, the metaphor of evktrw,ma does not mesh with an emphasis on chronological disjuncture. For if Paul is trying to signal something about chronological timing with evktrw,ma, then it might suggest malformed premature birth. But this is unlikely, since the “last of all” would suggest not that Paul was premature in his birth, but the opposite, that Paul was tardy in seeing Jesus in comparison with other witnesses. Accordingly, the point of e;scaton de. pa,ntwn (“then last of all”) is purposed primarily to situate Paul chronologically at the end of the chain,121 while perhaps secondarily implying his humble status, as Munck has shown. 118 For example, Barrett, First Corinthians, 344; Fee, First Corinthians, 733 who also cites Weiss, Parry, Harnack, Schneider, and Fridrichsen as adherents of this position. 119 So also Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 259. Confirmation of this reading is supplied by Ignatius Rom. 9.2, who echoes 1 Cor 15:8-9, saying, “But I am ashamed to be considered among them [the other shepherds/overseers], neither am I worthy, being last among them and a miscarried fetus; but I have received mercy to be somebody if I might attain to God” (evgw. de. aivscu,nomai evx auvtw/n le,gesqai\ ouvde. ga.r a;xio,j eivmi( wv n. e;scatoj auvtw/n kai. e;ktrwma\ avllV hvle,hmai, tij ei=nai( eva.n qeou/ evpitu,cw [Greek text in Holmes]). If this was the language of Paul’s opponents, Ignatius seems to be unaware of the matter. Likewise, Ignatius clearly did not understand Paul’s “last of them” in a merely temporal sense—given his era, Ignatius is not the “last” shepherd chronologically, but rather in his own eyes, the last in terms of status. 120 For example, Robertson and Plummer, First Corinthians, 339; William F. Orr and James A. Walther, I Corinthians: A New Translation, AB 32 (New York: Doubleday, 1976), 318, 322–23. An alternative view is possible as well, that is, that the e;scaton de. pa,ntwn is not intended adverbially by Paul to signify the continuation of the chain of witnesses to himself, but rather adjectivally to highlight his humble, inferior status, “then [as unto] the last [most inferior] of all,” which would then cohere with the following verse, in which Paul calls himself “the least of the apostles” and stresses his unworthiness (1 Cor 15:9). Fee, First Corinthians, 732, lists Schütz, 104–6, as an adherent of this view. Although favored by some in the early church (Ignatius Rom. 9.2 [text in ch. 2 n. 119]; Theodoret [PG 82:352]), this view fails to locate Paul chronologically in the chain of witnesses, which seems to be one of his chief points here, as is demonstrated by the deliberate syntactical structuring (see ch. 2 n. 13). It is best to affirm that “last of all” above all serves to locate Paul chronologically, but also connotes his humble status in light of his other three phrases expressing humility in the near context (i.e., e k; trwma and o` evla,cistoj tw/n avposto,lwn and ouvk eivmi. i`kano.j kalei/sqai avpo,stoloj). 121 So almost all recent commentators (e.g., Barrett, First Corinthians, 344; Schrage, Der Erste Brief an die Korinther, 4.61; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1210; Fee, First Corinthians, 732 n. 98; Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 551–52), as well as some ancient (e.g., Ambrosiaster [CSEL 81.167]; Chrysostom [PG 61:328–29]).


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In addition, Munck convincingly correlates the state of absolute human wretchedness and unacceptability with the standing of a stillborn fetus,122 a view that can be grounded in the LXX usage of evktrw,ma (Num 12:12; Job 3:16; Eccl 6:3). Therefore, Paul’s point seems to be that he was in a position of utter death and malformed unacceptability with respect to the divine pater familias before the application of God’s grace and his adoption as a son.123 Thus, Paul highlights his unique status as utterly dead, comparing himself unfavorably with the other apostles. Although he does mark himself as “last of all” in the chain of witnesses, he is not in the final analysis emphasizing anything chronologically atypical (such as “suddenness”) by his evktrw,ma language, but rather his entirely wretched status as dead. Although the appearance to Paul is not mentioned in Romans 1:1-6, it is implied in stage 11. Stage 11. Apostolic Commissioning In 1 Corinthians 15:7-11, Paul locates the stage of apostolic commissioning within his extension to the protocreed. That the Twelve are a subset of a larger group of apostles is obvious from the simple comparison of 15:5 and 15:7. Moreover, Paul also speaks of the reception of apostleship by himself and his coworkers in Romans 1:5 (“we received grace and apostleship”). Stage 12. Mission to the Nations Paul affirms the mission to the Gentiles within his extension to the protocreed in 1 Corinthians 15:11 (“and so you believed”) and in Romans 1:5 with his words explaining the purpose for which Paul and his coworkers received grace and apostleship—that is to say, “for the obedience of faith among all the nations” (eivj u`pakoh.n pi,stewj evn pa/sin toi/j e;qnesin). Paul goes on in v. 6 to specifically include his Roman audience, which is 122 J. Munck, “Paulus tamquam abortivus (1 Cor. 15:8),” in New Testament Essays: Studies in Memory of Thomas Walter Manson 1893–1958, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1959), 180–93; Munck is followed by Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 552, and Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1208–9. 123 In the Greco-Roman world in general, even a healthy son was not automatically incorporated into the family, but was in need of formal acceptance by the pater familias in order to incur the status of “son” or “daughter”; otherwise, the child could be killed by exposure, which was widely practiced (cf. P.Oxy. 744; Ovid Metam. 9.669–84). This was in contradistinction to Jewish practices, in which exposure was forbidden (Josephus C. Ap. 2.202; Philo Spec. 3.108–19; Virtues 131–32; Sib. Or. 3.765–66; Tacitus Hist. 5.5). Thus, if even a healthy child was in a state of death (liable to exposure) prior to formal acceptance, how much more an evktrw,ma.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma


widely regarded as manifesting a predominantly Gentile demographic,124 as a specific portion of “all of the nations.” Paul therefore sees the actualization of the “obedience of faith” as the goal of his and his coworker’s mission, a goal that has already been partially realized in the establishment of ekklhsi,ai at Corinth and at Rome. I have argued that the protocreeds of 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 and Romans 1:3-4 are foundational to Paul’s hermeneutic, yet these protocreeds are deliberately and smoothly extended to include additional stages, which can be synthesized as follows: (9) subsequent appearances to others, (10) appearance to Paul, (11) apostolic commissioning, and (12) mission to the nations. Henceforth, for convenience sake, these additions will be termed the “extension” to the master kerygmatic narrative, while the whole twelve-stage sequence will be labeled the “extended master kerygmatic narrative.” Is there any hermeneutical significance to this extension? Does Paul see the appearance of the risen Christ to others and to himself anticipated in the scriptures? What of the apostolic commissioning and the mission to the nations? Nothing in Paul’s statements examined thus far would indicate that he views any of these extended stages as “in accordance with the scriptures,” but as this study progresses, it will become clear that Paul does in fact regard at least the final two stages—apostolic commissioning and mission to the nations—which he appends to the protocreeds as “promised in advance” by God and thus kata. ta.j grafa,j.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma Preliminary Conclusions In this chapter, I have sought to demonstrate that Paul’s own explicit statements about the scriptures suggest that certain pre-Pauline protocreedal materials are foundational for his hermeneutic, being “according to the scriptures” and “promised in advance.” The primary Sitz im Leben of these protocreeds, as noted by Paul himself, is early Christian proclamation; the protocreeds are therefore kerygmatic. Furthermore, the specific statements in 1 Corinthians 15:6-11 and Romans 1:5, along with the rhetorical requirements of 1 Corinthians 15 and the universalizing tendencies of 124 See Rom 1:13; 15:11, 14-15; and esp. 11:13. For discussion, see Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003), 69–79. All of the major commentators of which I am aware hold to a predominantly Gentile demographic for the congregations in Rome (see Jewett, Romans, 70 n. 468, who lists as a lone exception T. Fahy, “St. Paul’s Romans Were Jewish Converts,” ITQ [1959]: 182–91).


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Romans 1:1-6, show that this protocreedal material is also apostolic, that is, held in common by not only Paul, but also by a number of early Christian emissaries. Moreover, an eight-stage master kerygmatic narrative can be inferred from the synthesis of the two protocreeds: (1) preexistence, (2) human life in the line of David, (3) death in behalf of our sins, (4) burial, (5) existence among the dead ones, (6) resurrection on the third day, (7) initial appearances, and (8) installation as “Son-of-God-in-Power.” Stages 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 are specifically endorsed by Paul as being in accordance with the scriptures or pre-promised in the scriptures, while stages 4 and 7 are not designated as such. The extension to the master kerygmatic narrative encompasses four further stages: (9) subsequent appearances to others, (10) appearance to Paul, (11) apostolic commissioning, and (12) mission to the nations. In the passages examined thus far, Paul does not signal that the extensions have any hermeneutical significance, but further analysis will suggest otherwise, at least in part. The next chapter will continue to explore the significance of Paul’s own statements about the scriptures, while also attempting to locate Paul’s hermeneutical strategy within the spectrum of other early Christian interpretative principles. Once Paul’s most vital overt statements regarding his interpretative stance have been examined, a study of prosopological exegesis will commence in chapters 4 and 5, all of which will further ground the thesis of a Pauline hermeneutic rooted in the apostolic kerygma by way of concrete examples of his scriptural exegesis.


G Figuration and the Divine Economy The preceding chapter initiated an examination of Paul’s explicit statements about the scriptures. The purpose of this exploration was to determine what, if anything, Paul says about the scriptures that might reveal his hermeneutical stance. It was concluded in the last chapter that Paul forthrightly endorses two protocreedal narratives that have key hermeneutical statements—1 Corinthians 15:3-5 and Romans 1:3-4—although this point has not received much emphasis in the secondary literature and awaits further development in this book. In this chapter, the analysis of Pauline statements that might be regarded as crucial to his hermeneutic will continue. On the basis of Paul’s own testimony, I will argue that Paul’s hermeneutic is grounded in his belief in a unified divine economy that encompasses all extratextual and textual events, and that Paul uses (or otherwise presumes) the apostolic kerygma from within this divine economy as he generates new interpretations of the scriptures. This chapter will begin with a general account of the place of scriptural citation within the letter-writing process, and will move from there to the examination of numerous specific Pauline texts.

Quotations and Tropes within Composition Invention and Expression Before leaping into specific passages in which Paul cites, alludes to, or otherwise draws upon his ancestral scriptures, it may be prudent to reflect on the interface between the appeal to authoritative external sources, such as proverbs, maxims, inspired poetry, oracles, the Jewish scriptures, and figuration in ancient letter writing more generally. In short, an exploration 109


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of ancient rhetorical and epistolary techniques suggests that authoritative citations—such as Paul’s decision to cite Habakkuk 2:4—would have been selected before the author determined how to present these quotations in a winsome literary style to the audience. The implication is that traditional categories for Pauline hermeneutics, such as so-called typology and allegory, are better viewed as secondary ornamenting maneuvers rather than first-order generative techniques. Additionally, it can be shown that the interior idea had primacy over the external, stylistic, verbal encasement of that idea—a finding that I believe has radical implications for Pauline hermeneutics. It has become something of a vogue in NT studies to analyze the NT epistles using the categories of ancient rhetoric.1 This approach is not without some merit, since Paul’s education, as best as can be discerned, probably included training in progymnasmatic exercises, if not also in formal rhetoric.2 However, it has rightly been deemed methodologically dangerous to take theoretical instruction that pertains to rhetoric, which was geared toward teaching young men how to craft and deliver effective oral performances in the courtroom, assembly, and elsewhere in the public sphere, and to apply that theory en masse to the analysis of ancient letters.3 1 For bibliography, see Duane F. Watson and Alan J. Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: A Comprehensive Bibliography with Notes on History and Method (Leiden: Brill, 1994). For Paul’s letters, the commentary of Hans D. Betz, Galatians, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), was instrumental in bringing the use of ancient rhetorical categories for epistolary analysis into the mainstream of scholarship. 2 The most recent, and to my mind most convincing, treatment of Paul’s education, is Stanley E. Porter, “Paul and His Bible: His Education and Access to the Scriptures of Israel,” in As It Is Written: Studying Paul’s Use of Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 97–124. Porter concludes on the basis of Paul’s stylistic ability and close familiarity with the established genres of Hellenistic letter writing, that Paul would almost certainly have attended a schola grammatici (primary school, completed around age 13). In a schola grammatici, he would have learned the basics of reading and writing, including many exercises with connections to rhetorical training through the progymnasmata. He may also have received additional training in a schola rhetoris (secondary school), although it is impossible to know his precise level of formal education. See also Tor Vegge, Paulus und das antike Schulwesen: Schule und Bildung des Paulus, BZNW (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006), who extensively analyzes the educational environment of Paul’s world and concludes that Paul had formal literary and rhetorical training on the basis of the compositional skills on display in his letters. 3 This point of critique has become something of a commonplace—see e.g., Jeffrey T. Reed, “Using Ancient Rhetorical Categories to Interpret Paul’s Letters: A Question of Genre,” in Rhetoric and the New Testament, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Thomas H. Olbricht, JSNTSup 90 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993), 292–324, and the whole of Philip H. Kern, Rhetoric and Galatians: Assessing an Approach to Paul’s Epistles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Compare Cicero Fam. 9.21.1: “For what does a letter have in common

Figuration and the Divine Economy


Not only is there virtually zero evidence that rhetorical theory was used in antiquity as a post hoc device to analyze letters in the manner practiced by NT critics, such as Betz and Kennedy who pioneered the rhetorical approach,4 there is also precious little to suggest that ancient epistolary theorists or actual letter writers were directly impacted by the rhetorical handbooks in their practices.5 However as Reed, Porter, Anderson, Classen, and others note, both rhetoricians and letter writers participated in the broader act of human communication, and although direct influence between ancient rhetorical and epistolary handbooks is unlikely, this is not to say that the pervasive influence of ancient rhetoric did not indirectly impact letter writing in a more culturally diffuse manner.6 In fact, Reed and Classen single out two parts of the letter-writing process in particular that were most heavily influenced by rhetorical conventions through cultural diffusion: invention and expression.7 I will devote some attention to these two stages in order to locate Paul’s use of the scriptures within the broader framework of composition.

with a speech in court or in an assembly” (cited in R. Dean Anderson Jr., Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Paul, rev. ed., CBET 18 [Leuven: Peeters, 1998], 118). 4 Betz, Galatians; George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984). 5 Stanley E. Porter, “The Theoretical Justification for Application of Rhetorical Categories to Pauline Epistolary Literature,” in Rhetoric and the New Testament, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Thomas H. Olbricht, JSNTSup 90 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993), 100–122; Reed, “Using Ancient Rhetorical Categories,” 297–314; C. J. Classen, “St. Paul’s Epistles and Ancient Greek and Roman Rhetoric,” in Rhetoric and the New Testament, 265–91; C. J. Classen, Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament, WUNT 128 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2000), 1–28; D. L. Stamps, “Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament: Ancient and Modern Evaluations of Argumentation,” in Approaches to New Testament Study, ed. Stanley E. Porter and David Tombs, JSNTSup 120 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1995), 129–69. 6 Jeffrey T. Reed, “The Epistle,” in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period: 330 B.C.–A.D. 400, ed. Stanley E. Porter (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 171–93, esp. 174–75; Porter, “Theoretical Justification,” 107–9; Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical Theory, 290–91; Classen, “St. Paul’s Epistles,” 269. On the universal nature of rhetorical modes of discourse, see Aristotle Rhet. 1.1.1–2. 7 Reed, “The Epistle,” 176–78, 182–86, and Classen “St. Paul’s Epistles,” 289. Reed concludes his analysis of the impact of rhetoric on epistlography by acknowledging the real but limited influence of inventio and elocutio on letter writing: “There are also several functional parallels between the two genres, but the epistolary theorists do not develop these in a formal, methodical manner; thus the similarity may only be a result of ‘universal’ principles of argumentation. To be more precise, inventio and especially elocutio seem to have influenced marginally the theories and actual practice of letter writing” (191). 8 On this classical division, see Cicero Inv. 1.7; Quintilian Inst. 3.3.1.


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Expression as Subsequent to Invention There are five classical divisions into which ancient rhetoric was traditionally partitioned: (1) invention (inventio, eu[resij), (2) arrangement, (3) expression (elocutio, le,xij), (4) memory, and (5) delivery.8 Within classical oratory, inventio was the first stage, in which the given rhetorical problem was explored to identify what resources might be available from which the orator could construct the speech.9 Cicero defines it as “the discovery of valid or seemingly valid arguments to render one’s cause plausible.”10 A primary task of inventio involved considering various topoi that might be employed to illustrate the case at hand or otherwise enhance a certain argument. Moreover, Reed has argued convincingly that letter writers underwent a similar process of inventio as the first stage in epistolary composition, also selecting from among various topoi before considering arrangement and expression.11 Christopher Stanley is to be commended for his groundbreaking work on the rhetorical dimension of Paul’s use of the scriptures, and he is correct when he notes that the phenomenon of “quotation” receives very little attention in ancient rhetorical theory.12 However, Stanley fails to point out what I would regard as one of the most significant pieces of data regarding the role quotations and authoritative maxims play in ancient rhetoric for Pauline hermeneutics—that is, appeals to authoritative external sources were generally selected during the very first stage of the rhetorical process, inventio.13 That is to say, within the bounds of ancient rhetorical and 9 See Malcom Heath, “Invention,” in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period: 330 B.C.–A.D. 400, ed. Stanley E. Porter (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 89–119, esp. 89. 10 Cicero Inv. 1.7 [§9]; trans. Hubbell, LCL. 11 For example, Cicero makes mention of the inventive process, saying: “I have been asking myself for some time past what I had best write to you; but not only does no definite theme suggest itself, but even the conventional style of letter writing does not appeal to me” (Fam. 4.13.1—cited in Reed, “The Epistle,” 177–78; cf. Att. 9.4.1; 9.10.1). 12 Christopher D. Stanley, Arguing with Scripture: The Rhetoric of Quotations in the Letters of Paul (London: T&T Clark, 2004). See discussion of Stanley in ch. 1. Stanley helpfully catalogues some of the ancient evidence regarding the rhetoric of quotation in antiquity on pp. 12–14. 13 All of Aristotle’s uses of citation fall under the heading of inventio (eu[resij) within the traditional categories, although such categories are not yet present with Aristotle. More precisely, Aristotle Rhet. 1.15.13–19 classifies quotations under the subject of witnesses (ma,rturej) as part of inartificial proofs within forensic rhetoric. Aristotle claims that ancient witnesses are more trustworthy than the living because they cannot be bribed. Rhet. 2.21 concerns the closely related category of maxims (gnwmologi,ai), which are generalized proofs appropriate to all three kinds of rhetorical to,poi under the species of enthymemes. They are of special assistance to the sufficiently aged orator, because they please the hearer by offering a generalized statement of a principle previously formed by direct experience (Rhet. 2.23 gives

Figuration and the Divine Economy


epistolary composition, the decision to quote or otherwise appeal to a particular authoritative source would have been selected along with the other topoi as part of the inventio stage, and this prior to the determination of precisely what sort of specific ornamenting tropes might be used to convey the authoritative witness. This would be true whether Paul selects a particular scripture because he needs to counter the use of the same passage by his opponents (Martyn’s preference) or whether Paul is generating quotations and allusions via his own encounter with the scriptures (Watson’s emphasis), or otherwise. This insight is intimated by Richards in his penetrating treatment of Paul and the physical constraints of the letter-writing process.14 Richards’ analysis is helpful, because he shows how much deliberate foresight and intentional planning would have been necessary in terms of the collection of preformed materials by Paul and his mission team (or any author for that matter) in order to “weave” them into an ancient letter as it progressed under the hand of a secretary from the draft stage to finished product.15 In other words, formation of the idea or content or subject matter was thought by ancient rhetoricians to be separate from and prior to suitable rhetorical adornment.16 The expression stage followed invention and arrangement. After the subject matter had been determined and various topoi selected (inventio), this material was set in order (dispositio), and then the orator determined how to clothe this material in suitable verbal attire (elocutio). Cicero defines elocutio as “the fitting of proper language to the invented matter.”17 Thus, some working examples). Cicero shows that Aristotle’s extrinsic proofs, such as the use of quotation as authoritative witness, were understood as part of the inventio process in Topica 19–20 (§72–77). Moreover, Cicero also locates the testimony of the gods under the rubric of extrinsic authoritative witness, classifying it as a to p, oj within inventio that can take the form of oracular utterance, visions, dreams, patterns in the entrails of sacrificial victims, etc. (Topica 20 [§77]). The same division holds for Quintilian (e.g., Inst. 5.35–37) and is intimated in other rhetorical handbooks. 14 E. Randolph Richards, Paul and First-Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition and Collection (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004); Richards is building off his previous work, The Secretary in the Letters of Paul, WUNT 42 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1991). 15 Richards, Paul and First-Century Letter Writing, 94–121. 16 Evidence will be presented subsequently; however, for a few words on this topic see Donald A. Russell, Criticism in Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 4, 15. This is not to say that ancient theorists were necessarily correct in seeing preverbal ideas as separable from linguistic clothing—a point that would certainly engender much dispute, given the linguistic turn of philosophy in the post-Wittgenstein era. See additional cautionary notes in the following discussion. 17 Text (Cicero Inv. 1.7 [§9]; trans. Hubbell, LCL): Elocutio est idoneorum verborum ad inventionem accommodatio.


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elocutio was thought to involve the ornamentation of the preconceived subject matter (o` pragmatiko,j to,poj) with the rhetorically appropriate verbal dress (o` lektiko,j to,poj).18 In practical terms, elocutio involved making the invented content more attractive and persuasive by the use of suitable tropes, such as metaphor, metonymy, antonomasia, metalepsis, synecdoche, catachresis, allegory, hyperbole, and the like (Quintilian Inst. 9.1.5).19 Although the ancient descriptions of the rhetorical process clearly affirm that inventio (selection of subject matter and topoi) preceded elocutio (selection of tropes, among other things) in a linear fashion, some caution must be exercised in accepting this description in an unqualified manner. In actual practice, there was a somewhat dialectical relationship (even if imbalanced) between the invented res and the verba, with the idea sometimes being suggested by the preliminary application of a suitable trope. For example, the tropes available for selection as part of the elocutio process were largely culled from great orators of the past, such as Cicero or Demosthenes (e.g., Quintilian Inst. 8.6.56; 8.6.68; cf. 9.1.40). When this occurred, a real, applied trope served to originate the process of inventio, generating content that was then shaped by the application of a similar trope in the process of elocutio—that is, the “originating trope” came first, the “idea” second, and the “imitating trope” third. Given the importance of imitation in Greco-Roman paideia, this result should not be surprising. Moreover, if we have gained nothing else from modern sociolinguistics, we have certainly learned that it is implausible that “ideas” could be generated without any sort of rudimentary sociolinguistic discourse structures 18 Frances M. Young, Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2002), 35, 81. 19 To simplify treatment henceforth, “trope” (lit. “a turning” [Greek: troph,; Latin: tropus, modus elocutionis]) will be used as an umbrella term for two terms that ancient rhetoricians usually distinguished: “trope” and “figure” (Greek: sch,ma; Latin: figura). The precise distinction between trope and figure was ill-defined and hotly contested in antiquity (see Quintilian Inst. 9.1.1–18; cf. Inst. 8.6.1; Ps-Hermogenes, On Invention, 4.10), which provides at least some justification for my own simplification. The difference between a trope and figure is most concisely stated by Quintilian as follows: “The name of trope is applied to the transference of expressions from their natural and principal signification to another, with a view to the embellishment of style, or as the majority of grammarians define it, the transference of words and phrases from the place which is strictly theirs to another to which they do not properly belong. A figure, on the other hand, as is clear from the name itself, is the term employed when we give our language a conformation other than the obvious and ordinary” (Inst. 9.1.4; trans. Butler, LCL [emphasis in original]). Russell, Criticism in Antiquity, 145, argues that the distinction between a trope and a figure is Stoic, with the former defined as a “deviation from nature (phusis) in the use of an individual word” and the latter as “deviation in the arrangement of words or the cast of thought.”

Figuration and the Divine Economy


whatsoever.20 Thus, the entire catalogue of available verbal constructions, both literal and figural, provided the necessary boundary within which inventio transpired, while the results of the inventio were then subsequently articulated linguistically, albeit in a preliminary, unadorned manner.21 The process of composition was surely more dialectical than the ancient descriptions of that process indicate at first blush. In short, although a general forward advance from inventio to elocutio must be affirmed in accordance with ancient descriptions of the process in terms of macrocomposition, there is evidence that this linear advancement sometimes involved a dialectic between invention and expression on the microlevel. The implication for Paul’s scriptural interpretation is that specific passages for quotation or allusion would, generally speaking, have been chosen by Paul prior to the selection of a suitable trope or metaphor that would act as a vehicle for expressing that quotation to his readers. The Primacy of Underlying Meaning over Verbal Expression Along similar lines, as some of the examples already suggest, the preconceived invented subject matter was considered more important than the subsequently determined expression. In ancient semiotics, the underlying meaning—the idea—was what mattered most, not the precise linguistic sign or verbal sequence used to articulate that idea or meaning.22 In fact, Quintilian is very critical of those who have moved from the invention stage to expression, but who fuss overly much about proper verbal dress when considering precisely how to formulate the expression, while neglecting the previously determined subject matter or content: “While, then, style [elocutio] calls for the utmost attention, we must always bear in 20 Ludwig J. J. Wittgenstein is generally credited with the most powerful articulation of this insight in his Philosophical Investigations, ed. G. E. M. Anscombe and R. Rhees, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe (Oxford: Blackwell, 1953). For a brief synopsis, see Jane Heal, “Wittgenstein,” in The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Craig (London: Routledge, 2005), 1057–71, esp. 1063–64. 21 For example, Ps-Hermogenes in his On Invention (written and redacted from the second to sixth century CE) affirms that inventio itself necessarily involves at least a rudimentary linguistic structuring when he speaks about the rough (i.e., not yet embellished with tropes) attempt at invention he has just supplied for his reader: “Don’t worry about the simplicity of the style, for as a teacher does I have tried to bring out the technique, dispensing with the force of language and putting the bare thoughts so they will be clearer (George A. Kennedy, trans. and ed., ed. Hugo Rabe, Invention and Method: Two Rhetorical Treatises from the Hermogenic Corpus, SBLWGRW 15 [Leiden: Brill, 2005], 6–7, [§94]). The writer thus gives an initial verbal articulation of the invented content, which he will subsequently arrange and then ornament by applying suitable tropes. 22 Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 13–17, makes much the same point on a different basis.


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mind that nothing should be done for the sake of words [verba] only, since words were invented merely to give expression to things [res].”23 With this statement, Quintilian signals that the invented matter (res) is both prior to and more important than the words (verba) and the subsequently adopted style (elocutio).24 In other words, inventio not only preceded elocutio, inventio was also more important than elocutio with respect to meaning. Interior meaning, res, is valorized over the precise external verba. However, this is not to say that the verba was thereby rendered unimportant. On the contrary, careful linguistic expression was deemed vital, inasmuch as it is through the verba alone that access to the res can occur. The vital matter for Pauline hermeneutics is that Paul, in all probability, would have viewed semiotics in a like fashion, championing the idea— the interior meaning—over the specific words used to house the idea—the external verbal attire. The precise external wording would have been seen as an essential component inasmuch as it is only through this exact verbiage that access to the interior meaning could be obtained. Invention, Expression, and Pauline Composition So I am arguing that Paul would have in all probability followed the typical epistolary process (whether through specific educational training or merely through cultural diffusion) in selecting his authoritative appeals to scripture as part of the inventio step prior to the precise identification of suitable tropes or figures to be used to describe or verbally present his selected points of engagement with the scriptures.25 The selection of appropriate tropes would have transpired under the third stage, elocutio, although the dialectic prevents making this a rigid rule. Hence, typology and allegory, which have frequently been assumed as methods or principles of Pauline hermeneutics,26 are better viewed not primarily as 23

Quintilian Inst. 8 praef. 32, but see also 13–33; trans. Butler, LCL. Quintilian explicitly supports this point: “Every speech is composed of matter [res] and words [verba], and that as regards matter we must study invention, as regards words, style, and as regards both, arrangement, all of which it is the task of memory to retain and delivery to render attractive” (Inst. 8 praef. 6; trans. Butler, LCL; cf. 9.1–3 for figures). Compare Inst. 3.3.1 for a related statement. 25 For additional discussion, see Galen A. Rowe, “Style,” in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period: 330 B.C.–A.D. 400, ed. Stanley E. Porter (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 121–57, esp. 124–26. 26 Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 98–116, is typical for his confusion of tropes with generative principles; see also E. Earle Ellis, Paul’s Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957), 126–35, on “typology”—he denies allegory. An important exception to this trend is Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 12 24

Figuration and the Divine Economy


first-stage generative techniques for Paul, but rather as subsequently chosen verbal vehicles that were carefully selected to achieve a rhetorical style characterized by correctness, clarity, ornamentation, and propriety—the four virtues of good style.27 In summary, it is not likely that tropes were hermeneutically generative for Paul (as a general rule), but rather that Paul preselected his scriptural topoi on other grounds and subsequently clothed these topoi with the verbal dress he deemed suitable. This line of thought will be picked up again in the discussion of some of the specific texts as this chapter unfolds. So, if it is not the tropes that are generative for Pauline hermeneutics, how does inventio transpire? Part of the answer lies in Paul’s understanding of the relationship between the scriptures, the apostolic kerygma, and the divine economy, and it is to this topic that we now turn.

The Scriptures and the Divine Economy That Paul accepted a Weltanschauung in which God providentially exercises sovereignty over all the details of an ever-unfolding history is perhaps a point too obvious to belabor.28 Yet there are several hermeneutically significant corollaries resulting from this axiom that are perhaps not so obvious. I have three points I would like to illustrate by exploring Paul’s explicit statements about the scriptures as these relate to his notion of God’s administrative superintendence over all things (the “divine economy”).29 First, I intend to show that Paul explicitly signals that the divine and 160, who safeguards against confusing rabbinic tropes with generative techniques in his discussion of the rabbinic middot. 27 See Rowe, “Style,” 121–57. 28 The foundational character of Paul’s belief in God’s supreme governance over all human affairs features prominently in a text we have already explored in detail—Rom 1:1-7. In Rom 1:1-7, God is sovereign over the past (having promised the gospel in advance), the present (Paul’s mission), and the future (the anticipated obedience of faith among the nations); moreover, God’s superintendence is seen to extend from individuals (Paul’s being set apart), to the Christian communities in Rome (1:7), and ultimately to the entire world (evn pa/sin toi/j e;qnesin). God’s providence is everywhere assumed by Paul—practically every time God is made subject of an action—but some of his more forthright articulations of the principle include Rom 3:25-26; 15:8-9; Gal 4:4-5; cf. Eph 1:3-14. Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. J. R. De Witt (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 44–90, esp. 44–49, discusses “fundamental structures” within Pauline theology, much of which pertains to what I am terming “divine economy” in Paul. 29 The phrase “divine economy” has been selected as an apt shorthand for God’s administrative providence over all reality, both textual and metatextual, and the effects thereby achieved, and this language is rooted in Paul’s own diction. Paul sees himself as among the “stewards of the mysteries of God” (oivkono,mouj musthri,wn qeou/—1 Cor 4:1), and the mysteries are God’s future purposes (1 Cor 2:17; 15:51; cf. Eph 1:9-10; 3:3-6; 3:9-11), all of which


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economy is a single, unified field—encompassing both external event and text—upon which all of his interpretative play transpires. Second, I will argue that for Paul the scope of the divine economy extends from the time before creation to new creation with several hermeneutically distinct intervening stages. Third, I intend to demonstrate that the most hermeneutically significant feature of Paul’s view of the divine economy is the decisive prominence of the post–Christ event era with respect to the preceding ages, a point that will be taken up in earnest in the next subsection. Collectively, these three points sketch in a brief fashion the manner in which Paul’s version of the divine economy serves as the allinclusive metatextual reality that defines the boundaries within which Paul’s hermeneutical principles are exercised. The Unity of External Past Event and Inscripturated Textual Event For Paul, the divine economy is a seamless whole, incorporating both pasttense events and sacred textual record. Although Paul’s Greco-Roman contemporaries were certainly capable of making a theoretical distinction between “what really happened” (external event) and the “historiographic record of what really happened” (textual event), as ancient mores regarding proper historiographic technique make abundantly clear,30 this is not to say that it was characteristic of ancient reading strategies with regard to the Jewish scriptures. In fact, quite the opposite. A very broad cross-section presuppose the notion of a divine economy, with God as the head of the “divine household” and some of the “household affairs” entrusted to Paul. Paul uses oivkonomi,a with reference to the superintending nature of his own ministry in 1 Cor 9:17; it is also utilized with regard to God’s master plan in Col 1:25; Eph 1:10; 3:20 (cf. BDAG s.v. oivkonomi,a). Somewhat anomalously, it appears to mean “training” in 1 Tim 1:4. 30 In particular, the preference for the eyewitness involvement by the historiographer in Greco-Roman culture shows an awareness of the potential for discrepancy between event and historical record. Josephus is representative of the general sentiment: “We have had so-called histories even of our recent war published by persons who never visited the sites nor were anywhere near the actions described, but, having put together a few hearsay reports, have with the gross impudence of drunken revelers, miscalled their productions by the name of history. I on the contrary, have written a veracious account, at once comprehensive and detailed, of the war, having been present in person at all the events. . . . I kept a careful record of all that went on under my eyes in the Roman camp, and was alone in a position to understand the information brought by deserters. Then, in the leisure which Rome afforded me, with all my materials in readiness, and with the aid of some assistants for the sake of the Greek, at last I committed to writing my narrative of the events” (C. Ap. 1.46–50; trans. Thackeray, LCL; cf. B.J. 1.18). See also Herodotus 2.99, 2.147; Thucydides 1.1, 1.20–22; 5.26; Polybius 4.2; 12.25; Luke 1:1-4; Samuel Byrskog, Story as History—History as Story: The Gospel Tradition in the Context of Ancient Oral History (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2000; repr., Leiden: Brill, 2002), 48–65.

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of ancient Jewish and Christian readings (ca. 200 BCE–200 CE) of the Jewish scriptures has been surveyed by James Kugel in his Traditions of the Bible. Kugel identifies four and only four assumptions about the Jewish scriptures that hold for all interpreters across this literature; the scriptures are: (1) cryptic, (2) relevant, (3) perfect, and (4) divinely provided or inspired.31 Regarding the assumption that the scriptures are perfect, Kugel affirms that interpreters in this era uniformly agree that Scripture is perfect and perfectly harmonious. By this I mean that there is no mistake in the Bible, and anything that might look like a mistake . . . must therefore be an illusion to be clarified by proper interpretation. This third assumption goes well beyond the rejection of apparent mistakes or inconsistencies. It posits a perfect harmony between the Bible’s various parts.32

For sympathetic ancient readers of the Jewish scriptures in Paul’s era (both non-Christian and Christian), there simply is no discrepancy between “what really happened” and the historiographic record provided by the scriptures.33 As Hans Frei notes, there was a distinct hermeneutical shift in this regard in the eighteenth century. Prior to the eighteenth century, readers 31 James L. Kugel, Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as It Was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), 14–19. N.b., Kugel claims that the fourth principle is late and not uniformly evidenced, unlike the other three. Moreover, I would offer my own caveat inasmuch as these four principles hold only for interpreters who receive the Jewish scriptures as authoritative or who are otherwise sympathetic to the truth claims contained therein—which would of course include Paul. That many pagans, such as Lysimachus, Apion, Celsus, and Porphry were skeptical and critical of the Jewish scriptures is aptly demonstrated by the many Jewish and Christian apologetic works produced during this era—see John G. Cook, The Interpretation of the Old Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism, STAC 23 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2004). In his comprehensive survey of Jewish exegetical techniques, David Instone Brewer, Techniques and Assumptions in Jewish Exegesis before 70 CE, TSAJ 30 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1992), 165–66, 213, comes to much the same conclusions as does Kugel regarding the universal acknowledgement of the perfection of the scriptures, although Brewer prefers the label “totally self-consistent.” 32 Kugel, Traditions of the Bible, 17. 33 Although a rationale is not strictly necessary to establish the principle, the reason why no discrepancy could exist between event and historiographic record for sympathetic interpreters of the Jewish scriptures is probably due to Kugel’s fourth point—a text that was regarded as divinely provided or inspired could contain no error prima facie (although Kugel himself expresses some ambivalence regarding this rationale). Within the bounds of apologetic historiography one could claim, as did Josephus, that those recording the history in the scriptures were participants in the events or sufficiently close to the events that their accuracy should not be questioned. Moreover, Josephus claims that the Jews had kept accurate records that had been transmitted only by authorized personnel (C. Ap. 1.30–46).


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generally found the true historical sense to be inseparably bound up with the biblical narrative, whereas the modern reader uses the narrative as evidence for “what really happened” apart from the narrative record. In the latter case, the narrative witnesses to actual occurrences external to the narrative, and the highest level of truth is in events outside the text. In the former case, the narrative and the external event are not distinguished, and truth is therefore internal to and coterminal with the narrative.34 In line with the typical sympathetic precritical reading strategy, there is no evidence that Paul differentiated between the narrative record of past events articulated in the scriptures and “what really happened”—nothing hints that he differentiates between a “historical” and a “narrative” Adam, Abraham, or Moses (Rom 4; 5:12-21; 9:7-17; 1 Cor 10:1-10; 15:21-22, 45-49; 2 Cor 3:7-13; Gal 3:6-9, 16-19; cf. 1 Tim 2:14-15; 2 Tim 3:8).35 In fact, there are several passages in which Paul makes an explicit statement about the scriptures that suggest there was an identity between scriptural record and external event for Paul (e.g., Rom 4:3; 4:23-25; 9:17; 11:2-3; Gal 3:8; cf. Gal 3:22). For example, in Galatians 3:1-5, Paul appeals to the Galatians’ experience of the Spirit in order to underline the inadequacy of e;rga no,mou (“works of law”). Paul goes on to argue that the receipt of the Spirit is the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham that the nations would be blessed in Abraham (3:6-14). It is in this context that Paul makes the startling proclamation (Gal 3:8): “Now the [discrete passage of] scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, proclaimed the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.’”36 Taken in a baldly literal manner, Paul has personified a particular textual location in the scriptures in such a way that the text itself, h` grafh,,37 is the subject that is capable of “foreseeing” (proi?dou/sa) and that “announced

34 Hans W. Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974). 35 Of course, this is not to say that Paul’s narratives about Adam, Abraham, Moses, among others, are derived purely from the scriptures without other mediating oral and textual influences. 36 Text (Gal 3:8): proi?dou/sa de. h` grafh. o[ti evk pi,stewj dikaioi/ ta. e;qnh o` qeo.j( proeuhggeli,sato tw/| VAbraa.m o[ti evneuloghqh,sontai evn soi. pa,nta ta. e;qnh. 37

Note the singular, h` grafh,, indicating that a specific scriptural text is in mind—so also Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians, WBC 41 (Dallas: Word Books, 1990), 115; contra J. Louis Martyn, Galatians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 33A (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 301.

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the gospel in advance” (proeuhggeli,sato).38 However, neither in the narrative world of Genesis nor in the real external world that Genesis putatively represents, does h` grafh, yet exist in such a way so as to “foresee” or “announce” anything. Regardless of whether we speak of Abraham’s “real historical world” or of the “narrative world” in which the author of Genesis portrays him, Abraham does not have access to any scriptural passage that might speak to him. In fact, as Genesis presents the matter, Abraham does not hear a discrete passage of “scripture” speak at all, rather it is the Lord (LXX: ku,rioj; MT: hwhy ) who says to him, “all the tribes of the earth will be blessed in you” (Gen 12:3; cf. 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14).39 It is not plausible to surmise that Paul was unaware that Abraham did not have a Genesis scroll; rather, Paul has deliberately introduced an anachronism, replacing what purports to be a “historical” event in the narrative (God speaking) with a textual event (Gen 12:3 speaking). In forging this substitution, Paul demonstrates the manner in which the portrayal of the external event and its textual realization are inextricably bound in his thought world (cf. Rom 9:17). This asserted unity of event and textual record underscores that God is the mastermind of a vast divine economy that includes both external past-tense events and their inscripturation in such a way that the latter can stand in place of the former for Paul.40 38 Anticipating future discussion, Paul’s usage here draws near prosopological exegesis (see ch. 4), but is not equivalent to it, because he does not exegete the text by assigning the prosopon. Rather, rhetorically, this is a lightweight example of the related trope prosopopoeia. 39 Paul’s citation (evneuloghqh,sontai evn soi. pa,nta ta. e;qnh) does not match up perfectly with any statements made to Abraham, but has the strongest affinity to Gen 12:3 (evneuloghqh,sontai evn soi. pa/sai ai` fulai. th/j gh/j) because of the second-person address to Abraham (evn soi.), which is lacking elsewhere— cf. evneuloghqh,sontai evn auvtw/| pa,nta ta. e;qnh th/j gh/j (Gen 18:18) and evneuloghqh,sontai evn tw/| spe,rmati, sou pa,nta ta. e;qnh th/j gh/j (Gen 22:18). Moreover, 12:3 is the most likely referent on contextual grounds, since Paul’s argument implies that the citation precedes the events narrated in Gen 15:6—so also Barnabas Lindars, New Testament Apologetic: The Doctrinal Significance of the Old Testament Quotations (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961), 225; Christopher D. Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture: Citation Technique in the Pauline Epistles and Contemporary Literature, SNTSMS 74 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 236. It is possible that the citation is an accidental conflation of 12:3 and 18:8, but the absence of th/j gh/j still remains unexplained. Thus, Dietrich-Alex Koch, Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen zur Verwendung und zum Verständnis der Schrift bei Paulus, BHT 69 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1986), 162–63, and Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 238, correctly see the changes made here by Paul as deliberate in order to conform to his normal manner of speaking about “Gentiles” in Galatians (cf. 1:16; 2:8-9, 12-15; 3:14). Presumably this simplification would reduce confusion for the audience, but as Francis Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 186, points out, it also suggests that the fundamental organizational unit of which ta. e;qnh is composed is the individual rather than the fulh,. 40 F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 156, highlights the divine providence that extends from


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

The Scope of the Divine Economy and Its Divisions Thus far it has been argued that for Paul the divine economy entails a unity between event and textual record. But what events are within the purview of the divine economy? For Paul, the divine economy extends chronologically from the time before creation (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 2:7; 1 Cor 8:6; cf. Eph 1:4; Col 1:15) until the new creation (Rom 8:18-22; 1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thess 4:15-17). Moreover, for Paul, nothing—that is to say, no human, no spiritual power, no geographical space, no era of time, and not even death—ultimately stands outside the reach of God’s sovereign control (1 Cor 15:24-28; Rom 8:39; Phil 3:21). Yet a more important question for the narrowly defined purposes of this project pertains to whether or not there are hermeneutically significant discrete stages that can be isolated within the divine economy. Paul’s own statements about the scriptures suggest that Paul saw them functioning in somewhat different ways in three ages within the divine economy: pre-Sinai, between Sinai and the Christ event, and after the Christ event. The Pre-Sinaitic Era

It is clear that Paul believed that the world was created sinless, and that sin made its entrance into the world with Adam (Rom 5:12). Yet after Adam, but prior to the giving of the law at Sinai, Israel had neither Mosaic legislation nor scriptures containing that legislation. In fact, for Paul sin did not have the status of transgression due to the lack of a written code and therefore could not be tabulated during the pre-Sinaitic era,41 although its ultimate wages, death, were nonetheless paid out (Rom 5:14; 5:17; 1 Cor 15:56). Thus, the pre-Sinaitic era forms a hermeneutically distinct age within Paul’s version of the divine economy, because the Torah had not yet been given and thus served no role during this period.42 event to text when he notes, “[Paul] uses ‘the scripture’ here more or less as an extension of the divine personality.” 41 For example, Rom 4:15: “For the law effects wrath; and where there is no law, neither is there transgression”; Rom 5:13b: “But sin is not reckoned when there is no law.” It is unclear whether or not Paul believed the so-called Noachic commandments to be mandatory and punishable during this period (cf. Jub. 7.20; StrB 3.37–38), but this passage makes such a supposition doubtful. Likewise, Jewish tradition frequently portrays the patriarchs as torah observant, even though they lived prior to the giving of the Torah (e.g., Jub. 15:1–2; 16:20–31; 36:20; Gen. Rab. 59.2; see additional references in Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, 2 vols. [repr., Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003], 1.239 n. 275), a sentiment not evidenced in Paul. 42 Regarding passages such as Rom 4:3, 23-25; 9:17; 11:2-3; Gal 3:8, 22, which might be deemed problematic for this view, see my remarks on Gal 3:8.

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The Era between Sinai and the Christ Event With the giving of the law, both trespass and sin were in fact exacerbated in such a way that they were caused to increase (Rom 5:20). Sin in fact used the law/commandment as a tool by which to effect greater sin (Rom 7:7-12), for sin derives power from the law (Rom 7:8; 1 Cor 15:56). Yet the era between Sinai and the Christ event is hermeneutically significant, not only because the law acts as a personalized force for Paul, but also because the law is also a portion of the scriptures—a portion that contributes to the imprisonment of humanity in disobedience, while simultaneously testifying to the unveiling of the righteousness of God.43 This dual function of the law for those who live between Sinai and the Christ event is seen most clearly in what is perhaps the most famous transition in the Pauline corpus: “But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, [a righteousness] which is testified to by the law and the prophets” (Rom 3:21).44 Paul uses “law” (no,moj) in two distinct ways here. With his first use of no,moj, he stresses the inability of the law in its function as performance-demanding legislation to contribute toward the revelation of righteousness,45 a revelation that occurs contemporaneous 43

See discussion in Stephen Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The “Lutheran” Paul and His Critics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 298–300, who correctly notes that Paul usually uses no,moj in the narrow sense of legislation, but also rarely in the broader sense of books of scripture that contain legislation. This is an example of synecdoche. Identification of Paul’s precise referent is frequently made difficult by the fact that the “law” as a collection of literature contains the “law” in the sense of “legislation and accompanying stipulations.” However, the following passages in Paul unambiguously use no,moj in the sense of the first “five books” or the whole “scriptures,” rather than legislation: Rom 3:19 (first use of no,moj but not the second—for scriptures as a whole), Rom 3:21 (second use of no,moj but not the first), 1 Cor 9:8-9; 14:21 (for the scriptures as a whole), 34; Gal 3:10b (via his Vorlage), and Gal 4:21b. 44 Text (Rom 3:21): Nuni. de. cwri.j no,mou dikaiosu,nh qeou/ pefane,rwtai marturoume,nh u`po. tou/ no,mou kai. tw/n profhtw/n. 45 Here I would define no,moj as “Mosaic legislation that demands performance.” Compare Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 33 (New York: Doubleday, 1993), 344, “deeds prescribed by the law.” Compare also C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 2 vols., ICC (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975–1979), 1.201, who in terms of meaning would expand no,mou here to e;rgwn no,mou, citing 3:28. My definition is contra Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 222–23, who here construes “law” as the entire “Mosaic covenant,” but this is unlikely, since it deviates from Paul’s use of no,moj in Rom 1:1–3:20; it is also contra Robert Jewett, Romans: A Commentary, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), 274, who thinks that a restriction to Israel’s law is implausible due to the anarthrous use of no,moj. However, this argument fails, because here no,moj follows a preposition—see BDF §255; Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 247. In actuality, no,moj is most likely qualitative, rather than definite or indefinite in this instance.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

with the Christ event (Rom 3:22). However, with his second use of no,moj in Romans 3:21, Paul emphasizes the law’s capability as a portion of the scriptures to bear witness to that revelation. Since the Christ event itself adds nothing new in the material sense to the scriptures, this testimonial function was necessarily at least potentially available to those who lived prior to the Christ event.46 Moreover, in line with scripture’s ability to testify, the law as a portion of the scriptures was able to bear witness not only to a future revelation of the righteousness of God, but also to the closely related notion of human liability: “Now we know that inasmuch as the law speaks, it speaks to those under the law, in order that every mouth might be silenced and the entire world might be liable to God” (Rom 3:19). In addition, further explicating this notion of human liability, Paul has just given a sample of precisely to what extent the no,moj does “talk” in its establishment of human guilt before God in the extended catena in Romans 3:10-18.47 Paul makes a strikingly similar statement about the condemning function of a passage of scripture in Galatians 3:22a: “But the scripture imprisoned all under sin.”48 In sum, the scriptures functioned for Paul in several ways within the divine economy between Sinai and the Christ event: (1) the entire scriptures testified to human liability before God, and (2) the entire scriptures bore witness to the future revelation of the righteousness of God. However, the manner in which the entire scriptures bore witness must be carefully nuanced, for the legislative portion of the scriptures emphatically did not contribute to the revelation of the righteousness of God qua legislation inasmuch as it demanded obedient performance when functioning in this capacity.

46 For Paul, however, this witnessing potential was not able to be actualized in a positive, salvific manner before the Christ event, on account of its parabolic nature and the hardheartedness of the readers (see the subsequent discussion of Moses and the veil in this chapter). 47 The first occurrence of no,moj in Rom 3:19, like the second instantiation in 3:21, also involves synecdoche, with “law” standing in place of the entire “scriptures”—this is demonstrated by the fact that Paul’s citations in 3:10-18 are exclusively drawn from outside of the Pentateuch. 48 Text (Gal 3:22a): avlla. sune,kleisen h` grafh. ta. pa,nta u`po. a`marti,an. That Paul has a particular (unnamed and variously identified) passage in view here is made probable by his use of the singular h` grafh,. See J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (London: Macmillan, 1865; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1993), 147–48; Ernest D. Burton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, ICC (New York: Scribner’s, 1920), 195–96; Longenecker, Galatians, 144.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


The Era after the Christ Event The third hermeneutically significant era within Paul’s version of the divine economy is the age beginning after the Christ event. Since the material constitution of Paul’s scriptures did not change due to the Christ event, one might assume prima facie that the scriptures continued to function in much the same way as they had in the pre–Christ event era, with the exception that the previously hidden (yet anticipated through attestation) righteousness had now been unveiled (Rom 3:21-22). However, this is not the case. Something radical has changed—so much so that Paul invokes apocalyptic terminology in speaking of the radical discontinuity between the ages that has been introduced by the Christ event (e.g., Gal 1:4; 3:2325; 6:15).49 Paul seems to give the post–Christ event era special hermeneutical significance (Rom 4:23-24; 15:3-4; 1 Cor 9:9-10; 10:11; cf. 1 Tim 5:18). The next section will take up the question of why this age is given hermeneutical priority by Paul. The Hermeneutical Priority of the Era after the Christ Event As was mentioned previously, all recent interpreters agree that Paul evidences a “contemporizing” hermeneutic.50 I do not intend to challenge the conclusion that Paul gives hermeneutical priority to his own present time—the point has been unshakably established—but will briefly attempt to explore why the present time should be prioritized in this way by Paul. Is the present given hermeneutical priority simply because it is the present? That is to say, does Paul endorse a generic hermeneutical principle that any reader’s present, no matter where it falls temporally within the divine economy, always receives priority (e.g., if King David is reading the scriptures, then they were written especially for him)?51 Or does Paul find that the era after the Christ event (his present) receives specific priority not because it just happens to be his present, but because of some fundamental disjuncture between the pre– and post–Christ event eras? 49 For example, apocalyptic terminology is found in language such as “this present evil age,” “until faith might be revealed,” and “new creation.” For detailed discussion, see “Comment #3: Apocalyptic Theology in Galatians,” in Martyn, Galatians, 97–105. 50 See the section on points of consensus in the history of research in ch. 1. 51 For instance, Paul seemingly believes that David endorses justification apart from works in his own writings (Ps 31:1-2 LXX in Rom 4:6-8)—although we might wonder to what degree Paul is interested in David as a distinct person rather than simply as a faithful spokesman. Be that as it may, theoretically considered, would Paul have believed that David could have derived the principle of justification apart from works by means of his own reading of the scriptures? Or would this insight have been unavailable to David as a reader since he belongs to a different era?


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Paul makes four explicit statements that highlight the hermeneutical priority of his present: 1 Corinthians 9:9-10; Romans 4:23-25; Romans 15:3-4; and 1 Corinthians 10:11 (cf. 1 Tim 5:18 and 2 Tim 3:16). The first passage that illustrates the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic is 1 Corinthians 9:9-10: 9

For in the law of Moses it is written “Do not muzzle the ox while threshing” [Deut 25:4]. Surely God is not concerned about oxen? 10 Or [on the contrary], is it pa,ntwj speaking for our sakes? [Yes!] For our sakes. For it is written that the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing [ought to thresh] in hope of partaking [in the harvest].52

Some have understood this passage to involve allegory or an exegesis concerned with “higher things” following a Philonic model,53 but without ample justification. Richard Hays has pointed out that the immediate context in which Deuteronomy 25:4 is located is concerned with bettering the lot of human beings (cf. Deut 24–25; esp. 24:6-7; 24:10-22; 25:1-3), making it likely that Deuteronomy 25:4 would have been readily construed in this 52 Text (1 Cor 9:9-10): [9] evn ga.r tw/| Mwu?se,wj no,mw| ge,graptai\ ouv khmw,seij bou/n avlow/ntaÅ mh. tw/n bow/n me,lei tw/| qew/| [10] hv . diV h`ma/j pa,ntwj le,geiÈ diV h`ma/j ga.r evgra,fh o[ti ovfei,lei evpV evlpi,di o` avrotriw/n avrotria/n kai. o` avlow/n evpV evlpi,di tou/ mete,cein. On the textual form of Paul’s citation, see Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 195–98. Paul (or a later copyist) substituted khmw,seij (B* D* F G 1739) in place of the LXX reading of fimw,seij (î46 ¥ A B2 C D1 Y Û). The addition of “on the contrary” (in my translation) is required by English idiom to indicate the adversative relationship between the first question in the Greek text (which expects a negative answer—mh. tw/n bow/n me,lei tw/| qew/|) and the coordinated second question in the Greek text (which expects a positive response—hv . diV h`ma/j pa,ntwj le,gei*). The adversative relationship between the questions is carried out by the particle and tense combinations in Greek, but English lacks this capability—see BDF §427, 452. The same text (Deut 25:4) is cited in 1 Tim 5:18, with much the same point. However, there are several differences: 1 Tim 5:18 refers to the financial maintenance of “elders” (presbu,teroi) who labor “with the word and with teaching” (evn lo,gw| kai. didaskali,a|), rather than to those on apostolic mission. Moreover, there is no clear contemporizing statement as is found in 1 Cor 9:9-10. If 1 Tim 5:18 is regarded as pseudonymous, then it is probable that 1 Tim 5:18 is a deliberate borrowing of the scriptural exegesis of 1 Cor 9:9-10. If it is authentic, then Paul is applying the same text in a very similar way in both passages. 53 Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975), 155; Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis, 109–10; Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 203–4; Wolfgang Schrage, Der erste Brief an die Korinther, 4 vols., EKKNT (Zürich: Benziger, 1991–2001), 3.299–301 (although Schrage affirms allegory, he does distance Paul somewhat from the Philonic variety). In support of the Philonic connection, consider Spec. leg. 1.260: “For you will find that all this careful scrutiny of the animal is a symbol representing in a figure the reformation of your own conduct, for the law does not prescribe for unreasoning creatures, but for those who have mind and reason”—trans. Colson, LCL. See, however, Philo Virt. 145–46, which is nearer to a “plain sense” interpretation of Deut 25:4.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


manner as well.54 Paul indeed employs a qal wahomer (from the lesser to the greater) mode of argumentation here, but I would side with Hays in declaring that this sort of move should not be viewed as a special rabbinic mode of exegesis, nor even a generative exegetical technique, but rather as a trope.55 That is to say, Paul does not use qal wahomer as a method to move him from text to interpretation. On the contrary, Paul begins with the assumption that the scriptures are directed to those living in the post– Christ event era. Paul starts with his present-tense Gentile mission, which is itself kata. ta.j grafa,j by virtue of being grafted into the kerygmatic narrative, and he finds that the scriptures provide instruction regarding the rights of those who preach the gospel to be materially sustained by virtue of their labor. Paul expresses his exegesis using qal wahomer as a trope in a post hoc fashion, because the analogical mimetic relationship between past and present in his application of the scriptures is suitably preserved by precisely this trope. Just as oxen should not be deprived of the material fruits of their labor, so also those who labor in behalf of Jesus Christ. With regard to the topic of the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic, there are two questions that must be answered about this passage. First, how should the adverb pa,ntwj be taken? Is this passage said to be entirely for our sakes (which would exclude a generic contemporizing hermeneutic),56 or above all for our sakes (which would allow a generic contemporizing hermeneutic)?57 There is abundant evidence in terms both of Paul’s usage elsewhere58 and the specific context of a rhetorical question59 that the latter option is correct—that is, pa,ntwj is best translated as 54 Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation (Louisville: John Knox, 1997), 151; Hays, Echoes, 165–66. Hays is followed here by Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 686. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 406–9, comes to much the same conclusion as Hays with seeming independence. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, First Corinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AYB 32 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 363, claims that Paul actualizes the literal sense and a sensus plenior vis-à-vis Deut 25:4. 55 Hays, Echoes, 12. 56 “Or does he not speak entirely for our sake?” (NRSV; cf. KJV, RSV, NASB, NJB, ESV; Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 423). 57 Thus, C. K. Barrett, A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, HNTC (New York: Harper, 1968), 205; Fee, First Corinthians, 408; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 686–87; Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 363; BDAG s.v. pa,ntwj def. 1. 58 Rom 3:9; 1 Cor 5:10; 9:22; 16:12. See Henry St. John Thackeray, The Relation of St. Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought (London: Macmillan, 1900), 194; Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis, 109–10. 59 Compare Luke 4:23, “Undoubtedly you will say this parable to me” (pa,ntwj evrei/te, moi th.n parabolh.n tau,th); so also BDAG s.v. pa,ntwj def. 1 (with additional primary source evidence).


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“above all,” “certainly,” “undoubtedly,” “assuredly,” or the like, rather than “altogether,” “completely,” or “entirely.” Thus, contrary to the rendering of pa,ntwj in many translations, this passage indeed endorses a specific contemporizing hermeneutic, but does not exclude a generic contemporizing hermeneutic—Paul says Deuteronomy 25:4 was written especially, but not exclusively for “us.” Which brings us to our second question: precisely who are the referents standing behind the first-person plurals “for our sakes” and “for us” (9:10)?60 The first-person plural references, beginning with 9:4, point to Paul and the other apostles and exclude the audience, as 9:5-6 makes clear. The exclusivity of the first-person plural continues in 9:11-12, making it likely that the occurrences in 9:10 should be regarded as exclusive as well. Yet, since Paul argues on general principles in 9:7-8, which would apply not just to an apostle, but to any laborer, the technically exclusive firstperson plurals in 9:10 are actually made paradigmatic by analogy, including anyone who works on behalf of the Lord Jesus. Thus, the first-person plurals of 9:10 are technically exclusive, but by analogical hermeneutical extension, they have become inclusive of any member of the post-Christ era who qualifies by laboring.61 The implication is that the scriptures are said to be especially applicable to members of the post-Christ era, while at the same time the scriptures are not thereby emptied of their ability to speak to those who lived in the preceding aeons. A second text, Romans 4:23-25, provides yet another vantage point on the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic: 60 See Wallace, Greek Grammar, 393–99, esp. 399, who provides category descriptions and lists 1 Cor 9:10 as debatable regarding its classification as exclusive or inclusive. With a number of commentators (e.g., Barrett, First Corinthians, 206; Fee, First Corinthians, 398; Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 364) but contra several others (e.g., Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 41–42; Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 196–97; Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 155), I do not regard 9:10 to be a quotation from an unknown scriptural source. Yet, I diverge even from those with whom I agree (Barrett, Fitzmyer, Fee), inasmuch as I do not believe the o[ti itself is causal/explanatory, which would be redundant given the ga.r (so also Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 196). A better solution, which has not been proposed in any of the literature of which I am aware, is that the o[ti is opening up direct discourse, which is made explanatory by the ga.r—that is, Paul is giving a periphrastic comment in which he is directly “citing” Deut 25:4 again, but this time his “citation” is a periphrastic explanatory interpretation of the real meaning of Deut 25:4 “For it is written that [(begin informal interpretative direct citation)] the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing [ought to thresh] in hope of partaking [in the harvest].” 61 Although the same rationale is not given, essentially the same result is obtained by Hays, First Corinthians, 151, who claims that the referent behind the “our” in 9:10 is “the church in Paul’s own time”; in a similar manner, Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 363, would extend this “we” to include “all Christians.”

Figuration and the Divine Economy



Now [the phrase] “it was reckoned to him” [Gen 15:6] was not written for [Abraham’s] sake alone, 24but also for our sakes, [that is, we] who are about to be reckoned, who are putting faith in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from among the dead, 25who was handed over for the sake of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.62

Romans 4:23 is akin to Galatians 3:8, inasmuch as a scriptural passage is said to exist for the sake of Abraham or said to speak to Abraham, when in fact that passage had not yet been written during Abraham’s historical lifetime in such a way that Abraham could benefit from reading it.63 It 62 Text (Rom 4:23-25): [23] Ouvk evgra,fh de. diV auvto.n mo,non o[ti evlogi,sqh auvtw/| [24] avlla. kai. diV h`ma/j( oi-j me,llei logi,zesqai( toi/j pisteu,ousin evpi. to.n evgei,ranta VIhsou/n to.n ku,rion h`mw/n evk nekrw/n( [25] o]j paredo,qh dia. ta. paraptw,mata h`mw/n kai. hvge,rqh dia. th.n dikai,wsin h`mw/n. On the textual form of Paul’s citation see Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, 102. Here, Paul reproduces a unified LXX tradition precisely. In passing, it is intriguing to note that in Rom 4:23-25 Paul seems to link the ultimate applicability of Gen 15:6 to a community that is able to make a quite precise theological affirmation about Jesus, namely, that: (1) he was raised by God from among the dead (Rom 4:24b), (2) he was handed over for the sake of our trespasses (Rom 4:25a), and (3) he was raised for the sake of our justification (Rom 4:25b). All of this sounds suspiciously similar to the pre-Pauline kerygmatic protocreeds explored in ch. 2, and consequently it is perhaps unsurprising that some scholars have seen Rom 4:24-25 as pre-Pauline (e.g., Archibald M. Hunter, Paul and His Predecessors, rev. ed. [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961], 30–32). Rom 4:23-25 indicates that for Paul the reckoning “for righteousness” of Gen 15:6 is not applicable to all readers within the post–Christ event era, but rather only to those who subscribe to a core set of affirmations that align with kerygmatic protocreeds such as 1 Cor 15:3-5 and Rom 1:3-4. 63 Jewett, Romans, 340, thinks that diV auvto.n should be rendered “to [Abraham’s] honor” (reviving the suggestions of Beza and Tholuck, as cited in Frédéric L. Godet, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, trans. A. Cusin, rev. and ed. Talbot W. Chambers [repr., Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1977], 183), a rendering Jewett confidently asserts would have been “selfevident to ancient hearers.” Far from being “self-evident,” this solution is of negligible probability due to the location of diV auvto.n within an ouvk . . . mo,non . . . avlla. kai. . . . (“not only . . . but also . . .”) coordinating structure. If one grants for the sake of argument that Jewett’s proposal for the first clause is correct, then the whole coordinated phrase would be translated: “It was written not to honor Abraham alone . . . but it was also written to honor us [diV h`ma/j],” but this translation for the second clause makes no sense in context, showing Jewett’s proposal to be dubious. Tellingly, Jewett himself gives the traditional translation for the second clause, “for our sake,” illegitimately ignoring the coordinating syntactical structure, while inviting the contemporizing hermeneutic in through the backdoor. Cranfield, Romans, 1.250, gives the nearly equally implausible solution that diV auvto.n means “for his sake—that is, as a memorial of him, that he might live on in men’s remembrance,” which suffers essentially the same defect as Jewett’s proposal (viz., it ignores the coordinating structure), although not to such a heightened degree. It is simpler to see Paul conflating text and event in such a way that the former can serve as a referential substitute for the latter, much as in Gal 3:8, with the scriptural record of Abraham’s faith serving as a pattern or “type” that anticipates that of the church. Thus Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 124–28 (following esp. Goppelt), is on the right track when he explains this


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has already been argued (see the section on the unity of past events and inscripturated textual events) that Paul, in making this sort of rhetorical move, was not ignorant of the unavailability of Genesis as a written document for the perusal of Abraham, but is hereby showing the thoroughgoing manner in which past-tense external events and their inscripturation are wed together within his version of the divine economy.64 Thus, Romans 4:23 provides additional evidence in support of the conclusion already obtained vis-à-vis Galatians 3:8. In Romans 4:23, although Paul draws a correspondence between Abraham and his audience regarding the manner in which justification occurs (or potentially occurs), this correspondence does not extend to the hermeneutical plane. Paul’s point is that just as Abraham profited (dikaiosu,nh was reckoned unto him) when he put his faith in God’s promises, 65 in the exact same way those among his audience who put their faith in God’s promises can profit when they read the passage about Abraham and respond accordingly. So Paul signals that the past example of Abraham and the present tense have in some way been bridged with his words “not for the sake of Abraham alone”; however this is not to say that Abraham and Paul’s audience are in the same hermeneutical location. As Paul well knows, Abraham himself did not accrue righteousness by reading Genesis 15:6, but Paul believes the reading of Genesis 15:6 can lead to such an accrual for his audience—that is, if the readers imitate Abraham’s trusting response to the promise of God. Thus, in Romans 4:23, Paul embraces a specific principle of the hermeneutical priority of the present for those living in the post-Christ age, but a definite answer as to whether or not Paul endorses a generic contemporizing hermeneutic for those living in the preceding eras cannot obtained via Romans 4:23-25, because Abraham could not (and did not) derive his profit from reading Genesis 15:6, and in this regard he is unlike Paul’s audience. Next, there is a third passage, Romans 15:3-4, which illustrates the contemporizing nature of Paul’s hermeneutic, which is exercised within the bounds of Paul’s vision of the divine economy: 3

For even the Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written: “The insults of those who were insulting you fell upon me” [Ps 68:10b LXX].

passage in terms of a typology of events, although his discussion of “typology” is itself quite problematic (see subsequent separate section on tu,poj ktl). 64 Compare Irenaeus Haer. 4.7.1–2. 65 For an excellent discussion of the nature of these promises, which are couched in resurrection language, see J. R. Daniel Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 74–81.

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For whatsoever was written beforehand, it was written for our instruction, in order that through endurance and through the exhortation of the scriptures, we might have hope.66

Although the supporting evidence is not presented until chapter 5, in which I treat this passage in detail, in brief, Paul achieves this interpretation of Psalm 68:10b LXX by reading it in light of the sufferings of the Christ as announced in the kerygma, while assigning an in-character speech to the psalmist, a technique I have termed “prosopological exegesis.” In this manner, the speaker of the psalm is understood by Paul to be speaking from the person of the future Christ. But for Paul, who is looking back in a post hoc fashion, the Christ was already the speaker of this psalm for readers who lived prior to Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. However, for Paul, the Christ was not yet specifically known to these readers as the man Jesus of Nazareth, and even the speaker’s identity as the Christ was hidden, due to the riddling, parabolic nature of such prophecies in the face of the obduracy of his compatriots under the old covenant. Thus, as in all three of the examples explored thus far, in which Paul makes statements about the contemporizing nature of his hermeneutic, Paul emphasizes the specific hermeneutical priority of his own age without excluding the possibility that the scriptures spoke in an underrealized fashion to those who lived in the preceding era. The statement of Paul from 1 Corinthians 10:11 has been left for last, because it most clearly illustrates the hermeneutical preeminence of the post–Christ event era. 11

Now these [events] happened to [our fathers] in a type-like manner [tupikw/j], and they were written down as a warning to us, [we] unto whom the ends of the ages have come.67

The next section will take up the vital topic of the significance of the tu,poj (“type”) word group for Pauline hermeneutics, but there are nonetheless several interesting features to note about 1 Corinthians 10:11, apart from its use of tu,poj language. First, Paul gives a clear temporal rationale for his prioritization of the post–Christ event age. Paul and his audience are living in the era in which “the ends of the ages” (ta. te,lh tw/n aivw,nwn) 66 Text (Rom 15:3-4): [3] kai. ga.r o` Cristo.j ouvc e`autw/| h;resen( avlla. kaqw.j ge,graptai\ oi` ovneidismoi. tw/n ovneidizo,ntwn se evpe,pesan evpV evme,Å [4] o[sa ga.r proegra,fh( eivj th.n h`mete,ran didaskali,an evgra,fh( i[na dia. th/j u`pomonh/j kai. dia. th/j paraklh,sewj tw/n grafw/n th.n evlpi,da e;cwmen. On the textual form of Paul’s citation see ch. 5 n. 41. 67 Text (1 Cor 10:11): tau/ta de. tupikw/j sune,bainen evkei,noij( evgra,fh de. pro.j nouqesi,an h`mw/n( eivj ou]j ta. te,lh tw/n aivw,nwn kath,nthken.


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have arrived. The double plurals, “the ends” (ta. te,lh) and “of the ages” (tw/n aivw,nwn), are both puzzling. Which ends and which ages? Johannes Weiss, who is followed by Fitzmyer and others, has argued for the back end of the pre–Christ event age and the front end of the post–Christ event age, in such a way that the “we” of 1 Corinthians 10:11 refers to those who have encountered the nexus between the ages.68 In other words, for Weiss, Paul includes himself and his audience, but the reference is thereby restricted to those whose lives have spanned the two ages. However, this view suffers from a dubious translation of te,loj, which is not normally used to denote the “beginning” of anything, let alone of an era.69 Moreover, in T. Levi 14.1, the phrase ta. te,lh tw/n aivw,nwn does not designate a transition point between ages, but an ultimate eschatological age via a collective singular.70 Thus, it is best to understand the plural “ends of the ages” as the solitary eschatological age in which all the preceding ages find their termination. Moreover, Paul identifies the episodes recorded in the scriptures as especially applicable to himself and his Corinthian audience by virtue of their participation in this ultimate eschatological age. Although Paul does not forthrightly exclude the possibility in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the scriptural anecdotes he relates could potentially serve as warnings to those who belong to another era, Paul affirms that their essential aim is the post–Christ event age. Thus, in 1 Corinthians 10:11, we see exactly what we have seen in the previous three examples: Paul endorses a contemporizing hermeneutic that emphasizes the unique, specific hermeneutical position of the post–Christ event interpreter, although he consistently leaves open the possibility of a less than fully realized generic contemporizing hermeneutic. In fact, as I shall argue, Paul neatly captures the delicate hermeneutical balance between the unique eschatological prominence of the post–Christ event era vis-àvis the preceding ages with his metaphorical use of the tu,poj word group.

68 Johannes Weiss, Der Erste Korintherbrief, 10th ed., KEK 5 (Göttingen; Vandenhock & Ruprecht, 1925), 254; Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 388. 69 BDAG s.v. te,loj. 70 A Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (online Greek database) search on February 16, 2009, indicated that the phrase is unattested before Paul and is used in the ecclesiastical writers only when reflecting on 1 Cor 10:11, making it difficult to get a purchase on this phrase. The variant evpi. ta. te,lh tw/n aivw,nwn in T. Levi 14.1 (text in Marinus de Jonge, ed., The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Critical Edition of the Greek Text [Leiden, Brill, 1978], 41) is the closest parallel. It is clear from the context that a final eschatological age is in view in T. Levi, not a transitional point between two ages.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


Types and the Apostolic Kerygma Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 So, what is the hermeneutical import of Paul’s use of the tu,poj lexical family? As was argued previously in this chapter, Paul’s explicit statements about his own interpretative posture presume a divine economy that, on the one hand, stresses the specific hermeneutical priority of the post–Christ event era, but on the other hand, consistently implies that the scriptures spoke in a generic manner to the members of the pre–Christ event age, albeit it in an incomplete fashion. Now I will further contend that Paul captures the delicate balance between the specific and generic poles of his contemporizing hermeneutic quite precisely by using the tu,poj (“type”) word group. To be more exact, Paul’s tu,poj language is his own metaphorical description, which stems from the results that ensue when his kerygmatic hermeneutic is applied to observed mimesis within his version of the divine economy. In essence, if one believes, as I am arguing Paul does, that the apostolic kerygma is “according to the scriptures” and that text–event complexes are inescapably bound together within God’s sovereign plan, then the interpretative effect is aptly described using the tu,poj word group as a metaphor. “Typology” A Historical Sketch of a Problematic Term First a word about the problematic term “typology.” According to Andrew Louth, the English word “typology” was coined in the 1840s.71 This implies that it has no ancient counterpart, unlike allegory (avllhgori,a), which has a clear pedigree in Paul’s day and age.72 Nonetheless, beginning with Leonhard Goppelt’s monograph Typos,73 the category of typology 71 Andrew Louth, Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983), 118. See also A. C. Charity, Events and Their Afterlife: The Dialectics of Christian Typology in the Bible and Dante (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966), 171 n. 2, who claims typologia first appeared in Latin ca. 1840, while “typology” arrived in English in 1844; Charity also asserts that a definitionally clear distinction between typology and allegory emerged only in the wake of the Reformation. Frances M. Young, “Typology,” in Crossing the Boundaries: Essays in Honour of Michael D. Goulder, ed. Stanley E. Porter, Paul Joyce, and David E. Orton, Biblical Interpretation Series 8 (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 29–48, here 33, and again Young, Biblical Exegesis, 193 n. 20, is to be credited for alerting me to these respective references. 72 On the avllhgor- word group, see the analysis of Gal 4:21-31 in what follows for primary sources and discussion. 73 Leonhard Goppelt, Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New, trans. Donald H. Madvig (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982); trans. of Typos: Die typologische


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has been at the forefront of scholarly attempts to classify Paul’s hermeneutic.74 Goppelt’s definition of typology can be divided into three elements. For Goppelt, a genuine typology contains: (1) “historical facts, i.e., persons, activities, events, and institutions” (geschichtliche Fakta, d.h., Personen, handlungen, Ereignisse und Einrichtungen) as the essential material—that is to say, mere words and narratives cannot foster a typology apart from the “historical facts” (geschichtliche Fakta);75 (2) a representation of these historical facts “as divinely established portrayals which serve as models” (als von Gott gesetzte, vorbildliche Darstellungen);76 and (3) a “heightening” (Steigerung) from type to antitype, although this third element is deemed typical but not absolutely essential.77 Goppelt’s basic definition, especially as it pertains to the essentially historical character of typology, over against other purportedly nonhistorical modes of interpretation, such as allegory, gained wide influence both within biblical and patristic studies.78 However, the demise of the so-called Biblical Theology Movement over problematic notions of history, a flawed approach to language, and an increased stress on literary approaches brought a newfound awareness of the uncertain link between typology and history.79 In fact, as later studies Deutung des Alten Testaments im Neuen (Gütersloh, 1939; repr., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellcasft, 1973). All citations are from the ET, unless the slightly longer German short title Typos: Die typologische Deutung is given, in which case the pagination follows the German and the translation is my own. See also Goppelt, “tu,poj( ktl,” TDNT 8:246–59. 74 For example, E. Earle Ellis gave wholehearted support to Goppelt’s work, which is evidenced not only in his own work (e.g., Paul and the Old Testament, 126–35), but also in Ellis’ glowing foreword for the English translation of Typos (ix–xx). See also the brief, yet positive, assessment of Goppelt’s contribution by Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 5–6. 75 Goppelt, Typos: Die typologische Deutung, 18. 76 Goppelt, Typos: Die typologische Deutung, 18. 77 Goppelt, Typos: Die typologische Deutung, 19. 78 See G. W. H. Lampe, “The Reasonableness of Typology” and K. J. Woollcombe, “The Biblical Origins and Patristic Development of Typology,” in Essays on Typology (Naperville, Ill.: Allenson, 1957), 9–38 and 39–75, respectively. Both Lampe and Woollcombe repeatedly stress that all valid typology contains a historical dimension (e.g., 29–35 and 39–42). In fact, Woollcombe defines typology as: “the establishment of historical connexions between certain events, persons, or things in the Old Testament and similar events, persons, or things in the New Testament” (39). Jean Daniélou, “La typologie d’Isaac dans le christianisme primitif,” Bib 28 (1947): 363–93, and in many other studies, brought typology into prominence within the patristic guild. Daniélou deeply influenced R. P. C Hanson, Allegory and Event: A Study of the Sources and Significance of Origen’s Interpretation of Scripture (Richmond: John Knox, 1959), which intensified the opposition between typology, seen as a valid mode of exegesis concerned with historical events, and allegory, which was deemed invalid. 79 For a succinct description of the so-called Biblical Theology Movement, see James Barr, “Biblical Theology,” IDBSup, ed. K. Crim, 104–11, esp. 105–6. Barr himself did much to insure the collapse of the movement by criticizing the manner in which theology had been illicitly wed to linguistic analysis in standard reference works such as the TDNT (e.g., James

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would show, typology could seemingly get along just fine operating in the narrative space opened up between two pieces of literature apart from any question of historical referentiality.80 Of course, distinctions between “what really happened” and the “written record of what really happened” with respect to scriptural events ultimately belong to us, not to Paul, who does not differentiate between the scriptural representation of an event and its actual historical referent. All this is to say, when we speak of “typology” in relation to Paul (or other ancient interpreters), we must be careful not to foist our peculiar modern notions of history and referentiality onto Paul, nor—and this point is critical—should we reify “typology” in such a manner that we treat it as a stable interpretative maneuver with which Paul would have been familiar. If properly qualified, I think the term retains limited heuristic and descriptive value; nonetheless, in order to add precision and mitigate any confusion, it will be avoided in favor of Paul’s own terminology (except when use of the term “typology” is necessary to report accurately the nomenclature employed by others in modern scholarly discourse). Iconic Mimesis versus Symbolic Mimesis Frances Young in particular deserves to be singled out for her outstanding work on early Christian exegesis. She has brought a new level of sophistication to the discussion of “typology” and allegory, while simultaneously doing much to clarify the actual differences between the so-called Alexandrian and Antiochene approaches to scriptural exegesis. Young argues, correctly in my opinion, that early Christian exegesis was not uniquely concerned with correlation between past and present historical events per se in its employment of tu,poj language, but rather with mimesis (imitation) between text and world in all its variety, including, for example, cosmology, parenesis, and narrative prefiguration.81 Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Language [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961]). See also Brevard S. Childs, Biblical Theology in Crisis (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1970). 80 Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981), esp. 78–138, utilized an essentially literary approach to “typology” in the bible to great effect. Frye is anticipated in his literary application by Erich Auerbach, “Figura,” in Scenes from the Drama of European Literature, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Meridian 1959), 11–76, esp. 56–60, who does not dispense with the historical dimension in figuration, but contrasts the linearistic modern conception of the linkage between past and present events with the premodern perspective, which is holistic and sees the connections between events as originating “from above.” 81 Young, Biblical Exegesis, 192–201, which draws from and builds upon Frances M. Young, “Typology,” 29–48.


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Young helpfully differentiates between ikonic mimesis and symbolic mimesis. In ikonic mimesis (hereafter iconic mimesis) the representation of a text by the interpreter takes that text as a coherent whole into account, and there is a genuine correspondence between linguistic token and referent. There is an iconic relationship between the interpretation and the originating text in the same way that eyes in a realistic painting have a genuine correspondence to the eyes of the subject who posed for the painting, while at the same time the eyes hold a proportional relationship to the rest of the subject’s face. However, within symbolic mimesis the originating text is interpreted in light of an alien code foreign to the originating text. The linguistic token does not have a natural correspondence to the referent, and the alien code is used as a key in order to aim the token at a referent supplied by the code. Returning to our example of a painting, if an alien code is brought in to interpret our hypothetical painting, such as the subject represented in the painting symbolizes greed, then the bright eyes in the portrait might be regarded as silver coins. The important point is that the token (here: the bright eyes in the painting) will not have an iconic relationship to its natural referent (here: the subject’s eyes) in the interpretation of the painting, but rather a symbolic relationship (here: silver coins), as dictated by the code.82 Young associates iconic mimesis with the use of tu,poj language and symbolic mimesis with allegory. I will make further use of Young’s analysis as we proceed. The Etymology of tu,poj ktl and a Preliminary Analysis of Pauline Usage As is well known, the tup- word family derives etymologically from the concept of “hitting” or “striking,” in accordance with the common verb tu,ptw.83 Not surprisingly, the verb tu,ptw and its cognate tupo,w take on 82

Young, Biblical Exegesis, 161–64 (the example is my own, not Young’s). For the primary source references in this paragraph I am primarily dependent on Goppelt, “tu,poj( ktl,” TDNT 8:246–47; Ceslas Spicq, “tu,poj,” in Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, 3 vols., ed. and trans. James D. Ernest (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994), 3:384–87; BDAG s.v. tu,poj; LSJ s.v. tu,poj; and Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos: Analyse eines schwierigen Verhältnis,” NTS 48 (2000): 112–31, here 116–29. For early uses of tu,ptw as “to strike,” see Homer Il. 2.561; 4.531; 6.117; 13.529; 20.378; 23.764; Od. 4.580; 9.104; 22.86 (freq. with weapons of war). In the NT, see Matt 24:49; Luke 6:29; 12:45; Acts 18:17. On the etymology of this word group, see s.v. tu,ptw: Hjalmar Frisk, Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, 22 Lieferungen (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1955–1972), 20.945–46; Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: histoire des mots, 4 vols. (Paris: Klincksieck, 1968), 3.1145–46. 83

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the additional nuance of “to strike an impress” or “to stamp a form.”84 The noun tu,poj that derives from these core verbal ideas generally reflects the result of the verbal action of “striking” in the Hellenistic period; hence, it receives suggested glosses such as: mark, mold, hollow form, outline, copy, image, figure, pattern, and example. The fundamental notion is that there is a relationship of iconic mimesis between the object striking the blow (or making the mark) and the resulting mark, although there are various metaphorical extensions that move beyond this basic notion.85 An extended and deliberate ancient reflection on the tu,poj word group can be found in Peri Pascha of Melito of Sardis (160–170 CE), which confirms that iconic mimesis is at its semantic core.86 84 For example, Hero Mensurae 60 (second to first century BCE): evx avrgu,rou tupto,menon no,misma (“a coin having been struck from silver”); Philo Leg. 1.100; Pot. 1.76. 85 BDAG s.v. tu,poj gives six basic definitions: (1) “a mark made as the result of a blow or pressure, mark, trace”; (2) “embodiment of characteristics or function of a model, copy, image”; (3) “an object formed to resemble some entity, image, statue”; (4) “a kind, class, or thing that suggests a model or pattern, form, figure, pattern”; (5) “the content of a document, text, content”; (6) “an archetype serving as a model, type, pattern, model.” It is crucial to note that all six definitions involve iconic mimesis—i.e., there is a natural correspondence between the two entities being compared (whether the comparison be explicit or implicit). The only definitions for which the iconic mimesis is not self-evidently present are (4) and (5). Definition (4) usually entails iconic mimesis, inasmuch as any species relates to its larger class by participating in the characteristics of the class (e.g., the species “Phillips-head” and “flat-head” belong to the class “screwdriver” by having a knob, shaft, and steel tip capable of turning a screw). In other words, the species “imitates” the class by embodying its essential defining features. Regarding definition (5), some see it as a dubious category, which is in reality equivalent to (4)—i.e., “having this form” (NASB), “to this effect” (NRSV)—cf. C. K. Barrett, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, 2 vols., ICC (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994–1998), 2.1082. Yet this is doubtful. It is best to see this use of tu,poj as signaling that the content of the letter so designated is being put forward as an exact copy of the original—so also F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 471; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 31 (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 727; cf. 3 Macc 3:30; Acts 23:25. For a breakdown of the semantic domain of tu p, oj comparable to that of BDAG, see Louw-Nida §8.56, 6.96, 58.58–59, 58.63, 58.25, and 90.28. 86 Melito takes on special import regarding tu,poj ktl, because he alone in antiquity intentionally and explicitly expands on the meaning of this word group, confirming that iconic mimesis is at the core of the tup- word group (Peri Pascha 36–38): “This is just what happens in the case of a preliminary structure [prokataskeuh,]: it does not arise as a finished work, but because of what is going to be visible through its image acting as a model [dia. de. to. me,llon dia. th/j tupikh/j eivko,noj o`ra/sqai]. For this reason, a preliminary sketch is made of the future thing out of wax or of clay or of wood, in order that what will soon arise taller in height, and stronger in power, and beautiful in form, and rich in its construction, may be seen through a small and perishable sketch. But when that of which it is the model [tu,poj] arises, that which once bore the image [ei,kwn] of the future thing is itself destroyed as growing useless having yielded to what is truly real the image of it [paracwrh/san tw|/ fu,sei avlhqei/ th.n peri. auvtou/ eivko,na]. . . . You make the model [tu,poj]; you want that because you see in it the image of the


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Paul makes use of the word tu,poj and its cognates eight times in the seven principle letters (thirteen times if the disputed letters are included). Temporarily excluding the more controversial examples of Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10:11, the following four uses occur: (1) “pattern or standard of teaching” (Rom 6:17 [tu,poj]; 2 Tim 1:13 [u`potu,pwsij]), (2) “personal example worthy of imitation” (Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:7; 2 Thess 3:9; 1 Tim 4:12; Tit 2:7 [tu,poj]; 1 Tim 1:16 [u`potu,pwsij]), (3) “injuring another’s conscience” (1 Cor 8:12 [tu,ptw]), and (4) “engraved” letters (2 Cor 3:7 [evntupo,w]). The crucial question for our purposes is the proper interpretation of Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10:11 in light of their possible hermeneutical significance. It is fair to say that the standard interpretation of these three passages from at least Goppelt onwards is to see the tu,poj language as giving a distinct hermeneutical sense, designating a kind of “advance depiction” or “prefiguration” or Vorausdarstellung, to borrow Goppelt’s terminology.87 Types and Prefiguration A Critical Interaction with Steven DiMattei The standard interpretation of tu,poj language in terms of prophetic prefiguration has been challenged in an important recent article by Steven DiMattei, who vigorously argues that all of the instantiations of tu,poj language in Paul are best regarded not as indicating prefiguration, but as functioning solely as para,deigmata or exempla for moral pedagogical future thing [th.n eivko,na tou/ me,llontoj]. You produce the material before the model [tu,poj]; you want that because of what is going to arise in it. You complete the work; you want that alone, you love that alone, because in it alone you see the pattern [tu,poj] and the material and the reality.” (text and trans. by Stuart G. Hall, ed. and trans., Melito of Sardis On Pascha and Fragments, OECD [Oxford: Clarendon, 1979]). In short, for Melito, the tu,poj is a pattern or a model, and as such it enjoys a mimetic relationship with a real-life entity, which it anticipates and represents, participating in its “image” (ei,kwn). Thus, iconic mimesis truly stands at the semantic center of tu,poj ktl for Melito. 87 See Goppelt, Typos: Die typologische Deutung, 176, where he states with reference to 1 Cor 10:6-11: “Tu,poj bedeudet hier nicht wie sonst verschiedentlich bei Paulus vorbildliches Beispiel im allgemeinen Sinn, sondern heilsgeschichtliche Vorausdarstellung des Kommenden” (“Here tu,poj does not mean a model example in the general sense, as it does in other passages in Paul, rather it means a representation of the future given in advance which pertains to salvation history”); cf. Goppelt, “tu,poj( ktl,” TDNT 8.251–52. Ellis, Paul and the Old Testament, 126, speaks of Pauline typology in terms of “prefigurations,” as does also Richard B. Hays, “The Conversion of the Imagination: Scripture and Eschatology in 1 Corinthians,” in The Conversion of the Imagination (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005; repr. from NTS 45 [1999]: 391–412), 1–24, here 11.

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instruction.88 As the most recent contribution to the discussion, and because I disagree with the false dichotomy I deem to be present in his conclusion, I have opted to give DiMattei’s position a bit more space. The logic behind DiMattei’s case essentially runs as follows: (1) For tu,poj ktl, the etymological connection between “imprint” and “prefiguration” is not demonstrable nor philologically probable for Paul, 89 (2) nor for Ps-Barnabas, Justin, and others prior to Irenaeus, all of whom employ visual but not historical hermeneutics of “types,”90 (3) but it is for Irenaeus, who developed a unique typological exegesis in response to Gnosticism independent of any alleged Pauline typology,91 (4) and the subsequent attribution of historically oriented typological exegesis to Paul was an Antiochene development in the wake of the Origenist controversy.92 Although I think his last two points are also problematic in certain regards, his first two points are more directly relevant, and thus I will respond only to points one and two. First, DiMattei is correct to observe that the specific link between “imprint” (etymological meaning) and “prefiguration” (suggested applied meaning for Paul) is tenuous, but the relevance of this observation is not clear. Why should we expect such a link, and more to the point, why should we be troubled by its absence? Synchronic applied meaning is what really matters.93 DiMattei seems to 88

DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 65, 79–81. Curiously DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 64–65, chides his colleagues for failing to demonstrate a link between the etymological sense of “impression” and “prefiguration,” but does not carry out his own lexical analysis (except perhaps his casual remarks on 65 n. 20). Moreover, his assertion that Goppelt’s glossing of tu p, oj as Vorausdarstellung (“prefiguration”) is “not philologically sound” (65), is justified solely by reference to Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos,” 128, which does not demonstrate a comprehensive false link between etymology and Paul’s applied meaning, but rather is part of an argument attempting to show that tu,poj is not a technical hermeneutical term in antiquity for Paul or others. Rather, Ostmeyer argues throughout his article that tu p, oj language is situationally and relationally determined—that is, the manner in which the visible component of the type (i.e., the “image” [eivkw,n] or the “iconic” portion to use my own preferred term) can be said to resonate between the people or objects being compared must be individually sought—sentiments with which I agree wholeheartedly. Although he does not use the term, Ostmeyer’s overall analysis supports the notion of iconic mimesis for which I have been advocating. Unlike DiMattei, Ostmeyer himself does not deny that past-tense events are at least sometimes prefigured in present-tense happenings for Paul (e.g., see Ostmeyer’s remarks on 126). 90 DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 66–68. 91 DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 68–71. The principle text in question is Irenaeus Haer. 4.14.3 (cf. 4.27.3), which DiMattei argues has been interpreted by Irenaeus in a fashion alien to Paul under the influence of Heb 8:5. 92 DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 71–75. 93 For example, within modern colloquial English, when someone says “I saw a butterfly land on a flower” (applied meaning), we are not troubled by the lack of connection to 89


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be reacting against Goppelt’s elevation of tu,poj to the status of a technical hermeneutical term, and if DiMattei’s point is simply that tu,poj is not a technical term for Paul, then this point can happily be affirmed in agreement with nearly all other recent scholars,94 but we have come no closer to answering the fundamental question, which is: Does Paul employ tu,poj ktl in a hermeneutically significant fashion in context regardless of whether or not he is using specialized language? In other words, even if it is granted that the “pre” portion of “prefiguration” does not form part of the semantic core of tu,poj ktl in Paul (a point with which I readily agree), the concept of prefiguration might nonetheless be implied by the broader context of a particular passage. In fact if the property of iconic mimesis is at the semantic core of tu,poj, as I have argued,95 then context must determine what sort of iconic mimesis is being envisioned, whether that mimesis might be between historical events, narrative events, material objects, cosmological realms, geographical locations, patterns of human behavior, or otherwise. It will not do to exclude an anticipatory relationship between chronologically disparate events as a possible use of tu,poj on the grounds of an unclear etymological link between “imprint” and “prefiguration”; the specific context must decide the way in which the latent semantic potential of any given word is actualized. Second, DiMattei asserts that the manner in which tu,poj ktl is used in Ps-Barnabas and Justin is “at base a visual hermeneutic, not a historical hermeneutic,” but in so doing I believe he has given a false and misleading either/or.96 DiMattei’s point seems to be that Justin’s use of tu,poj language does not reflect a prophetic concern with the relationship between the past-tense events he finds recorded in the scriptures and later events. I find myself in total disagreement. As is widely acknowledged, Justin’s “butter” (etymological meaning) in the applied use of “butterfly.” My point is that etymological concerns are of little relevance when adequate synchronic data is available. Context must determine what portion of the synchronically, not etymologically, determined semantic field is being actualized in any given instantiation of a word. 94 It is now commonly acknowledged (and I would concur) that Goppelt was wrong to argue for a special hermeneutical or technical meaning for tu,poj—see, e.g., Hays, Echoes, 95; Koch, Schrift als Zeuge, 216–20; Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos,” 112–31; Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, 167; G. Schunack, “tu,poj,” EDNT 3:372–76, esp. 375. 95 On the centrality of iconic mimesis, see the two preceding subsections. 96 DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 66. DiMattei is himself perhaps also somewhat uncomfortable with this exact terminology, because he qualifies himself in a footnote saying, “That is not to say they are ahistorical” (66 n. 23), and correctly opines that distinctions between historical/ahistorical would be anachronistic here. DiMattei and I are in total agreement on this point (at least as it appears to me), but we respond to the problem differently, which makes our interaction confusing. DiMattei continues to use the term “historical,” while

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hermeneutic is built around the “proof from prophecy” model, which relies on a salvation-history scheme of promise and fulfillment, and as such Justin consistently sees a prophetic correspondence between past-tense scriptural events and later events of the Christ/post–Christ event era (Dial. 7.1).97 Justin employs tu,poj language in order to link events mimetically throughout salvation history, extending from the distant past into his own present and even the future. For example, in Dialogus cum Tryphone 40.1, Justin says, “Therefore, the mystery of the lamb, that is, the Passover which God commanded to be sacrificed, was a type of the Christ [tu,poj h=n tou/ Cristou/],” and despite DiMattei’s rather puzzling efforts to restrict this correspondence to the visual particulars alone, excluding historical events, Justin himself clearly links the past-tense event of sacrificing the paschal lamb (albeit it is presented as a customary past event) to other concrete pasttense events (with respect to Justin) through the visual imagery—events that he believes the paschal sacrifice anticipates, such as: the demise of the temple and its sacrificial cult in Justin’s own day and age (Dial. 40.2) and Christ’s passion (Dial. 40.3); even the future event of the second coming is anticipated via a “historically” oriented use of “types” (Dial. 40.4).98 Also in Dialogus cum Tryphone 41.1 the “offering of flour” under the Mosaic dispensation is said by Justin to be “a type of the bread of the Eucharist” (tu,poj h=n tou/ a;rtou th/j euvcaristi,aj), which is not only a visual “type,” but also a point of connection linking chronologically disparate events via iconic mimesis. As such, this customary past-tense ritual event imitates the past-tense events instituted by Jesus (Dial. 41.1), as warning the reader against modernist notions whereas I choose to avoid this term, because I fear that modernist assumptions will nonetheless slip in. I prefer to use the term “past-tense event,” which could refer to either nonreferential narrative events or referential actual events, and so it leaves the question of historical referentiality open. 97 See, e.g., the whole of Oskar Skarsaune, The Proof from Prophecy: A Study in Justin Martyr’s Proof-Text Tradition: Text-Type, Provenance, Theological Profile, NovTSup 56 (Leiden: Brill, 1987), but esp. 6, 11–13; Willis A. Shotwell, The Biblical Exegesis of Justin Martyr (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1965), 22; Eric F. Osborn, Justin Martyr, BHT 47 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1973), 87–98. DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 66, is incorrect when he asserts that Justin displays no knowledge of Paul’s letters and thus was not impacted by Paul’s hermeneutic. In fact, not only does Justin know Paul’s letters, Justin demonstrably reuses Paul’s scriptural arguments on numerous occasions—see e.g., Dial. 23.4; 92.3; 119.5–6 (cf. Rom 4:3, 9); Dial. 95–96 (cf. Gal 3:10-14); Skarsaune, Proof from Prophecy, 92–100; Rodney O. Werline, “The Transformation of Pauline Arguments in Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho,” HTR 92 (1999): 79–93. 98 Justin was a millenarist who believed in the literal return of Christ and the establishment of an earthly kingdom (Dial. 80–81). See the appendix on Justin Martyr’s eschatology in Leslie W. Barnard, trans., St. Justin Martyr: The First and Second Apologies, ACW 56 (New York: Paulist, 1997), 203–15.


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well as ongoing events celebrated by Justin’s community (Dial. 41.3; cf. 1 Apol. 65–66). In fact, almost all of the uses of tu,poj in Justin involve a correspondence between distinct past-tense events,99 or between a customary past-tense event and an actual past-tense event that was thereby prophetically anticipated.100 For Ps-Barnabas the situation is no different.101 Thus, one simply cannot say that tu,poj language is merely a visual symbol that somehow remains untainted by participation in events or “prefiguration” for Justin and Ps-Barnabas.102 The mimetic connection between the “types” is almost always in service of an explicit claim by PsBarnabas and Justin for a prophetic correspondence between events that at least purport to be “historical” (within our modern parlance) and are inextricably bound up with the type. In short, DiMattei is correct to point out the unsuitability of “prefiguration” (Vorausdarstellung) as a technical term or a specific translational 99

For example, Moses stretching out his arms and Jesus doing likewise (Dial. 111.1–2). For example, Dial. 41.4 evidences a correspondence between the customary act of circumcision on the eighth day and the resurrection; in Dial. 42.4 the Mosaic commandments are said to be “types, symbols, and prophecies,” of events pertaining to Christ; cf. Dial. 90.2; 91.2-4; 111.1-2; 114.1; 131.4; 134.3; 140.1. The only uses of tu,poj in Justin that exclude a notion of deliberately anticipatory correspondence between chronologically disparate events are Dial. 22.3, in which Justin is directly quoting an LXX source that uses tu,poj to mean “cast image” or “idol” and 1 Apol. 60.3–5 in which the letter “chi,” understood as a platonic form, is said to be a type of the cross. The analysis of Justin’s use of “types” by Shotwell, The Biblical Exegesis of Justin Martyr, 18–19, reaches essentially the same conclusion: “From these examples, it is evident that Justin considered a ‘type’ to be an act or a person that represented some act or thing that would take place at a later date.” For further support, see also the discussion of “types” as part of Justin’s prophetic hermeneutic in Osborn, Justin Martyr, 94. 101 Barn. 7.3 shows a correspondence between the past-tense sacrifice of Isaac and that of Jesus; Barn. 7.7 demonstrates a correlation between the goat in the customary atonement ritual and Jesus’ death; cf. Barn. 7.11; 8.1; 12.2–9; 13.5; 19.7. However, a link between events (specific or customary) is not made in Barn. 6.11 and 19.7. 102 DiMattei makes the myopic point that tu p, oj cannot be translated as “prefiguration” in Dial. 91.3 and that tu,poj is synonymous with evikw,n in Dial. 112.2, as part of his claim that tu p, oj cannot thereby entail a predictive element vis-à-vis historical events. This is logically akin to concluding that because “car” does not fit semantically as a substitute in the phrase “the bed of the truck,” one must not be able to drive a truck. It ignores the fact that both “truck” and “car” might have a common attribute that might allow them to be synonymous rather than antithetical in certain contexts. In the case of “prefiguration,” “type,” and “image,” there is an underlying visual metaphor common to them all, and mimesis can occur between the objects intended by the visual metaphor in a variety of ways. I believe that DiMattei is correct when he points out the general unsuitability of “prefiguration” as a raw or unaffected translational equivalent of tu,poj, inasmuch as the notion of “pre” is not inherent to tu,poj language. I would disagree with DiMattei, however, by asserting that in pre-Irenaen Christian exegesis, the notion of “pre” in “prefiguration” is frequently inherent in the context in which tu p, oj language is employed, with the effect that one event can be asserted to be a deliberate anticipation of another, making prefiguration an acceptable affected translational equivalent on these occasions. 100

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equivalent for tu,poj for Paul, Ps-Barnabas, and Justin. However, granting this point, it is nonetheless the case that the semantic core of iconic mimesis that tu,poj ktl possesses often entails an anticipatory correspondence between chronologically discontinuous events when this meaning is supplied by the surrounding context. DiMattei’s attempt to seal tu,poj hermetically into a “visual” category separate from the participation of that tu,poj in a divine economy that links temporally disparate events by means of an anticipatory framework must be regarded as unsustainable vis-à-vis Ps-Barnabas, Justin, and as I will now argue, Paul as well. Adam in Romans 5:14 A Deliberately Anticipatory Type When we turn back to Paul’s own usage of tu,poj language in the disputed instances of Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10:11, it must be affirmed that the context demands that all three of these examples entail a “deliberately anticipatory” iconic mimesis between people–event complexes within the divine economy. Romans 5:14 reads as follows: But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the coming one [o[j evstin tu,poj tou/ me,llontoj].

Here Adam is said to be a “type” of the coming one, but just as we observed vis-à-vis Justin and Ps-Barnabas, Adam is not merely a visual symbol somehow abstracted from the event, but rather, Adam is declared to be a “type of the coming one” precisely on the basis of an event—to wit, Adam’s act of sin/transgression.103 This point is made emphatic through repetition by Paul in Romans 5:15-21 (cf. 1 Cor 15:22), but the point is captured most exactly in Romans 5:18: “Therefore just as [the result of] one man’s trespass was condemnation for all humankind, in the same way [the result of] one man’s righteous deed was righteousness which produces life for all humankind.” There is a mimetic relationship between 103 It is possible that me,llontoj is actually intended to be neuter rather than masculine, referring to an unspecified coming “thing” (so John A. Bengel in Bengel’s New Testament Commentary, 2 vols., trans. Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent [repr., Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1981]), 2.66), but this suggestion falters. The nearest, and hence most likely, referent for o[j is not a “thing,” but a person, Adam, and the presence of the equative verb makes it likely that the referent standing behind tou/ me,llontoj derives from the same class as Adam. The remainder of 5:12-21, which contrasts (and so implicitly compares) Adam and Christ confirms the standard identification of tou/ me,llontoj as Christ. On this topic, see Irenaeus Haer. 3.18.7; 3.21.10; 3.22.3; 4.36.4; Epid. 31–32; on the hermeneutical significance of “types” more generally for Irenaeus, see Haer. 4.20.12; 4.21.3; and 4.32.2.


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the Adam event and the Christ event in terms of a decisive “once-for-all action,”104 and nothing in the context suggests that Adam serves merely as a pedagogical example in this passage, as DiMattei would have us believe with his generalization105 —in fact quite the opposite. As Cranfield notes, it is by not following Adam’s example that Christ is able to effect righteousness for the many (Rom 5:15-17).106 Although the mimetic linkage between the Adam event and the Christ event is undeniable in this passage, what is not so clear is whether or not this mimetic relationship between events can be classified as prophetic for Paul, as it can be for Justin. In light of texts such as 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, we are perhaps on safer ground if Paul’s usage of tu,poj language in Romans 5:14 is labeled “deliberately anticipatory” within God’s providential design, rather than “prophetic”:107 “For since death [came] through a man, the resurrection of the dead also [comes] through a man; just as in Adam all die, in the same manner in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:21-22). Paul’s language here implies a certain inevitability, that Christ’s reversal of Adam’s transgression had to unfold in the exact manner in which it did due to the corresponding roles he sees Adam and Christ playing within God’s providential plan as the two prototypical humans (cf. Rom 5:19).108 In short, for Paul, the Adam event was arranged beforehand by God in deliberate anticipation of the Christ event within the divine economy. 104 Goppelt, Typos, 129–30, inappropriately introduces the notion of “antitype” into his discussion of Romans 5:12-21, a move that has no basis in the text here or elsewhere in the Pauline corpus, as is fittingly pointed out by Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos,” 112–31 esp. 114–15. However, Ostmeyer’s own suggestion that the specific point of relationship that allows Christ to be a “type” of Adam is their common “function as progenitors” (Stammvaterfunction) falls short, since Paul himself emphasizes a past-tense action (Adam’s sin) as the point of comparison. Both of these false moves (i.e., Goppelt’s and Ostmeyer’s) in my opinion stem from the same source—it is felt that Adam’s action of sin is incommensurable with Christ’s action of obedience within the bounds of the tu p, oj metaphor alone. However, all metaphors involve elements of similarity and dissimilarity between the people, objects, or actions compared, and so the presence of the dissimilar elements within Paul’s metaphorical application of tu p, oj language should not perturb us. Ancient rhetors were encouraged to seek natural metaphors involving a related concept to ensure that they were persuasive (e.g., Ps-Demetrius Eloc. 78; Cicero De or. 3.155–57, 162), all of which presumes that metaphors by their very nature contain some incongruity. In the case of Paul’s designation of Adam as “a type of the coming one” in Rom 5:14, imitative continuity can be found in the once-for-all nature of the action, but discontinuity in the moral nature of the action. 105 DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” esp. 65 n. 20. 106 Cranfield, Romans, 1.270, 288. 107 I take “prophetic” to imply an additional level of conscious, deliberate human involvement in foretelling over against “deliberately anticipatory,” which asserts only divine intention. 108 This is the standard interpretation of this passage—see e.g., James D. G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 94–97; Ridderbos, Paul, 53–64.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


Israel Events in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 Deliberately Anticipatory Types The next two occurrences of tu,poj ktl are found in the same passage in Paul and thus must be considered together: Now these [events] have become types of us [Tau/ta de. tu,poi h`mw/n evgenh,qhsan], so that we might not desire evil things as those ones desired [them]. (1 Cor 10:6) Now these [events] happened to [our fathers] in a type-like manner [tau/ta de. tupikw/j sune,bainen evkei,noij], and they were written down as a warning [nouqesi,an] for us, [we] unto whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Cor 10:11)

It is crucial to identify the proper referents behind the neuter-plural demonstrative pronouns tau/ta in 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10:11, which I have translated in both cases as “these events.”109 Since tau/ta is neuter in both occurrences, it is best to regard both instantiations as pointing not merely to the fathers of 1 Corinthians 10:1 (pate,rej), nor to the majority who displease God in 10:5, in which cases the masculine would be expected,110 but rather somehow to the whole constellation of people– event complexes reported in 10:1-6 and 10:1-11, respectively, in which the fathers are caught up—that is, being under the cloud, passing through the sea, eating and drinking spiritual fare (with Christ identified as the source of drink), having their bodies strewn about the desert, desiring evil things, committing idolatry, engaging in sexual immorality, testing 109

At 1 Cor 10:11, some MSS (¥ D F G 81 pc bo?; Irarm,latPt) read pa,nta de. tau/ta rather than tau/ta de., while a few others (C Y Û lat sy bo?; IrlatPt) read tau/ta de. pa,nta. Both variants should be regarded as later scribal attempts to resolve the difficulty in identifying the precise referents, rather than reflecting the original text. A rather novel proposal has recently been suggested by Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 384 (following N. Baumert), namely, that tau/ta functions in 10:6 not as the subject of gi,nomai but as an adverb. However, this solution is not to be preferred for three reasons: (1) the adverbial accusative is rare and unlikely a priori when a simpler solution lies ready to hand (see Wallace, Greek Grammar, 199–205), (2) tau/ta is not used in this way elsewhere in Paul, and (3) since 1 Cor 10:11 recapitulates the argument of 10:6, and because the very similar use of tau/ta in 10:11 cannot be understood in this way for 10:6, it is less likely that this is intended in 10:11. 110 Some commentators incorrectly see the tau/ta as referring exclusively to people in one way or another: e.g., G. Schunack, “tu,poj,” EDNT 3:375; Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos,” 125; however, the majority think the reference is to events—e.g., Thiselton, First Corinthians, 731; Fee, First Corinthians, 453; Hays, Echoes, 95; Schrage, Der erste Brief an die Korinther, 2.397 n. 82. Whether tau/ta is anaphoric or kataphoric in 10:6 makes little difference for our purposes—although, for what it is worth, I think the former is clearly to be preferred, as also in 10:11.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Christ, and complaining. Thus, the past-tense events in which the fathers participate are said to be “types” (tu,poi) of “us,” which should be regarded as an inclusive “we.”111 Yet Paul’s assertion that past-tense events are tu,poi of “us” (10:6) is problematic, inasmuch as the two entities being related (tau/ta and h`mei/j) belong to different classes or orders, making it difficult to see how these disparate entities can correspond through iconic mimesis.112 The simplest solution, although I do not believe it has previously been proposed, is that the h`mei/j is an example of synecdoche, meaning it is a part that stands in place of a whole—that is, the “us” is the part that stands in for the “whole,” where the “whole” is the “events” in which the “us” participate.113 The tau/ta are therefore best taken as past-tense “events” in both 10:6 and 10:11, with the understanding that the people who participated in the events are foregrounded by Paul as key, inseparable constituents in those events through the use of synecdoche. Despite the fact that “prefigurations” is unwarranted as a raw translational equivalent of tu,poi (in favor of something akin to “imitative models”), the larger point is that in the context of 10:6 Paul identifies a mimetic relationship between the past-tense scriptural people–event complexes recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 and the present happenings at Corinth among those dwelling in the ultimate eschatological age. Moreover, exactly as in Romans 5:14, while it would be too strong to say that Paul’s use of tu,poj ktl is prophetic here, it is difficult to deny that Paul views the events in which the fathers were caught up as “deliberately anticipatory” of the events occurring in Corinth within God’s wellorchestrated divine economy. At least three clues point in this direction: 111

The inclusive nature of the first-person plurals in 1 Cor 10:6-11 is evidenced by the rhetorical function of these exhortations within the context of the whole letter—the Corinthians are clearly being implicated here by Paul (e.g., on “idolatry” in 10:7 cf. 5:10; 6:9; 8:10; 10:14-22; on “sexual immorality” in 10:8 cf. 5:1-5, 9; 6:9, 12-20; 7:2; etc.). 112 Presumably the difficulty of construing this genitival phrase (tu,poi h`mw/n) in relationship to tau/ta provides the motivation behind Baumert and Fitzmyer’s innovative (yet dubious) proposed solution (ch. 3 n. 109), just as it motivated the ancient scribal addition of pa,nta in 10:11. Fee, First Corinthians, 451 n. 7, also notes the difficulty. 113 I have not found synecdoche suggested by anyone else in my (admittedly nonexhaustive) sifting of the secondary literature. Part-for-the-whole synecdoche is frequently used by Paul—e.g., Rom 5:9 (“blood” in place of “death”), Gal 2:7 (“foreskin” for “uncircumcised penis” for “Gentiles”), which makes the proposed solution more tenable. Such a solution prevents the false dichotomy set up by Ostmeyer, “Typologie und Typos,” 125, who artificially forces the reader to choose between the options of people or events as the referent. This solution also conforms to the ancient evidence in the textual variants in 10:11 (see ch. 3 n. 109), inasmuch as the insertion of pa,nta clarifying tau/ta would lead the reader to the solution adopted here—that is to say, that Paul points at the entire complex of people and events.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


(1) the role of the preexistent Christ with regard to the fathers, and the rock (1 Cor 10:4) and the bronze serpent (1 Cor 10:9) episodes,114 (2) the location of the Corinthian present tense in the ultimate eschatological age, and (3) the statement that these past-tense events were written down for the express purpose of warning “us” (those who live in the post–Christ event era). For if the present-tense Corinthian events are not “deliberately anticipatory” within a providential divine economy, then how is it that the past-tense events recorded in the scriptures can be said to involve the provision by Christ and the testing of Christ, who in that case would not yet have come into human existence? And why would the ultimate age be deemed the hermeneutical goal? In brief, Paul sees certain scriptural, pasttense, people–event complexes as “deliberately anticipatory” with respect to the Corinthians as believing members of the post–Christ event era. From Mimesis to Type via the Apostolic Kerygma Note, however, and this is critical, that Paul does not begin with the scripturally derived past-tense “types” and then reason forward to their imitative instantiation in the present-tense Corinthian events. Rather, he starts with the effects that result as a consequence of the apostolic preaching, and recognizes that when the scriptural events are viewed through the lens of the received kerygma that there is a mimetic relationship between those past events and the present situation in Corinth. In other words, Paul presumes the validity of the entire kerygmatic narrative for himself and for his community, and although this kerygmatic narrative primarily operates on a presumed level beneath the surface in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, portions of this submerged metanarrative, such as Christ’s preexistence (10:4, 9), do in fact surface.115 In fact, the existence of the Corinthian church itself is a result of the Gentile mission announced within the extended kerygma, and hence the entire community, even Paul’s letter itself, is predicated on the actualization of the kerygma. Paul uses tu,poj language to express the deliberately anticipatory mimetic relationship between past-tense scriptural events and his own present within the divine economy, but the 114 Paul’s titular nominative o` Cristo.j, as opposed to his more typical anarthrous usage, may signal that the identity of the preexistent Christ as the man Jesus was not yet specifically known by the prophet—for discussion, see my treatment in ch. 5 of the titular significance of o` Cristo.j in Rom 15:3. 115 See also the remarks by Thiselton, First Corinthians, 724–25, on the probable manner in which baptism into Moses is made to evoke baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection by Paul (cf. Rom 6:3-11; Col 2:12). Meanwhile, the connection between the ancient Israelite’s eating and drinking (10:3) and the Lord’s supper (along with all of the christological narrative implied) are quite obvious from the surrounding context of 10:14-22.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

engine that drives this identification of “types” does not move from text to present application, but rather in reverse. It is only in light of the efficacious results of the apostolic kerygma, and hence through its realigning grid, that these mimetic correspondences between past and present can be observed by Paul. Yet this is not to say that Paul’s purposes in seeing these mimetic relationships are exhausted by this deliberate anticipation, as if the observation of a mimetic correspondence was an end in itself. On the contrary, in light of the apostolic kerygma, Paul is able to see “types” that for him ultimately serve parenetic pedagogical ends. Thus, for Paul, the purpose for which the mimetic relationship between events has been deliberately forged by God within the bounds of his divine economy is pedagogical. Both 1 Corinthians 10:6 (“so that they might not desire evil things”) and 10:11 (“as a warning for us”) make this clear.116 The pedagogical value of a given “type” within scripture consists of an instance of iconic mimesis between two (or more) complexes, yet the arrival of the second complex does not annihilate the first, but rather supplies both complexes with a surplus of meaning by virtue of the resonance between them. The past event had significance before, but now both it and the present have an enhanced meaning that was not observable prior to the arrival of the second event. In this way, Paul once again stresses a specific hermeneutical priority of the present (the present has enhanced meaning) with his metaphorical application of tu,poj language, but does not deny the validity of a generic contemporizing hermeneutic for those living in the pre–Christ event age. In summary, the past-tense, people–event complexes recorded in the scriptures had meaning for those who lived in the pre-Christ era, yet their full significance was not available to those of that age. It is only by virtue of the guiding presence of the apostolic kerygma that the mimetic relationship between past and present can be observed to be “deliberately anticipatory” and metaphorically labeled as a “type” (tu,poj) in a post hoc fashion by Paul. Thus, when speaking about how Paul generates his scriptural interpretation, to speak, as many scholars do, of “typology” is misguided. Yet the post hoc identification of these mimetic relationships by Paul allows their full significance to emerge in light of their most profound purpose: they are above all pedagogical instructions for those living in the post-Christ era. 116

In this regard, DiMattei, “Biblical Narratives,” 59–93, is correct. Where I think DiMattei goes astray is in choosing between pedagogical exempla and a contextually determined concept of mimesis linking providentially foreordained events, which is to embrace a false dichotomy.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


Allegory and the Apostolic Kerygma Galatians 4:21-31 We now come to one of the most interesting and undoubtedly one of the most notoriously contentious uses of scripture in the Pauline corpus—the so-called Sarah–Hagar allegory in Galatians 4:21-31. Nothing approaching a full exegesis of this controversial passage can be attempted here;117 our focus will be carefully circumscribed, detailing only how Paul’s explicit statements and interpretative maneuvers in Galatians 4:21-31 directly contribute to our understanding of Paul’s hermeneutic. Paul explains his interpretation of the Sarah–Hagar story in Galatians 4:24 with the words, “which things are being expressed allegorically” (a[tina, evstin avllhgorou,mena), and much of the debate centers around Paul’s use of the verb avllhgore,w to describe his interaction with the scriptural narrative.118 Ancient expositors such as Origen justified their own allegorical interpretative practices by appealing to Paul’s alleged allegorical reading of the Genesis narrative in precisely this passage;119 on the other hand, other ancient exegetes, such as Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia objected, claiming that although Paul uses the verb avllhgore,w here, he in actuality respects the “narrative sequence” (i`stori,a) of the text and does not violate it by introducing foreign elements according to an alien hypothesis. Rather, Paul simply looks on the text from a “holistic vantage point” (qewri,a) to bring out the true significance of the “narrative sequence” (i`stori,a).120 I will argue that Origen, the Antiochenes, and most modern interpreters who follow in their interpretative wake have come at this passage with the wrong question in mind. The appropriate question is not: Does Paul use an allegorical or a “typological” 117

Of course, we are not lacking in interpretative proposals regarding Gal 4:21-31. For bibliography, apart from the literature cited below, see Longenecker, Galatians, 197, and Martinus de Boer, “Paul’s Quotation of Isaiah 54.1 in Galatians 4.27,” NTS 50 (2004): 370–89, esp. 372 n. 8. 118 For an expanded explanation and defense of this translation, and for definitions and theoretical treatments of avllhgore,w in antiquity, see the subsequent analysis. 119 For example, Origen Comm. Jo. 20.74; Comm. Rom. 2.13.19; Cels. 2.3; Philoc. 1.13; Fr. 1 Cor. 35 (text in Claude Jenkins, “Origen on I Corinthians. III,” JTS 9 [1908]: 500–514, here 503–4). 120 For example, Diodore of Tarsus Comm. Ps. Praef.; Comm. Ps. Praef. Ps. 118; Theodore of Mopsuestia Comm. Gal. ad 4:21–31 (for a convenient English translation of all three of the above, see Karlfried Froehlich, ed. and trans., Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984], 82–103). Special caution must be exercised regarding Antiochene use of the term i`stori,a, which I have rendered “narrative sequence” rather than “history” or “historical substance” (contra Froehlich) in order to ward against modernist notions of referentiality—see Young, Biblical Exegesis, 168.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

method in his exegesis of Genesis 16–21?—which presumes that these are generative methods for Paul in Galatians 4:21-31. Rather, a better question is: How did Paul use the scriptures to obtain the end to which he is arguing in Galatians 4:21-31 in the first place? And furthermore, how does his interaction with Genesis 16–21 help him get to this end? The Rhetoric of Allegory A Preliminary Statement As was intimated in the previous discussion regarding the position of invention (inventio) and expression (elocutio) in the rhetorical process, it is prima facie unlikely that Paul read Genesis 16–21 using a trope such as allegory in a fundamentally generative fashion, but rather that he was driven to this text on other grounds (here, almost certainly in light of his opponents’ use of this same text), and consequently preselected it for incorporation into his letter as part of the inventio process prior to elocutio (at which time the best trope would have been selected) and before the drafting of the letter by the amanuensis.121 Thus, I will argue that Paul is not so much using “principles of allegorical exegesis” to stimulate an exposition of the story of Sarah and Hagar in Genesis 16–21, as he is presuming conclusions gained with relative independence from the precise details of the Sarah and Hagar story in light of his kerygmatic reading of Isaiah 54:1. Then, in light of these conclusions, Paul identifies divinely arranged points of mimesis between the scriptural text of Genesis 16–21 and the Galatian situation, and chooses to express this mimesis through the rhetorical trope of allegory—a symbolic, rather than an iconic, mode of interpretative discourse—because allegory is more suitable for his rhetorical strategy. He does this in order to make a persuasive argument for his audience toward those independently obtained conclusions—and all this while he is simultaneously seeking to undermine his opponents. In short, Paul’s use of the term avllhgore,w in Galatians 4:24 is a rhetorical trope used to indicate compactly and concisely certain points of imitation that he has identified between text and present circumstance, more than a fundamentally generative method. Although I deliberately place more weight on allegory as a compositional technique, because I think this corresponds to where Paul himself places the emphasis, I want to distance myself from the position of those such as Jon Whitman and R. Dean Anderson Jr., who draw a sharp distinction between allegory as a compositional rhetorical device and 121


Gal 6:11 makes it highly probable that an amanuensis was used for this particular

Figuration and the Divine Economy


allegory as an interpretative approach.122 Whether used as a compositional rhetorical trope or as an interpretative reading method in which the trope is identified, the allegorical mode employs an alien code to invest the linguistic tokens with an alternative meaning than that which is supplied by the host text (here Gen 16–21) by substitutions predicated on points of imitation. Since the alien code is always present before the encounter with the host text, a certain amount of eisegesis is inevitable when allegory is utilized with respect to the host text. In other words, allegory can never be the most primal interpretative move with respect to the host text; the alien code always precedes it. Whether one is construing allegorically when reading a trope or composing an allegorical trope, the real question is: Where did the alien code come from and how “alien” is it ultimately with respect to the host text?123 Here, as I shall argue, the alien code that Paul brings to Genesis 16–21 derives from many sources: personal experience, the received hermeneutical guidance of the kerygma, his reading of Isaiah 54:1 (and context) in light of this received kerygma, and certain happenings in Galatia. Ultimately, Paul sees this “alien code” as divinely arranged, and as such it is no less God-given than the scriptures of Genesis 16–21 themselves. Paul’s Hermeneutical Logic in Galatians 4:21-31 In the interest of space, rather than providing a full discussion, I will simply put forward my own step-by-step, hypothetical reconstruction of how Paul generated his scriptural interpretation in Galatians 4:21-31—a reconstruction that I will argue best explains the process by which Paul came to express his reading of the Sarah–Hagar material in allegorical form. (1) Paul surprisingly experienced grace when he encountered Jesus, and this apart from performance of the works of the law (Gal 1:15-16; Phil 3:9). (2) Paul received and accepted a hermeneutic grounded in the core apostolic kerygma, into which he grafted his own mission to the Gentiles by extension.124 122 Jon Whitman, Allegory: The Dynamics of an Ancient and Medieval Technique (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987), 3–4; Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical Theory, 177–78. 123 Here I am drawing mainly upon John J. O’Keefe and R. R. Reno, Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), 89–113. They helpfully summarize as follows: “The allegorical interpretation treats the literal sense as a map by which to navigate into the reality for which the text is an ‘other speak’” (99). See Young, Biblical Exegesis, 190, for further considerations regarding the unsuitability of a divide between allegory as a rhetorical device and allegory as an interpretative technique. 124 1 Cor 15:1-11; Rom 1:1-6; see ch. 2.


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(3) Paul preached the gospel to Gentiles, including the Galatians, and they received the Spirit, also apart from performance of the works of the law or undertaking circumcision (Gal 3:2). (4) Paul reasoned on the basis of this experience of the Spirit that the Gentiles had received the blessing promised to them via God’s promise to Abraham/Isaac as is expressed in Genesis 12–22, and this also apart from performance of the works of the law or circumcision (Gal 3:6-14). (5) However, subsequent to his leaving Galatia, opponents infiltrated his church, arguing on the basis of Genesis 16–21 that the Galatians as Gentiles are in effect Ishmaelites, that is, “children of Hagar,” not Isaac,125 and therefore they can only enter into the promises made to Isaac by taking on the full gamut of the law’s requirements, especially circumcision as the most basic covenant marker. Yet, Paul knows that his opponents are wrong about this because of points 1–4, quite apart (at least initially) from the particular details of the story of Sarah and Hagar invoked in Galatians 4:2131. That is, Paul knows that the Galatians are already “children of Isaac,” rather than Hagar, on the basis of presently experienced eschatological realities, preeminently because they have received the Spirit, the blessing promised to them through Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 12–22. (6) I propose that Paul does not begin from Genesis 16–21 in Galatians 4:21-31, but from the apostolic kerygma—preeminently from the “Christ died in behalf of our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3) and from the extension of the kerygma to include the Pauline mission. According to Isaiah, Jerusalem/Zion was divorced/exiled on account of her sins;126 accordingly, for Paul, it is the work of the Isaianic 125 There is a fairly uniform agreement among recent scholarship that Paul is not just responding to his opponents in a general fashion here, but to a competing scriptural exegesis put forward by his opponents, a point on which I am in firm agreement—see e.g., C. K. Barrett, “The Allegory of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar in the Argument of Galatians,” in Rechtfertigung: Festschrift für Ernst Käsemann zum 70, Geburtstag, ed. Johannes Friedrich, Wolfgang Pöhlmann, and Peter Stuhlmacher (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1976), 1–16; James D. G. Dunn, The Epistle to the Galatians, BNTC (London: A&C Black, 1993), 243; Martyn, Galatians, 434–36; de Boer, “Paul’s Quotation,” 384–86; contra Steven DiMattei, “Paul’s Allegory of the Two Covenants (Gal 4.21-31) in Light of First-Century Hellenistic Rhetoric and Jewish Hermeneutics,” NTS 52 (2006): 102–22, here 119 n. 61. As evidence, consider that “the slave girl” and “the free woman” do not need to be introduced or otherwise explained by Paul, which suggests that Paul knows all too well that his audience is familiar with these stories. See also Paul’s remark in Gal 4:31: “Therefore brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman”—which suggests that Paul’s opponents were arguing that uncircumcised Gentiles were “children of Hagar,” and that Paul desires to turn the tables on his opponents through his exegesis. 126 On the divorce of Zion/Jerusalem, see e.g., Isa 49:14 LXX: But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me”; Isa 50:1 LXX: “Thus says the Lord: Of what

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servant127 that has moved Jerusalem from the status of a barren, exiled divorcee to that of a fecund, “having returned” wife, who is now fruitful, due to her reunification with her husband (Isa 54:1-10 LXX; cf. 60:4; 62:4-5).128 (7) Hence, from the “in behalf of our sins” in the kerygma (cf. 1 Cor 15:3 with Isa 53:4-12 passim), Paul moves quite naturally to Isaiah 54:1, an oracle that opens rather abruptly just subsequent to the announcement of the sin-bearing function of the servant in Isaiah 53:4-12,129 and that (I believe) not uncoincidentally stands at the center of the Sarah– Hagar allegory.130 Paul realizes that in light of the work of the servant, as kind was your mother’s divorce certificate by which I divorced her? Or to which creditor have I sold you? Look, for your sins you were sold, and for your lawless deeds I divorced your mother.” 127 Isa 53:4-6 LXX: “This person bears our sins and suffers for us, and we accounted him to be in pain and calamity and mistreatment. But he was wounded because of our lawless deeds and has been crushed because of our sins; the chastisement causing our peace was upon him; by his bruising we were healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; each person has strayed from his own path, and the Lord handed him over for our sins”; Isa 53:8c LXX: “because of the lawless deeds of my people he was led away for death”; Isa 53:11d LXX: “and he will bear their sins”; Isa 53:12c LXX: “and he bore the sins of many, and he was handed over on account of their sins.” 128 My proposal here is very close to that of Joel Willitts, “Isa 54,1 in Gal 4,24b-27: Reading Genesis in Light of Isaiah,” ZNW 96 (2005): 188–210. Willitts, 192–97, stresses that a shift in Jerusalem’s status is primarily in view, predicated upon the redemptive-historical story of Israel. Moreover Willitts correctly argues that Paul’s interpretation of Gen 16–21 presumes an ancillary exegesis of Isa 54:1, which does not serve as proof to support the allegory, but rather, it provides the stimulus that generates Paul’s interaction with Gen 16–21. However, my proposal differs from Willitts’ excellent article in several ways: (1) Willitts uses the MT, rather than the LXX, as the basis for his study of Isa 54:1-10 in Paul (see his rather puzzling defense of this move on 192 n. 13); (2) Willitts does not link the transformed status of Jerusalem/Zion in Isa 54:1 to the sin-bearing function of the servant of Isa 53; (3) Willitts does not identify the kerygma as the ultimate generative force standing behind even Isa 54:1; (4) Willitts does not draw upon the centrality of Isa 54:1 in the earliest church apart from any connection to the Sarah–Hagar narrative as evidence. 129 It is possible, as de Boer, “Paul’s Quotation,” 386–87, has suggested and DiMattei, “Paul’s Allegory,” 114–20, has argued, that Paul was attracted to Isa 54:1 as the haftarah of Gen 16 for the Palestinian reading cycle of the Torah in the synagogue, but the evidence for this is late and quite uncertain. Yet, even if Paul was drawn to Isa 54:1 through the haftarah, it does not follow, as DiMattei asserts, that “there is nothing here in Paul’s exegetical method that could be labeled as non-Jewish” (DiMattei, “Paul’s Allegory,” 117). Although, of course, Paul’s hermeneutical method overlaps in many ways with his fellow Jews, Paul’s own statements suggest, on the contrary, that the Christian kerygma stands at the center of his hermeneutical efforts. Along with that kerygma, Paul embraces a reshaped vision of how he and his audience fit into the divine economy that does not comport with some Jewish interpretative assumptions. Evidence will be presented as the discussion unfolds. 130 An examination of the use of Isa 54:1 elsewhere in the earliest church through Irenaeus lends plausibility to the notion that this text may have captured Paul’s attention quite apart from any initial rooting in the Sarah–Hagar narrative or in the haftarah (see ch. 3 n. 129). In fact, Isa 54:1 is cited five times in the early church through the time of Irenaeus by three different authors—and in none of these cases is direct dependence on Paul likely (i.e.,


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

reflected in the apostolic kerygma, the “Jerusalem” mentioned in Isaiah 54:1 has already been liberated from her sin, and is now producing offspring, that is, Jews and Gentiles who are proclaiming Jesus as Lord (cf. Isa 54:3 LXX). In fact, just as Isaiah prophesied, the Gentiles are flocking to this “Jerusalem.”131 However, this “Jerusalem” cannot correspond to the earthly “Jerusalem” of Paul’s own day and age, since that “Jerusalem” has by and large rejected the new covenant and thus still remains enslaved to sin and under the curses of the old covenant. There must therefore be an eschatologically liberated, archetypical Jerusalem “above,” as referenced in Isaiah 54:1, that is in existence in the heavenly realm in his own day and age, with respect to which the earthly Jerusalem is a presently enslaved copy.132 In short, for Paul, there are numerous points of mimesis between they are probably co-texts). Moreover, in nary an instance is Isa 54:1 cited in connection with the Sarah–Hagar story; rather, the emphasis is on the manner in which Gentiles would come to outnumber the Jews among God’s people, and we might presume hermeneutical continuity in this regard for Paul. This lends additional credibility to the idea that Isa 54:1 is more primal to Paul’s hermeneutical logic than the Sarah–Hagar narrative that surrounds it. The five texts are Justin 1 Apol. 53.5; Dial. 13.8; 2 Clem. 2.1; Irenaeus Haer. 1.10.3; Epid. 94. Justin Dial. 13.8 (which is part of a long LXX citation) and Irenaeus Haer. 1.10.3 are quite clearly independent from Paul and are not really debated. One cannot be absolutely certain that none of the others depend directly upon Gal 4:27, since Paul’s Vorlage, the LXX, and the Vorlagen of all these texts are in basic agreement (see chart in Skarsaune, Proof from Prophecy, 119). However, most of the source-critical studies lean in the direction of independence, since none of these other early Christian authors apply Isa 54:1 in quite the same manner as Paul, and I would concur with this decision, with the caveat that indirect influence cannot be ruled out. For source-critical studies affirming the assessment of independence with regard to 1 Apol. 53.5 and 2 Clem. 2.1, see: J. B. Lightfoot, ed. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers, 2nd ed. (repr., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 1.2.14; Andreas Lindemann, Paulus im ältesten Christentum, BHT 58 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1979), 268; Andrew F. Gregory and Christopher M. Tuckett, “2 Clement and the Writings That Later Formed the New Testament,” in The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, ed. Andrew F. Gregory and Christopher M. Tuckett (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 251–92, here 285–86. For contrary opinions, see Albert E. Barnett, Paul Becomes a Literary Influence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941), 215–16 (N.b., however, Barnett is prone to see Paul’s influence everywhere), and Karl P. Donfried, The Setting of Second Clement in Early Christianity, NovTSup 38 (Leiden: Brill, 1974), 82–88, 107–10, 192–200. Skarsaune, Proof from Prophecy, 119, favors a common tradition for 2 Clem. 2.1 and 1 Apol. 53.5 and affirms that “Galatians was not Justin’s only source for this testimony.” However, Skarsaune seems to think that Paul may have had some influence, probably indirectly in the formation of the extract collection, which Justin came to use. 131 For example, Isa 2:2-4; 25:5-7; 49:6; 55:5; 56:6-7. 132 Longenecker, Galatians, 213–15, provides a plethora of primary source texts that collectively demonstrate that the concept of a “Jerusalem above” or a “heavenly Jerusalem” was widespread among Jews of the Second Temple and early rabbinic period (1 Enoch 53.6; 90.28–29; 2 Enoch 55.2; 4 Ezra 7:26; 8:52; 10:25–28; 2 Bar. 4.1–6; 32.2–4; 1QM 12.1–2; 4QShirShab; Gen. Rab. 55.7; 69.7; Num. Rab. 4.13; Midr. Pss. 30.1; 122.4; Cant. Rab. 3.10; 4.4; Pesiq. R. 40.6). This perspective is also reflected in a diverse array of early Christian literature (e.g., Heb 11:10, 14-16; 12:22; 13:14; Rev 3:12; 21:2; Herm. 50.1; Irenaeus Epid. 83). Thus, Paul is by no means alone in this supposition.

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Isaiah 54:1 in context and the happenings in Galatia. Points 1 through 7 essentially constitute the “alien code” that Paul brings to the “host text” (Gen 16–21) in his employment of the allegorical trope. (8) In light of these conclusions, which have essentially been gained independently from the specific details of Genesis 16–21 pertaining to Sarah and Hagar, Paul then sees (when looking through the alien code) additional points of mimesis between the events articulated in Genesis 16–21 and the eschatological realities of the present situation in Galatia. For example, Sarah’s barrenness was changed to fertility through the promise in much the same way that the condition of “Jerusalem” has changed in Isaiah 54:1.133 Moreover, as was noted in the discussion of types, we have every reason to believe that Paul understands these points of mimesis to have been deliberately arranged by God within the bounds of the divine economy to serve pedagogical “ends” regarding appropriate behavior. (9) Yet, in this case, the mimesis that Paul observes through the alien code bridges not just past-tense events, but spatiotemporal and cosmological realms as well. Sarah is linked to the new covenant and the heavenly Jerusalem, and Hagar is connected to the old covenant and the earthly Jerusalem. In addition, the persecution of Isaac at the hands of Ishmael finds a deliberately anticipatory imitative link to the harassment the Galatian congregation is experiencing via Paul’s opponents, and the proper response to the harassment should be the same in both cases—expulsion. (10) Finally, Paul expresses all of these mimetic correspondences, which he believes have been deliberately placed in the scriptures by its divine author, through a well-known rhetorical trope—an allegory.134 133

Compare Isa 51:1-3 LXX, which links Sarah and Jerusalem, further encouraging this move in 54:1. 134 Ancient rhetoricians treat avllhgori,a as a trope, and hence as part of the subsequent step in the rhetorical compositional process of elocutio, rather than the first step of inventio (on which see the beginning of this chapter). The trope is variously explained. For example, Trypho, De tropis 1.1, states: “Allegory is a manner of speech which on the one hand manifests something in the normal sense, but on the other hand presents the thought [or ‘mind’] of a different thing” (VAllhgori,a evsti. fra,sij e[teron me,n ti kuri,wj dhlou/sa( e`te,rou de. e;nnoian paristw/sa). Cicero, De or. 3.166–67, describes what most other ancient rhetoricians label “allegory” (inversio) under the rubric of metaphor, providing this description (trans. Rackham, LCL): “But there is no mode of speech more effective in the case of single words, and none that adds more brilliance to the style; for from this class of expression comes a development not consisting in the metaphorical use of a single word but in a chain of words linked together, so that something other than what is said must be understood [ut aliud dicatur, aliud intellegendum sit] . . . [specific examples follow].” Cicero goes on to clarify: “In this type a similar circumstance is selected, and the words proper to that circumstance are, as I have said, transferred to another, in succession.” Meanwhile, Heraclitus All. 5.2, although not a rhetorical work, gives


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Expanding on the Rhetoric of Allegory Who is ultimately responsible for the presence of the allegory in Genesis 16–21, Paul or the divine author? I submit that both are involved. Paul uses the phrase a[tina, evstin avllhgorou,mena in Galatians 4:24, which should be translated “which things are being expressed allegorically [by the divine author and by me]” rather than “these things are being interpreted allegorically [by me].”135 That is to say, the divine author of the scriptures is the one who Paul affirms to have spoken the allegory—it is not just a matter of personal interpretation by Paul; the allegory has in some way been placed in the text and world by God himself. In light of this, I would like to advance a new proposal. As was discussed at the beginning of this chapter, within ancient language theory, the true “meaning” behind any given set of linguistic signs was thought to be prior to and separate from and more important than the precise verbal expression, and I believe this is the key to understanding Paul’s intention in Galatians 4:24. Hence, I would posit that when Paul says a[tina, evstin avllhgorou,mena (“which things are being expressed allegorically”), he is thereby asserting that the divine author is truly responsible for speaking the allegory, but only the portion of the allegory that Paul and his ancient audience would have deemed to be vital, that is, its “underlying meaning.”136 For Paul, God has the following definition: “For the trope which speaks certain things but signifies other things is called ‘allegory’ by name” (~O ga.r a;lla me.n avgoreu,wn tro,poj( e[tera de. w-n le,gei shmai,nwn( evpwnu,mwj avllhgori,a kalei/tai—Greek text per Donald A. Russell and David Konstan, ed. and trans., Heraclitus: Homeric Problems, SBLWGRW 14 [Atlanta: SBL, 2005]). Quintilian’s division of the trope allegoria or inversio into several subspecies of tropes is common (Inst. 8.6.44– 59, esp. 44–54). See, e.g., Philodemus Rhet. 1.164 and 1.181 (dividing avllhgori,a into ai;nigma [“riddle”], paroimi,a [“proverb”], and eivrwnei,a [“irony”]—per R. Dean Anderson Jr., Glossary of Greek Rhetorical Terms Connected to Methods of Argumentation, Figures and Tropes from Anaximenes to Quintilian, CBET 24 [Leuven: Peeters, 2000], 15). For additional definitions, see Rhet. ad Her. 4.34.46 (on permutatio); Aristotle Rhet. 3.11.6–10; Ps-Demetrius Eloc. 99–102. 135 Here I side in part with DiMattei, “Paul’s Allegory,” 106–9 and Anderson Jr., Ancient Rhetorical Theory, 177–78, who convincingly demonstrate that the proper translation of a[tina, evstin avllhgorou,mena is “expressed/spoken allegorically [by the divine author]” rather than merely “interpreted allegorically [by the reader]” (contra Longenecker, Galatians, 208; Hays, Echoes, 113; and Dunn, Galatians, 247). Yet I go beyond DiMattei and Anderson in claiming that Paul sees the divine author as supplying the interior meaning but not the exact verba. 136 Robert M. Grant, The Letter and the Spirit (New York: Macmillan, 1957), 5, 13–14, presents firm evidence that within the bounds of ancient theories of inspiration, the gods were thought (at least by some such as Democritus and Plutarch) to supply the image to the inspired speaker, but the inspired speaker was believed to provide the artistic linguistic form in which the image was subsequently articulated. For example, for Plutarch, the god does not supply the inspired poetess with the utterance, diction, or meter, but rather the god “puts into her mind only the visions [fantasi,a], and creates a light in her soul in regard to the future” (Pyth. orac. 7 [397c]—trans. Babbitt, LCL). Compare Dio Chrysostom Or. 36.1. See ch. 4 for fuller discussion.

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deliberately orchestrated the “underlying meaning” of the allegory—that is, God has deliberately and foresightfully arranged the numerous points of mimesis between the host text (i.e., Gen 16–21) and the current, onthe-ground realities in Galatia—points of mimesis viewed through the alien code.137 Yet Paul himself is responsible for the decision to clothe that “underlying meaning” with the allegorical trope. Hence, for an expanded paraphrase of “which things are being expressed allegorically [a[tina, evstin avllhgorou,mena]” (Gal 4:24), I would suggest the following: I, Paul, have selected the trope of allegory in order to best articulate to you Galatians the underlying meaning of certain points of imitation between the texts of Genesis 16–21, Isaiah 54:1, and our present situation; these points of mimesis have been thoughtfully arranged by God himself, not supplied merely through my interpretative capacities; however, I myself have chosen to convey this mimesis through an allegorical trope.138

In other words, Paul hypothetically could have remained faithful to the divinely embedded underlying meaning of Genesis 16–21, while selecting an entirely different rhetorical trope, such as the metaphorical use of eivkw,n, para,deigma, or tu,poj (or any other suitable trope), if in so doing he could have expressed the same divinely implanted mimesis between text and world when using that alternative trope.139 Paul of course did not do this, so he felt that the allegorical trope best suited his purposes in communicating the underlying points of mimesis. What advantages might the allegorical trope have offered? I can only make reasoned speculations.

137 I am convinced that if Paul reflected upon the matter in his exegesis here, which I doubt that he consciously did, Paul would have viewed the “alien code” as divinely sanctioned and hence not truly “alien” or inappropriate. For Paul, God is sovereign over past-tense events, the inscripturation of those events, and the present-tense realities in such a way that the past deliberately anticipates the present in order to provide ethical guidance for those living in the post–Christ event era. In short Paul believes in a divine economy. 138 See ch. 4 on divine/human roles in content/expression in inspired composition in antiquity. 139 Hence, the long-standing debate over whether Paul is in actuality using an allegorical or a “typological” approach in Gal 4:21-31 misses the point, inasmuch as the words (the linguistic symbols) were conceived of as secondary clothing, the purpose of which was to house the more fundamental “idea” (actual referent). Within the bounds of Greco-Roman semiotics, either the allegorical trope or a metaphorical trope using “type” or “image” language, or any other suitable trope could have been employed in principle by Paul in order to articulate the same divinely supplied underlying meaning.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Why the Allegorical Trope? If, as I have argued, the foundation of Paul’s exegesis in Galatians 4:21-31 is the identification of mimesis between past textual and present extratextual occurrences, and several tropes could have potentially been selected, then why the allegorical trope? An allegory would seem to be an effective rhetorical vehicle for carrying Paul’s point for several reasons. First and foremost, the “that” is “this” feature of the allegorical trope allows Paul to compactly and conveniently express the numerous points of mimesis that he has observed in short compass.140 I submit that a prime motivation for Paul’s use of allegory as a rhetorical trope here was the brevity it afforded. Second, the allegorical trope stylistically and topically fronted the very “law” that was so highly regarded by his opponents and their sympathizers in Galatia, while still allowing Paul to place Isaiah 54:1 (which was decisive for Paul) at the center of his interpretation.141 Third, allegory has persuasive appeal, because it tacitly compliments the listener/reader. As Aristotle notes in Rhetorica 3.11.6–7, clever metaphors that “speak otherwise” (le,gein a;llwj; cf. avllhgori,a etymologically understood) introduce a moment of confusion, leading the listener to say upon discovering the solution, “How true, but I missed it.” In other words, an allegory has the pleasing rhetorical effect of making the listener/reader feel smart, because the speaker/author has silently expressed confidence that the listener/reader is competent to track the point without having everything laid out in a tidy fashion;142 moreover, the listener/reader is led to even greater confidence in the speaker/author, who must indeed be clever if he or she is able to craft and present this sort of puzzle effectively. Ps-Demetrius likewise states, regarding the use of allegory: For everything which must be conjectured is more alarming, and different people surmise different things; but on the other hand if something is clear and obvious, it is likely to be scorned, just as people who have been stripped [of their clothes]. For this reason, indeed, the mysteries are 140

Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, has convincingly demonstrated that Paul sometimes modifies his Vorlagen for the sake of concision, which enhances the probability that pithiness may be a crucial motivation as Paul applies the scriptures here (see Stanley’s summary on 262–63). As examples, Stanley gives Rom 3:10-12; 9:25, 33; 10:6-8; 11:3; 1 Cor 1:31; 14:21. 141 On the preeminence of the law for his opponents and their sympathizers, consider Gal 4:21: “Tell me, you who are desiring to be under the law, do you not hear the law?” 142 Compare Theophrastus Eloc. 4.222: “It is not necessary to elaborate all things further in an exact manner, but to leave some things also to be understood by the listener and to be reckoned by him . . . for he appears intelligent to himself on account of your affording him an occasion to understand; but to say all things to the listener is to treat him as a condemned fool” (my translation from the Greek text, as cited in Betz, Galatians, 420).

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spoken in allegories in order to promote astonishment and shivering, just as [they are spoken] in the darkness and in the night. Moreover allegory is like “in the darkness” and “in the night.” However the continual perpetuation of allegory must be safeguarded against, lest speech become a riddle to us. (Eloc. 2.100–102)

In other words, allegory causes a dislocating sense of wonder in the listener, akin to fear, putting them in a condition conducive to the reception of the mimesis that the speaker/author is attempting to convey by using the allegorical trope. And although it is probably unlikely that Paul would have been aware of any of the theoretical discourse regarding allegory found in the rhetorical handbooks, it is not unlikely that he would have intuitively sensed that the allegorical trope offered him “dislocating” and “complimentary” rhetorical advantages. From Mimesis to Allegorical Trope via the Apostolic Kerygma In summary, the use of an allegory to express symbolically the mimetic correspondence between certain past-tense events inscripturated in Genesis 16–21 and present-tense events (and earthly/cosmic realities) pertaining to the Galatians comes at the tail end of a process for Paul—a process that involved personal experience, opponents, kerygma, other scriptures, identification of past-tense and cosmological points of mimesis within the divine economy, and an inventive literary process in service of his rhetorical needs. Isaiah 54:1, which was probably interpreted kerygmatically in light of the narrative movement from Isaiah 53–54, was particularly crucial to Paul. As such, the allegorical presentation of Genesis 16–21 in Galatians 4:21-31 is not a first-order generative technique, but a post hoc way of rhetorically expressing the specific points of imitation that he believes the divine author has instituted between certain textual events and contemporary happenings. This mimesis between text (Gen 16–21) and world (Galatian and cosmological realities), as perceived via the “alien code,” was understood by Paul as divinely expressed and arranged, whereas the allegorical trope was selected by Paul because he viewed it as the most suitable rhetorical vehicle at his disposal for connecting that divinely authored underlying meaning with the current situation. As in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, the mimesis observed is between past events and present realities, but unlike 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, the mimesis is symbolic (i.e., it uses an overt intervening “alien code” to forge substitutions), rather than iconic, and extends beyond past-tense events with respect to the present-tense pole and comes to rest, at least in part, on


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

cosmological realities (the Jerusalem above). Identification of mimesis between earthly and heavenly realities is not unique to Paul’s hermeneutic, but is also on display elsewhere in the New Testament and early Christian literature, most notably in Hebrews (cf. Heb 8:5; 9:24). As such, contrary to much scholarly sentiment, Paul neither uses so-called “typology” nor allegory to generate new scriptural interpretations; rather, in light of the received apostolic kerygma, Paul is able to see points of imitation between his present circumstances and the scriptures, clothing these observations with suitable tropes, such as the “type” metaphor and allegory.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of the Veil 2 Corinthians 3:1–4:6 Thus far in this chapter, we have explored the process of invention and expression within ancient composition. The key results are that the initial selection of scriptural quotations was generally part of inventio, and that these quotations were subsequently given appropriate literary dress during elocutio through the selection of appropriate tropes, such as allegory and metaphor. Moreover, in numerous places in his corpus, Paul explicitly acknowledges a providentially arranged divine economy that he divides into three discrete eras, each of which has its own hermeneutical significance. As an interpreter living in the post–Christ era, Paul believes that the scriptures speak to those of every age in a general way, but especially to those who live in the post–Christ event era. In fact, within the framework of the divine economy, God causes certain events to happen, events that are simultaneously both past tense and inscripturated. As seen through the lens of the kerygma, these events deliberately anticipate present eschatological realities, and Paul uses tu,poj language as a metaphor and the trope of allegory as effective rhetorical tools to communicate this point. Now we turn to a passage that has been widely regarded by modern scholars as the Pauline hermeneutical statement par excellence, 2 Corinthians 3:1–4:6. Obviously, a full exegesis of this passage, with its myriad of exegetical puzzles, cannot be attempted within the confines of this section.143 The following analysis attempts to stay firmly fixed on the hermeneutical implications that derive from an exegesis of the text. 143 For a full bibliography, see Linda L. Belleville, Reflections of Glory: Paul’s Polemical Use of the Moses-Doxa Tradition in 2 Corinthians 3.1-18, JSNTSup 52 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991), 306–27. However, numerous valuable contributions have subsequently appeared, including Riemer Roukema, “The Veil over Moses’ Face in Patristic Interpretation,” in Interpretation of Exodus: Studies in Honour of Cornelis Houtman, ed. L. J. Lietaert

Figuration and the Divine Economy


“The Letter Kills” Moving beyond the Literal Within the early church, 2 Corinthians 3:6b “for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life” (to. ga.r gra,mma avpokte,nnei( to. de. pneu/ma zw|opoiei/), was understood by some as the most crucial hermeneutical statement in the Pauline corpus, if not in the whole of the scriptures. For many ancient expositors, giving attention to the bare letter of scripture alone (i.e., the “literal sense”) was thought to lead to a hermeneutical death—if not also to a more fearsome eternal demise—whereas unpacking the “spiritual sense” brought life for the expositor and his audience.144 For example, the letter/spirit antithesis is on display in Origen: Peerbolte, R. Roukema, K. Spronk, and J. W. Wesselius (Leuven: Peeters, 2006), 237–52; Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 281–98; Paul B. Duff, “Glory in the Ministry of Death: Gentile Condemnation and Letters of Recommendation in 2 Cor 3:6-18,” NovT 46 (2004): 313–37; William J. Dumbrell, “The Newness of the New Covenant: The Logic of the Argument in 2 Corinthians 3,” Reformed Theological Review 61 (2002): 61–84; William R. Baker, “Did the Glory of Moses’ Face Fade? A Reexamination of katarge,w in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18,” BBR 10 (2000): 1–15; Sigurd Grindheim, “The Law Kills but the Gospel Gives Life: The Letter-Spirit Dualism in 2 Corinthians 3.5-18,” JSNT (2001): 97–115; A. G. Shead, “The New Covenant and Pauline Hermeneutics,” in The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul’s Mission: In Honour of Peter T. O’Brien, ed. Peter Bolt and Mark Thompson (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000), 33–49; Jens Schröter, “Schriftauslegung und Hermeneutik in 2 Korinther 3. Ein Beitrag zur Frage der Schriftbenutzung des Paulus,” NovT 40 (1998): 231–75; Karl Kertelge, “Buchstabe und Geist nach 2 Kor 3,” in Paul and the Mosaic Law, ed. James D. G. Dunn (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1996), 117–30; Scott J. Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History of Israel: The Letter/Spirit Contrast and the Argument from Scripture in 2 Corinthians 3 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1995; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996); J. Lebourlier, “L’Ancien Testament, miroir de la gloire du Seigneur Jésus. Une lecture du chapitre 3 de la deuxième Épître aux Corinthiens,” BLE 97 (1996): 321–29; Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew, 97–105; Carol K. Stockhausen, “2 Corinthians 3 and the Principles of Pauline Exegesis,” in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, JSNTSup 83 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 143–64; Linda L. Belleville, “Tradition or Creation? Paul’s Use of the Exodus 34 Tradition in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18,” in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, JSNTSup 83 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), 165–86; Scott J. Hafemann, “The Glory and Veil of Moses in 2 Cor 3:7-14: An Example of Paul’s Contextual Exegesis of the OT—A Proposal,” HBT 14 (1992): 31–49; Carol K. Stockhausen, Moses’ Veil and the Glory of the New Covenant, AnBib 116 (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1989). 144 For example, Origen Princ. 4.1.6; Cels. 7.20 (GCS 3.171–72; PG 11.1449); Athanasius First Epistle to Serapion 8 (PG 26.549); Didymus the Blind The Holy Spirit 57 (PG 39.1081); Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius 3.5 (PG 45.741–45); Augustine Doctr. chr. 3.5 (PL 34.69); et al. I am dependent here on Bernardin Schneider, “The Meaning of St. Paul’s Antithesis ‘the Letter and the Spirit,’” CBQ 15 (1953): 163–207, esp. 164–84, for all the references, except the first. Schneider provides excellent discussion of the hermeneutically pregnant interpretation (which he calls “formalistic”) of 2 Cor 3:6 in the early church, showing that although this mode of interpretation was adopted by some, it was rejected by Tertullian (seemingly also Marcion) and many of the (so-called) Antiochene expositors. For an excellent survey, see Roukema, “The Veil over Moses’ Face,” 237–52.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Thus when Paul says: “Our sufficiency is from God, who also has made us fit as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:5-6), by “the letter” he means that exposition of the divine scriptures which pertains to the senses, while by the “the spirit” he designates that which is proper to the understanding.145

Thus, we see that Origen has identified two modes of scriptural interpretation in 2 Corinthians 3:6b, one literal and the other spiritual. However, recent scholarship is fairly unanimous in its condemnation of ancient exegesis here—and at first glance it would appear rightly so— for gra,mma and pneu/ma do not refer to “literal” and “spiritual” modes of scriptural interpretation in 3:6b, but rather are the defining characteristics of the Mosaic covenant (written law) and the new covenant (Holy Spirit in the heart), respectively. Thus, most recent expositors dismiss the patristic hermeneutical conclusion for Paul, correctly seeing that 3:6b is not a direct hermeneutical statement contrasting literal and spiritual exegesis.146 However, as I shall argue, this dismissal is wrongheaded. In light of the programmatic function 2 Corinthians 3:6b has as the thesis statement for 3:7-18, it is a mistake to suggest that 2 Corinthians 3:6b is not hermeneutically crucial.147 Although I do not believe this point has been sufficiently 145

Origen Cels. 6.70 (GCS 3.140; PG 11.1404; trans. Schneider, “The Meaning,” 167). Compare Rom 2:28-29; 7:4-6; Gottlob Schrenk, “gra,fw( ktl,” TDNT 1:742–73, esp. 766–67; Rudolf Bultmann, The Second Letter to the Corinthians, trans. Roy A. Harrisville (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1985), 76–78; C. J. A. Hickling, “The Sequence of Thought in II Corinthians, Chapter Three,” NTS 21 (1975): 380–95, esp. 386; BDAG s.v. gra,mma def. 1; Victor P. Furnish, II Corinthians, AB 32A (Doubleday: New York, 1984), 185, 198–201; Margaret E. Thrall, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2 vols., ICC (London: T&T Clark, 1994–2000), 1.234–37; Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 271–75. Schneider, “The Meaning,” 188–207, here 207, has a particularly satisfying formulation: “gramma means the Law of Moses, particularly the Decalogue, as the merely written norm of morality of the old covenant; pneuma means the Holy Spirit, Uncreated Grace, as the internal principle of the moral life of the new covenant.” 147 On a related note Mark D. Given, “Paul and Writing,” in As It Is Written: Studying Paul’s Use of Scripture, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, SBLSymS 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2008), 237–59, sees “the letter kills but the spirit gives life” as hermeneutically crucial in a unique way. Given makes overtures toward a theory of scripture in Paul based around Derrida’s notion of logocentrism. Logocentrism privileges “speech over writing, immediacy over distance, identity over difference, and (self-) presence over all forms of absence, ambiguity, simulation, substitution, or negativity” (240, citing Jacques Derrida, Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981], 4). Given goes on to argue that Paul exhibits an apocalyptic logocentrism, and as such word, voice, and proclamation are valorized over against the written medium, since the latter lacks true transformative power. Even if Given’s analysis is sound (and I have reservations), Given’s remarks do not 146

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recognized in recent scholarship, the intended contrast by Paul between the literal (the verba) and the true meaning (the res) is carried not in the binary letter/spirit nomenclature, but all by itself in “the letter kills.” I will argue that, although 2 Corinthians 3:6b does not directly endorse spiritual exegesis over literal—as recent scholarship has correctly determined—nonetheless, the words “the letter kills” (to. gra,mma avpokte,nnei) are deliberately polyvalent, hermeneutically profound, and only able to be understood in light of 3:7-18. In short, I will argue that Origen, in the preceeding quote, was at least partially hermeneutically in tune with the “spirit” of this text, even when misconstruing “Spirit” as “spirit” and making the letter/spirit a binary contrast! The Hermeneutics of the Veil Text and Fundamental Questions For the sake of space, we will skip over the less hermeneutically pregnant contrast between the glory of the old covenant and the greater glory of the new and move directly on to 2 Corinthians 3:12-18. My translation will be defended as the argument unfolds: 12

Therefore, having such a hope, we engage in forthright communication, 13unlike Moses, who would customarily place a veil over his face in order that the sons of Israel might not gaze at the result of that which was being nullified. 14But their minds were hardened. For until this [very] day, the same veil remains when the old covenant is read, not having been removed, because [the veil] is nullified in Christ. 15But until today, whensoever Moses happens to be read, a veil lies over their hearts. 16But whensoever [any veiled interpreter] turns to the Lord [Jesus], the veil is removed. 17Now the “Lord” [just mentioned] is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord [is, there is] freedom. 18And all of us who with unveiled faces are beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory into glory, even as by the Lord, that is, by the Spirit.148 suggest that the letter/spirit dichotomy is a hermeneutical principle, but rather it speaks of the post hoc effects achieved as the inert letter or powerful word impinges on the reader or listener. My largest concern with Given’s thesis is that it rests on what I would consider to be an unsustainable antithesis between the preached word and the written scripture, which are bound together in Paul’s gospel in such as way that the written word maintains a positive function as a true witness independent from its actualization in proclamation (see my ch. 2). 148 Text (2 Cor 3:12-18): [12] :Econtej ou=n toiau,thn evlpi,da pollh/| parrhsi,a| crw,meqa [13] kai. ouv kaqa,per Mwu?sh/j evti,qei ka,lumma evpi. to. pro,swpon auvtou/ pro.j to. mh. avteni,sai tou.j ui`ou.j VIsrah.l eivj to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nouÅ [14] avlla. evpwrw,qh ta. noh,mata auvtw/nÅ a;cri ga.r th/j sh,meron h`me,raj to. auvto. ka,lumma evpi. th/| avnagnw,sei th/j palaia/j diaqh,khj me,nei( mh. avnakalupto,menon o[ti evn Cristw/| katargei/tai\ [15] avllV e[wj sh,meron h`ni,ka av .n avnaginw,skhtai


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

To get to the heart of the hermeneutical significance of this passage for Paul, there are three key questions that must be answered: (1) What does the veil hinder the reader of the “old covenant” or “Moses” from seeing that prevents that reader from having a fully adequate hermeneutic? (2) How is the veil removed, and who qualifies as an “unveiled” reader? (3) Is the veil a hermeneutical problem for the Jewish reader only, or does it extend to any unbeliever who is a reader of the old covenant? The answers to all of these questions are bound up with a multitude of interconnected exegetical decisions; I will begin to attempt to answer them by first examining the purpose of the veil.

The Purpose of the Veil

Establishing the Boundaries So, according to Paul, what is the purpose of the veil? Paul gives three relevant statements that need to be considered. First, Paul states in 3:13 that Moses would habitually149 put a veil over his face in order that “the sons of Israel might not gaze at “the end of that which was being nullified” (to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nou)—emphatically not “the end of that which was fading.”150 Second, Paul says that this “same veil” remains when the Mwu?sh/j( ka,lumma evpi. th.n kardi,an auvtw/n kei/tai\ [16] h`ni,ka de. eva.n evpistre,yh| pro.j ku,rion( periairei/tai to. ka,lummaÅ [17] o` de. ku,rioj to. pneu/ma, evstin\ ou- de. to. pneu/ma kuri,ou( evleuqeri,aÅ [18] h`mei/j de. pa,ntej avnakekalumme,nw| prosw,pw| th.n do,xan kuri,ou katoptrizo,menoi th.n auvth.n eivko,na metamorfou,meqa avpo. do,xhj eivj do,xan kaqa,per avpo. kuri,ou pneu,matojÅ 149 Customary action is signaled by Paul’s use of the imperfect rather than the aorist, which is further reinforced by the repetition of the veiling process in Paul’s LXX Vorlage of Exod 34:33-34 (note especially the use of multiple imperfects to signal customary action in 34:34). This is one of several signals indicating Paul is paying strict attention to the “literal” narrative sequence and that he believes that access to the underlying meaning can only be achieved through the “literal.” On the “literal” or the “plain sense” see ch. 3 n. 168. 150 A misguided history of translating katarge,w as “vergänglich,” “fading,” or the like persists (following mainly Hans Windisch, Der Zweite Korintherbrief, 9th ed., MeyerK 6 [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1924]; cf. RSV, NIV, NASB, NAB, Hickling, “Sequence,” 390; Stockhausen, Moses’ Veil, 119 [although see her n. 60], Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 204–6; Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 1.258; Harris, Second Corinthians, 280, 284–85). There is no legitimate linguistic, contextual, scriptural, or extrascriptural (including Pseudo-Philo LAB 12.1; 19.6) basis for this translation, as has recently been confirmed by both Hafemann Paul, Moses, and the History, 287–309, and Baker, “Did the Glory?,” 1–15 (see in agreement, Alfred Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, ICC [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1915], 90; Furnish, II Corinthians, 203; Hays, Echoes, 133–36). Harris, the latest proponent of the “fading” interpretation, appeals to the presence of the present tense, rather than the aorist, in 3:11 as a rationale, but this fails to account for the “already–not yet” nature of the abolition of the veil that allows flexibility in Paul’s terminology, in which some are still presently veiled but others are not (see 2 Cor 4:3-4 and the following discussion).

Figuration and the Divine Economy


old covenant is read. Third, Paul claims in 3:15 that even in the present, when Moses is read, “a veil lies over their hearts.” Since 3:15 is basically a clarifying expansion of 3:14,151 it is virtually certain that we are dealing with same veil in all three instances. Yet the veil is placed by Paul in two different spatiotemporal locations, one past-tense physical (within the narrative world) and one gnomically metaphorical, being in place from the distant past to Paul’s present. In 3:13, the veil literally covers Moses’ face, but in 3:14-15, it metaphorically covers the heart of the one listening to/ reading “Moses” in an ongoing fashion.152 When covering Moses’ face, the veil prevents the Israelites from gazing eivj to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nou (3:13). What is the referent behind tou/ katargoume,nou? We learn from 3:7 that “the glory of Moses’ face” (th.n do,xan tou/ prosw,pou) is one item that was being nullified (th.n katargoume,nhn),153 but perhaps more importantly, that some unspecified thing in 3:11 is also being nullified (to. katargou,menon), a thing that is described as existing “through glory” and that is contrasted unfavorably with a “thing which remains” (to. me,non) in an elevated state of glory. In light of the context of 3:7-11, the unspecified thing that is being nullified (to. katargou,menon) in 3:11 is best seen as the Mosaic dispensation in contrast with the dispensation of the new covenant. Thus, tou/ katargoume,nou in 3:13, which has the neuter form as in 3:11, is likewise best viewed as the “Mosaic dispensation” that is represented by the attendant glory as embodied on Moses’ face.154 Yet, and this is a crucial point, it is also clear that the veil blocked the Israelites from seeing the glory of the Lord as it was reflected by the face 151

See excellent discussion of this point in Harris, Second Corinthians, 314–15. In 4:3, we also learn that “the gospel is veiled” (evkalumme,non to. euvagge,lion), but only to those who are perishing. Thus, the veil technically appears in a third spatial location, but Paul’s placement of the veil over the gospel appears to be just a further metaphorical play on the location of the veil over the unbelievers’ minds, just as in 3:14-15, as Paul makes clear in 4:4, where the no,hma is said to have been blinded by the god of this age. The correspondence in temporality between the second and the third location of the veil reinforces this interpretation. That “heart” should be understood here primarily as “faculty of thought” akin to no,hma is confirmed not only by its relationship to 3:14a, but secondarily by 2 Cor 4:4 (so also BDAG s.v. kardi,a def. 1.b.b), although this is not to say that volitional and emotive forces are thereby excluded. 153 Do,xa cannot be the referent in 3:13, because it is feminine and the referent must be masculine or neuter. 154 This point is in fact not controversial, but is the solution of the overwhelming majority of expositors (e.g., Stockhausen, Moses’ Veil, 118–22; Harris, Second Corinthians, 291; Furnish, II Corinthians, 205; Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History, 328–33). However, I would not want to restrict this reference to the old covenant itself, but to everything associated with the Mosaic dispensation, especially the “glory” it effected, in continuity with th.n katargoume,nhn in 3:7. 152


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

of Moses.155 We learn in 3:18 that for Paul it is by viewing the glory that humans are transformed, so that they come to participate in this glory of God for themselves. So, why would Moses cover his face and in so doing remove the glory from the view of the sons of Israel? This question is especially acute, because Moses’ act of self-veiling seemingly prevented the Israelites being transformed via a vision of the glory.156 Is Moses acting perniciously? The rationale given for the veiling must be able to explain why the Israelites were denied the opportunity of transformative viewing. Along these lines, many expositors attribute questionable motives to Moses and/or posit a split between Moses’ intention and God’s intention.157 But as Kugel has shown, the vast majority of ancient interpreters valorize the actions of the biblical heroes as models worthy of imitation,158 so the claim that Paul viewed Moses as acting deceitfully, maliciously, or somehow otherwise against the divine will is not at all likely, especially since Paul seems to approve of Moses’ actions here, and in more general terms viewed Moses as an authentic prophet of God.159 155 Compare Hays, Echoes, 138: “When the veil is removed, what is revealed is the glory of God. Therefore, Moses’ veil must conceal not the absence of the glory but its presence” (emphasis added). This point is contrary to those who follow the “fading” glory theory of Windisch (see ch. 3 n. 150), but is much better supported by Exod 34:35: kai. ei=don oi` ui`oi. Israhl to. pro,swpon Mwush/ o[ti dedo,xastai (“and the sons of Israel saw the face of Moses, that it had been glorified”). 156 Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 294–95, documents possible backgrounds for transformation into the divine image through vision. Other early Christian statements include 1 Cor 15:49 and 1 John 3:22. The notion of viewing the sacred as a means for transformation was common in antiquity, especially in the mystery cults (e.g., the culmination of the Eleusinian mysteries was the viewing of certain sacred objects, variously identified as the Kore [goddess] or a cut sheaf of wheat; cf. Lucius Apuleius Metam. 11.23–24 regarding his vision of Isis). There is an especially rich tradition regarding the transformation of Moses into a glorified semidivine being—see Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 20–79; Wayne A. Meeks, The Prophet-King, NovTSup 14 (Leiden: Brill, 1967): 100–257; Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History, 287–301, 412–18. 157 For example, Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 1.258, opines that “some degree of intentional deception is attributable to [Moses].” Thrall lists many other adherents of this opinion on 1.259–61. 158 Kugel, Traditions of the Bible, 16. 159 When Moses is mentioned by Paul outside of this passage, the references are either neutral (e.g., Moses as a chronological marker in Rom 5:14) or positive (e.g., Moses as the recipient of authentic revelation about God’s just character in Rom 9:14; Moses as a speaker of prophetic oracles in Rom 10:5 and 10:19; Moses as a leader into whom the fathers were baptized in 1 Cor 10:2; cf. 2 Tim 3:8). Only Rom 10:5 could be construed as a negative reference, since Moses’ testimony is seemingly trumped by that of the personified Righteousness by Faith, but even here, Moses’ words are best understood as part of a harmonious chorus of witnesses, rather than a discordant voice—see full discussion in ch. 5 and also in J. Ross Wagner, “Moses and Isaiah in Concert: Paul’s Reading of Isaiah and Deuteronomy in the Letter to the Romans,” in “As Those Who Are Taught”: The Interpretation of Isaiah from the LXX to the SBL, ed. Claire Mathews McGinnis and Patricia K. Tull, SBLSymS 27 (Atlanta: SBL, 2006), 87–103.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


Thus the question becomes, What is meant by staring eivj to. te,loj of “the Mosaic dispensation and its attendant glory,” since this is “that which is being nullified”? Three basic options for eivj to. te,loj are usually suggested: (1) “until the temporal end,” (2) “at the purpose,” or (3) “at the outcome,” or some combination thereof. Since there is zero evidence that Moses’ face was fading over time, it is difficult to imagine how gazing at Moses’ face might be described as staring steadily “until” anything, especially since the Greek syntax stands resolutely against this option.160 The suggestions of purpose or outcome are more plausible. In fact, there are several existing proposals that take te,loj as “goal” or “outcome,” yet retain a positive view of Moses’ actions. For example, Hays takes te,loj as designating the true aim or purpose of the old covenant, which he takes to be humanity transformed into the image of God, which through a plethora of metaphorical substitutions, he ultimately deems to be Christ.161 Hays’ solution is perhaps exegetically and theologically possible, but is improbable for three reasons: (1) to take to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nou in 3:13 as referring to Christ as the true aim of the Mosaic covenant requires a significant yet unmarked leap on the part of the reader, since in 2 Corinthians 3:13, the action internal to Exodus 34:29-35 is being described, and Christ is not self-evidently present in this narrative.162 A referent indisputably internal to Exodus 34:29-35 should be preferred. (2) It is not anywhere else explicitly stated or even implicitly asserted by Paul that the purpose of the old covenant per se was to effect transformation into the image of Christ. Such a supposition may appear theologically attractive at 160 On the syntactical level, a rarely noticed problem with the “fading” approach is that the interpreter must posit that in 3:7 the eivj in the avteni,sai) ) ) eivj to. pro,swpon functions as a prepositional pointer to the direct object (“gaze at the face”), but in 3:13 the eivj in the avteni,sai ) ) ) eivj to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nou must be construed as part of an adverbial prepositional phrase (“gaze until the end”). Although it is of course possible that Paul used the eivj to mark the direct object in the first case, but not in the second, this must be regarded as highly unlikely. Some authors do indeed use eivj to mark the direct object of avteni,zw (e.g., 3 Macc 2:26; Acts 1:10; 3:4; 6:15; etc.), although the practice is not consistent. Paul appears to use it to mark the object in both 3:13 and 3:7 on the strength of 3:7. For all of the above reasons, it is not helpful to examine how the phrase eivj to. te,loj and similar evij to. prepositional phrases function in the relevant literature (contra Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 200–202; Harris, Second Corinthians, 299), but rather the semantic range of te,loj alone must be considered apart from eivj, since eivj is a direct object marker here. Both Belleville and Harris are typical of the many who in following the “fading” interpretation fail to address or account for this syntactical problem. 161 Hays, Echoes, 136–40. 162 Moreover, when Christ is to be read into the interpretation of Exod 34:29-35 in 3:1617 (which is after the hermeneutical transfer of the veil to the heart, and thus the action is no longer centered on the narrative world of Exod 34:29-35 in the same way), Paul makes this explicit by direct reference (see ch. 3 n. 183 and n. 186).


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

first glance, since we know that the ultimate goal of redeemed humanity is precisely such a transformation. Yet the fact is, despite Paul’s numerous statements about the purpose of the Mosaic Law,163 Paul himself never in anyway connects transformation into Christ’s image with the goal of the Mosaic dispensation. On the contrary, transformation into the image of Christ is associated with Christ’s redemptive work apart from any such intentions in the Law of Moses.164 (3) Finally, Hays’ solution, that transformation into the image of Christ is the true aim, is based on an intricate permutation of referential substitutions, and in line with Ockham’s razor, less complex solutions should be favored over the more complex, all else being equal. For all of these reasons, I do not follow Hays in taking te,loj as the true aim or purpose. Hafemann understands te,loj as the “outcome” or the “effect” of the Mosaic dispensation, that is, the resultant glory shining forth from Moses, the viewing of which he thinks would have meant death for the hardened Israelites. This solution has the distinct advantage over Hays’ of remaining within the more narrow confines of Exodus 34:29-35 in its explanation. However, problematically, Hafemann’s solution does not adequately explain why brief viewings of the glory are not harmful to the Israelites (Exod 34:30-32, 35), but a prolonged encounter should prove deadly. For this reason, while I depart from Hafemann’s precise explanation, I nonetheless agree with him that result is intended by Paul rather than purpose (contra Hays). Thus “outcome” or “effect” is the proper translation in this precise context—a meaning for te,loj that is also amply supported elsewhere in Paul’s own usage,165 not “goal” or “true aim” or “true purpose.” Thus, I would render eivj to. te,loj tou/ katargoume,nou as “at the result of that which is being nullified,” while understanding “that which is being nullified” as an oblique reference to “the Mosaic dispensation and its attendant glory.” The emphasis is on the “glory on Moses’ face” (cf. 3:7) as the “result” obliquely stressed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:13. Thus, Paul is asserting that the reason Moses wore the veil was in order to prevent the sons of Israel from staring at the effect of the old covenant—the glory on Moses’ face—a glory produced by his encounter with God. Moreover, 163

Gal 3:10-14; 3:19-25; 5:14; Rom 3:19-21; 5:20; 7:7; 7:10; 7:13; 8:3-4; 13:10. On the alienation of the divine image, see Rom 1:23. Regarding its restoration, see Rom 8:29 and 1 Cor 15:49 (cf. Col 3:10). See Kirk, Unlocking Romans, 141–43. 165 Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History, 356–62, esp. 358 n. 68. The meaning of te,loj as “outcome” or “effect” is adequately attested in the Pauline corpus and elsewhere—e.g., Hafemann gives Rom 6:21-22; 2 Cor 11:15; Phil 3:19; cf. 1 Tim 1:5; James 5:11; 1 Pet 1:9; 4:17 as clear evidence in support, although “goal” or “aim” rather than “outcome” or “result” would seem to be equally possible for 1 Tim 1:5. 164

Figuration and the Divine Economy


this glory should not be understood to be “fading.” However, the resultant glory on Moses’ face is part of the old dispensation, a dispensation that is in the process of being rendered null. Thus, an initial rationale for Moses’ actions has been fixed, but a deeper reason for the veiling/unveiling is, I believe, expressed in the text. A Mosaic Parable I submit that the purpose of the veiling for Paul is as follows, and this forms the heart of my proposal for this passage, a proposal that I do not believe has been suggested elsewhere.166 Paul understands Moses to be communicating a visual parable with his veiling actions, much as we see in passages such as Ezekiel 4:1–5:4. And as is the case with Jesus’ explanation of the parables as presented in the Synoptics, I believe that Paul sees this Mosaic parable as giving the opportunity for those “with eyes to see” to align themselves all the more with God’s purposes, but those who “do not see” are further hardened as an act of judgment ultimately calculated to stimulate repentance.167 For Paul, the veiling was designed to sift the Israelites into two groups, those who understood the deeper parabolic intent behind “the letter” (2 Cor 3:6b)—that is behind the “literal sense” or the “basic narrative sequence”168 —and those who did not. 166 Although the nature of this chapter as a survey precludes an exhaustive search of the secondary literature, to the best of my knowledge my exact proposal is without precedent (however, see Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 208 n. 2—upon which I was not dependent in formulating this hypothesis). Many expositors think that Paul understands Moses’ actions in a loose, informally parabolic fashion (i.e., Moses’ actions were intended to symbolize something to his audience), whether they use the precise language of “parable” or not—e.g., Stockhausen, Moses’ Veil, 119 n. 60, in which the fading glory symbolizes the termination of the Mosaic covenant; Hays, Echoes, 141–49, in which the glorified Moses represents Christ; Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 281. However, my proposal is unique inasmuch as: (1) it elevates the parabolic intent, identifying it as Paul’s primary category for understanding Moses’ action; (2) it posits a dual function to the parable—the action is designed to sift Israel into two camps on the basis of whether or not they have understood the parable; and (3) it locates this parabolic function simultaneously on two distinct planes—the level internal to the narrative world of Moses and the level of scriptural hermeneutics for the reader in Paul’s day (on which see the following analysis). 167 See Mark 4:10-12 (and par.) in light of Isa 6:9-10. On my reading, Jesus’ parables are presented as serving a sifting function, creating a remnant around Jesus by providing those on the inside with additional insight into the kingdom, but simultaneously making those who are already hardened even more ripe for the forthcoming judgment. 168 The “plain sense” or the sensus literalis of the text was a problematic notion in antiquity and still is today, as scholarship on the topic makes clear—e.g., Raymond E. Brown, “Hermeneutics,” in The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1990), 1146–65, esp. §9–29; Frei, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative; Brevard S. Childs, “The Sensus Literalis of Scripture: An


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Hence, for Paul, the “result” of the Mosaic dispensation, Moses’ glorified face, which was shining brightly (not fading), was deliberately and repeatedly removed from the view of the sons of Israel by Moses’ act of self-veiling, signifying for Paul two things for those “with eyes to see”: (1) the deliberate removal of Moses’ face, shiny as it was, from view indicated that the dispensation of which he was the head would likewise be “removed from view,” that is, abolished (katarge,w); and (2) the potential for transformation by virtue of viewing the glory was thereby also to be construed by the attentive Israelite as limited and inadequate under the Mosaic dispensation (cf. 3:18). Thus, for Paul, those who understood the divinely intended meaning of the parable would be looking forward to a new dispensation that would replace the old, featuring a covenant that would not be “removed from view,” that is, would not be transitory, but rather would hold the possibility of full transformation through an unceasing vision of the glory. For Paul, on the other hand, those who did not understand the parable would become even duller. The all-too-brief access to the transformative glory on Moses’ face would not be sufficient to affect any real change. Rather, after only obtaining an ephemeral glimpse at the glory, Moses’ face would be removed, and the sons of Israel would be left staring at an inert, powerless veil. They would continue to attempt to extract all of the transformative glory they could out of the Mosaic dispensation with its attendant covenant, but they would essentially be bereft of transformative glory and full participation in the divine life. Those hardened individuals who lacked the eyes to see Moses’ (and God’s) parabolic intentions would become still more obdurate. In fact, on the basis of Paul’s description of responses to the parable in his own day, an apt characterization of the events recorded in Exodus Ancient and Modern Problem,” in Beiträge zur Alttestamentlichen Theologie: Festschrift für Walther Zimmerli zum 70, Geburtstag, ed. Herbert Donner, Robert Hanhart, and Rudolf Smend (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1977), 80–93; Paul R. Noble, “The ‘Sensus Literalis’: Jowett, Childs, and Barr,” JTS N.S. 44 (1993): 1–23; Margaret M. Mitchell, “Patristic Rhetoric on Allegory: Origen and Eustathius Put 1 Samuel 28 on Trial,” JR 85 (2005): 414–45. Childs and Frei agree that prior to the modern era (esp. Spinoza), the “literal sense” was of one piece with the “historical sense,” but that subsequently a fracture has occurred, in which the “true” meaning is sought not in the text, but in happenings outside the text. Mitchell grounds the debate between Origen and Eustathius in ancient rhetorical and grammatical theory while showing that the notion of the “literal” was a point of contention. In my own use of the “plain sense” or “literal sense,” I intend to evoke the ancient notion—that is to say, the narrative or poetic sequence (i`stori,a) or the “exact wording” (kata. to.n lo,gon or kata. le,xin) or the verba of the text, apart from appeal to any extratextual res to which these verba might be thought to point.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


34:29-35 is that Paul believes that the events narrated therein are “deliberately anticipatory” of events transpiring in Paul’s own time. For Paul, Moses’ enacted parable anticipates the emergence of two groups, one still trying to obtain transformative glory through the old covenant, and one recognizing the abolition of the old and embracing the new. Moses Did Not Communicate Frankly Although I submit that the primary commendation for my proposed parabolic solution is its ability to explain cohesively the references to veiling in 2 Corinthians 3:1–4:6 with fidelity to the immediate context and an essential simplicity, on what further basis can this parabolic reading be grounded? There is a further piece of evidence that offers vital support. Paul contrasts his own pollh/| parrhsi,a| as a minister of the new covenant with that of Moses, implying that Moses lacked this pollh/| parrhsi,a| (3:12-13). If pollh/| parrhsi,a| is taken more in line with its etymology as “much forthright communication”—and such a choice is supported here by Paul’s usage elsewhere—rather than the more generic “great confidence” or “much boldness” favored by most translations,169 then Paul is saying that Moses did not communicate frankly. In other words, Moses was not communicating in a straightforward manner via his symbolic prophetic actions, but rather by implication doing the opposite—riddling—an apt description if Moses’ actions were regarded as parabolic by Paul. Not only does this interpretation locate Paul credibly within Hellenistic and early Christian norms regarding inspiration and exegesis,170 it also fits perfectly into the 169 For example, NRSV: “great boldness”; NIV: “very bold”; NLT: “very bold”; NJB: “complete fearlessness”; NET: “great boldness”; NASB: “great boldness”; ESV: “very bold”; rev. Luther (1984): “voll großer Zuversicht.” Here, of the translations I checked, only the KJV: “great plainness of speech”; and the rev. Elberfelder (1993): “mit großer Freimütigkeit” align with my proposal—“much forthright communication.” The meaning frankness in communication is supported in the NT in general (e.g., Mark 8:32; John 7:13; 10:24; for more examples, see BDAG s.v. parrhsi,a def. 1), and is attested in Paul. Parrhsi,a appears only four times in the undisputed letters (2 Cor 3:12; 7:4; Phil 1:20; Phlm 8), with another four occurrences in the remainder of the Pauline corpus (Eph 3:12; 6:19; Col 2:15; 1 Tim 3:13). Of these seven examples (excluding 2 Cor 3:12, since it is the case in question), four refer to a general attitude of boldness (e.g., 2 Cor 7:4; Eph 3:12; Col 2:15; 1 Tim 3:13), but at least two (Phlm 8 and Eph 6:19) and perhaps another (Phil 1:20) are used with reference to frankness in communication (although whether that frankness in communication should itself be shaded toward forthrightness [probably Phlm 8] or boldness [probably Eph 6:19; Phil 1:20] is more difficult to judge). Nonetheless, this analysis shows that “much forthright communication” is plausible for 2 Cor 3:12—in fact BDAG prefers a similar definition. For a general lexical analysis, see BDAG s.v. parrhsi,a; Heinrich Schlier, “parrhsi,a( ktl,” TDNT 5:871–86; Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 194–98. 170 In general, within Paul’s world, the penning of an inspired work was understood


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context of Paul’s argument, in which he is defending himself against the charge (real or imagined) that his actions do not line up with his words.171 Thus, the parabolic proposal is forcefully undergirded. Supplemental confirmation of this interpretation comes from a surprising place. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:12a: ble,pomen ga.r a;rti diV evso,ptrou evn aivni,gmati( to,te de. pro,swpon pro.j pro,swpon (“For now we see through a mirror in an obscure [or ‘riddling’] fashion, but then face to face”).172 Numbers 12:6-8 LXX, in which God affirms that he speaks with Moses in a manner entirely different than how he speaks with others— sto,ma kata. sto,ma lalh,sw auvtw/| evn ei;dei kai. ouv diV aivnigma,twn kai. th.n do,xan kuri,ou ei=den (“I will speak with him mouth to mouth, in visible form and not through riddles, and he sees the glory of the Lord”)—appears to stand in the background to 1 Corinthians 13:12a.173 God’s clear communication with Moses is in contrast to God’s manner of communicating with others. God speaks directly to Moses, but he speaks to others in a riddling fashion. Thus, transferring these insights from 1 Corinthians 13:12 and Numbers 12:6-8 to Paul’s reading of Exodus 34:29-35, as reflected in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, I would suggest that Numbers 12:6-8 impacted Paul’s reading of Exodus 34:29-35:174 God speaks directly to Moses (pro,swpon pro.j pro,swpon or sto,ma kata. sto,ma), but God’s communication to to transpire while the author was in an ecstatic state, with the god(s) speaking instrumentally directly through the author (e.g., Plutarch Amat. 16.758–59; Pyth. orac. 7 [397b-c]; PsLonginus Subl. 8.4 [metaphorically applied]; see more primary source references in ch. 4). As such, the resultant inspired work contained not only straightforward revelation, but also puzzles and obscurities deliberately placed by the divinity, the unraveling of which was one of the goals of exegesis—see the whole of Grant, Letter and the Spirit, but esp. 1–18. 171 See esp. 2 Cor 1:17-18 and 4:2. 172 Many other interpreters notice a link between 1 Cor 13:12 and 2 Cor 3, although the correlation is usually restricted to a discussion of 2 Cor 3:18 in terms of “beholding the glory as in a mirror,” and is not applied to the parabolic nature of Moses’ entire speech-act. For example, Stockhausen, Moses’ Veil, 11 (and the literature cited there); Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 288; Harris, Second Corinthians, 314–16; Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 293. 173 This point is frequently noted by commentators: e.g., Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, 499; Thiselton, First Corinthians, 1068–69; Fee, First Corinthians, 647 n. 42. 174 Several points speak in favor of Paul’s use of Num 12:6-8 as an aid to the interpretation of Exod 34:29-35: (1) Since both Exod 34:29-35 and Num 12:6-8 involve the notion of God’s unmediated communication with Moses, thematic concerns would have forged a natural link; (2) the allusion to Num 12:6-8 in 1 Cor 13:12 proves that this passage was already on Paul’s mind with reference to the Corinthian situation, making it likely that it would leap to his mind when penning 2 Cor 3:1–4:6, esp. since these two passages were probably written within the space of a year (ca. 55 CE); (3) additionally, in both 1 Cor 13:12 and 2 Cor 3:18, there is an emphasis on transformation through vision of the sacred (cf. a;rti ginw,skw evk me,rouj( to,te de. evpignw,somai [1 Cor 13:12b] with the phrase metamorfou,meqa avpo. do,xhj eivj do,xan [2 Cor 3:18]).

Figuration and the Divine Economy


the sons of Israel through Moses is necessarily oblique, done in a riddling fashion (evn aivni,gmati or diV aivnigma,twn). Thus, Paul elsewhere identifies Moses’ communication to others as enigmatic, and the transfer of this insight to the exegesis of 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 is warranted, all of which supports the novel parabolic interpretation hereby advanced. For Paul, although it is perhaps theoretically possible that Moses’ parabolic actions could have been properly understood by the sons of Israel when Moses originally performed them (and we should not think Paul viewed Moses as acting with anything less than pure motives), the fact is the parable was not comprehended and in fact could not have been comprehended due to the death-dealing effects of the Mosaic covenant.175 For Paul “the letter kills” (2 Cor 3:6b) because it delivered a curse to the Israelites, who were hard-hearted, unable to perform the law, and unable to penetrate beyond the verba to the divinely intended res. As Paul says, “But their minds were hardened” (3:14). That is, despite Moses’ faithful prophetic enactment of the parable, the sons of Israel en masse did not have “eyes to see” the true meaning of the parable due to their obdurate condition.176 The Veil Becomes Hermeneutical The Transfer to the Reader’s Heart Within the narrative world of the original story of Moses’ veiling in Exodus 34:29-35, the veil does not have a hermeneutical function—the veil prevents real Israelites from seeing Moses’ face—it does not in anyway prevent a reader from successful reading. Yet the veil has hermeneutical significance for Paul. As has been argued extensively, for Paul, the ultimate aim of the scriptures, and hence Moses’ parabolic activity, is not to be located in the past, but rather is directed at those living in the post– Christ event era. Thus, for Paul, even though the real Israelites could not understand the parable, due to their hard-hearted state, those who live in

175 This accords with what is elsewhere known about Paul’s stance vis-à-vis the Mosaic dispensation, and he makes this point in the near context (2 Cor 3:6b—“the letter kills”). The law appears to hold out blessing and life with its ever-elusive promise “the one who does these things will live by them” (Rom 10:5, citing Lev 18:5) but in actuality, it is able to deliver only curse and death (Gal 3:10 citing Deut 27:26). The entirety of Francis Watson’s massive tome, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, stands behind this point, esp. 314–41 and 426–34, although I do not follow Watson’s sharp antithesis (see the section on the relationship between Rom 10:5 and 10:6-8 in ch. 5). 176 It is noteworthy that Exod 34:29-35 stands directly in the wake of the golden calf incident with its strong assertions of Israel’s obduracy—see Exod 32:7-8; 33:3; 34:9; Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History, 189–254—a point that was probably not lost on Paul.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

the post–Christ event era can.177 Thus Moses’ self-veiling remains a parable for readers of Exodus 34:29-35 in Paul’s own day, and this explains the transfer in the location of the veil from Moses’ face to the hearts of those who are reading/listening to the “old covenant” or “Moses.” Although the veil has changed spatiotemporal locations, under the parabolic reading hereby advanced, I would assert that its purpose has not changed at all. Rather, the story has merely advanced chronologically, so that the parabolic purpose of the veil must be evaluated in its new post–Christ event location. As Paul notes, it is the “same veil,” and I therefore propose that it serves the exact same purpose for Paul—although now the veil takes on hermeneutical significance, since it obscures proper scriptural interpretation of “Moses” (the Mosaic Law), rather than obscuring the face of the real Moses. More specifically, (1) the veil prevents whosoever among the sons of Israel who happen to read “Moses” (the Mosaic Law) from seeing that the Mosaic dispensation has been abolished,178 and (2) by extension, that same reader is not able to see the divine glory (via the text) in a sufficient manner, a viewing that would otherwise facilitate transformation into the divine image. For Paul, the “veil over their hearts” is a metaphorical way of reiterating his point about the hardened condition of the 177

Although seemingly not penned with 2 Cor 3:7-18 in mind—and hence out of step with Paul’s logic regarding the veiling of Moses, which we have been trying to reconstruct— Irenaeus’ words nonetheless seem to capture Paul’s general sentiment well: “For every prophecy, before its fulfillment, is to men [full of] enigmas and ambiguities. But when the time has arrived, and the prediction has come to pass, then the prophecies have a clear and certain exposition. And for this reason, indeed, when at this present time the law is read to the Jews, it is like a fable; for they do not possess the explanation of all things pertaining to the advent of the Son of God, which took place in human nature; but when read by the Christians, it is a treasure, hid indeed in a field, but brought to light by the cross of Christ, and explained, both enriching the understanding of men, and showing forth the wisdom of God, and declaring His dispensations with regard to man” (Haer. 4.26.1; trans. ANF). 178 “Moses” here could perhaps be construed as the full scriptural canon and not restricted to what we call the Pentateuch, in accordance with Paul’s use of no,moj in Rom 3:19 and 1 Cor 14:21. However, most interpreters seem to favor the narrow view, which is probably the best interpretation in context due to (1) the parallel with palaia/j diaqh,khj in 3:14, (2) the focus specifically on Moses in this passage, and (3) evidence that makes it clear “Moses” was regarded as a distinct portion of the canon among Paul’s contemporaries (Luke 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44; John 1:45; Acts 26:22; 28:23). On the other hand, some, such as Belleville, Reflections of Glory, 232 (and the literature cited there), would like to restrict the reference to only the covenantal stipulations or legal portions of the Pentateuch, rather than to the whole Pentateuch, but in light of (3) this is not likely either. In agreement with my assessment, see Harris, Second Corinthians, 305; Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 267; C. K. Barrett, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, BNTC (London: A&C Black, 1973; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1997), 120–21.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


minds of the sons of Israel (3:14), while extending that hardness into his present with a hermeneutical twist. The Precise Hermeneutical Failure of the Veiled Interpreter However, it is vital to note that the failure of the reader of “Moses” (the Mosaic Law) to see that the Mosaic dispensation has been abolished is difficult to pin down in terms of its exact hermeneutical significance. Paul clearly does not mean that the “veiled” reader of “Moses”—that is, the Pentateuch—in Paul’s day is entirely incapable of understanding what is being read in terms of grammar, syntactical construction, and the basic semantic unit thereby formed—as if the veiled reader Paul has mentioned would have been unable to construe the phrase: w`j de. kate,bainen Mwush/j evk tou/ o;rouj (“Now when Moses descended from the mountain”—Exod 34:29a) and how this sentence moves the narrative forward. The veiled reader can still construe the text literally (kata. le,xin), that is, he or she can mentally put together the order of the words and the narrative sequence (i`stori,a). It is not as if the veiled reader has no hermeneutic, but an inadequate one. So, exactly what sort of hermeneutical failure is envisioned by Paul, and how can we get an index on it? The best way to get a purchase on the precise hermeneutical failure of the veiled reader for Paul is to realize that Moses’ enacted parable itself points to the nature of the hermeneutical failure. For Paul, Moses’ actions were a physically performed parable for his original audience (i.e., the audience mentioned in the narrative world of Exod 34:29-35). In continuity with this, for the subsequent reader of Exodus 34:29-35, Moses’ actions retain their parabolic function, albeit now the parable takes on a hermeneutical function, since Moses’ actions have been inscripturated. In accordance with this parabolic reading, in brief, the hermeneutical failure of the reader of “Moses” (2 Cor 3:15) is best construed as the inability of that reader to see that the old covenant itself, indeed Moses himself as he is portrayed in the scriptures, announces the transitory nature of the old covenant and proclaims a future covenant to the reader in parabolic form. The parabolic res beyond the verba has not been located by the veiled reader. The veiled reader fails hermeneutically, because he or she does not see that the literal text of the Mosaic scriptures themselves testify to the transitory nature of the Mosaic covenant in their inscripturation of the parabolic events recorded in Exodus 34:29-35, in the numerous other scriptural statements made by “Moses” regarding the ultimate inadequacy


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

of his own covenant,179 and in the consequent hints concerning a future new covenant.180 Thus, the precise hermeneutical failure of the veiled interpreter is the inability to see that the Moses himself (that is, Moses the character in the text who acts parabolically and “Moses” in the sense of the pentateuchal texts) announces the demise of his own dispensation and the rise of a new covenant. This is a failure to move beyond the literal (a story about Moses removing his veil) to the divinely given underlying meaning—that Moses is enacting a parable about the inadequacy of his own covenant to instruct the audience. Objective and Existential Unveiling If, as I have argued, the failure to see the demise of the old covenant and the future rise of the new as announced within the Mosaic scriptures themselves is indeed the exact hermeneutical failure of all those who are veiled, then how is this problem overcome, and what is the significance of the removal of the veil for an overall assessment of Paul’s interpretative posture? Paul asserts that the veil “is nullified in Christ” (evn Cristw/| katargei/tai—3:14).181 This confirms that for Paul the readers of “Moses” 179 On Moses’ (i.e., the Pentateuch’s) own announcement of the inevitable failure of the Mosaic covenant, see esp. the purpose of the song of Moses in Deut 31:16-22, followed by the words of warning in 31:26-29; in the song itself, see 32:15-43. Paul was clearly preoccupied with the end of Deuteronomy, as is indicated by the inordinate number of citations or allusions that stem therefrom: Deut 27:26 in Gal 3:10; Deut 21:23 in Gal 3:13; Deut 32:21 in 1 Cor 10:20; Deut 28:49 in 1 Cor 14:21; Deut 32:5 in Phil 2:15; Deut 32:21 in Rom 10:19; Deut 29:3 in Rom 11:8; Deut 32:21 in Rom 11:11, 14; Deut 32:25 in Rom 12:19; and Deut 32:43 in Rom 15:10. Note that most of Paul’s citations from the end of Deuteronomy fall contextually within passages announcing the inadequacy of the Mosaic covenant. On this topic, see the whole of Guy Waters, The End of Deuteronomy in the Epistles of Paul, WUNT 221 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2006), but esp. 185–232 and 234–35 (I depend on his chart for references); Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 439–513. 180 Apart from 2 Cor 3:6-11, Paul articulates the specifically Mosaic anticipation of a new covenant most clearly in Rom 10:6-8, in which the “Righteousness by Faith” speaks using the words of Deut 30:12-14, a passage that announces a renewal on the other side of exile—see detailed treatment in ch. 5, but cf. also Rom 2:14-15. Regarding the new covenant, Paul construes “Moses” (e.g., Deut 4:29-32; 10:16; 11:18) in light of “new covenant” prophetic texts such as Jer 24:7; 31:31-34; 32:37-41; Ezek 11:19; 36:26. See e.g., Rom 11:26-27 with the combined citation of Isa 59:20-21 and Isa 27:9; Waters, End of Deuteronomy, 162–85; Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith, 436–39. 181 I take the subject of katargei/tai here to be ka,lumma. Since ka,lumma is the subject of the preceding clause, this solution should be given preference as the most likely assumed referent, because no change in the subject is otherwise signaled (so also Harris, Second Corinthians, 304, who succinctly documents the other possibilities). Whether one should translate katargei/tai as “is being nullified” (progressive present) or “is nullified” (gnomic present) is made clear by 3:15, where the e[wj sh,meron (“until this very day”—implying action beginning in the distant past and continuing to the present) makes the latter option more likely.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


in the pre–Christ event era were in fact totally incapable of attaining a full understanding of Moses’ parabolic action, for their hearts were hard under the Mosaic dispensation—that is, their hermeneutical failure was inescapable (“the letter kills”). An unveiled mind is only possible for those reading in the post–Christ event era, that is, for Paul, those toward whom the Mosaic parable was most emphatically directed in the first place. In the wake of the Christ event, one can either be “in Christ,” that is, one can participate in the new realm of existence opened up by Christ’s salvific actions and so be unveiled, or one can continue to participate in the old realm, which is dominated by flesh, death, and the law, and remain veiled. The abolition of the veil has both an objective and an existential aspect. The veil was objectively abolished at the time of the Christ event, yet it continues to exist and function with a diminished metaphysical status, much like no,moj and qa,natoj continue to exist, according to Paul, in a limited but nonetheless real fashion subsequent to their actual demise.182 So the existential appropriation of the veil’s abrogation for any individual is contingent on the transfer of that person from the transitory realm to the “in Christ” realm. So, when Paul refers to the abolition of the veil in 3:14, he is speaking of the existential demise rather than the objective, since he says that the veil remains “until this very day,” and the objective demise of the veil had already occurred at the time of Paul’s penning of Second Corinthians. The hermeneutical implication is that, for Paul, the reader/hearer of “Moses” is existentially veiled unless they are “in Christ,” that is, in the realm in which the veil does not exist.183 In other words, unless the veiled reader first 182 These remarks about the abolition of the veil are an extrapolation from Paul’s “already– not yet” theology in general (Rom 6:2-6; 8:2-9; 1 Cor 15:54-57; Dunn, Theology, 461–98) and in particular, from a similar constellation of imagery in light of the relationship between the veil and the gra,mma (Rom 7:6; cf. Col 2:14; Eph 2:14); this point therefore cannot be definitively proven although I think it is a safe inference. Looking at imagery beyond Paul, compare the rending of the temple curtain upon Jesus’ death in Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45 and Christ’s attainment of access beyond the curtain in Heb 6:19-20; 10:19-20. 183 By way of supplemental support, in 2 Cor 3:16 it is claimed that h`ni,ka de. eva.n evpistre,yh| pro.j ku,rion( periairei/tai to. ka,lumma (“but if [anyone] turns to the Lord, the veil is removed”). I take the subject of evpistre,yh| here to be an implicit generic tij (“any veiled reader”), rather than Moses, as is strongly suggested by the a;n (present in the krasis eva.n—with Harris, Second Corinthians, 308; contra Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 271). I would also identify the ku,rioj of 3:16 as Christ (as in 3:14), rather than God the Father (with Thrall, 2 Corinthians, 1.272–73; contra Harris, Second Corinthians, 308–9) on the basis of the high probability that the second reference to ku,rioj in 3:17 refers to Christ (ou- de. to. pneu/ma kuri,ou( evleuqeri,a—see evidence in ch. 5 n. 106; cf. Gal 4:6, where the Spirit is qualified as the Spirit of God’s Son), and the consequent unlikelihood that any referent other than Christ can thereby be shown to be more probable for either the first reference in 3:17 (o` de. ku,rioj to.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

hears the message about Christ in a receptive fashion, an “unveiled” reading of “Moses” or the “old covenant” cannot transpire, that is, the reader cannot see that the Mosaic dispensation has been nullified, nor can the reader be brought by the text alone to a position outside the text in which transformation through a vision of the divine glory can ensue. The Hermeneutics of “Turning to the Lord” However, on the basis of all we know about Paul’s evangelistic proclamation, it is unlikely that we should think that the “message about Christ” that was to bring about the “unveiling” (if appropriately received) would have itself been devoid of the unveiled scriptural exegesis it was purposed to effect—Paul presents his gospel in scripture-laden terms.184 That is to say, all the evidence indicates that Paul’s evangelistic kerygma was replete with scriptural exegesis that utilized an unveiled hermeneutic in service of propagating a like-minded unveiled interpretative stance in his audience.185 To turn to the Lord and so become unveiled, one must receive the kerygma (Rom 10:8-15), which contains in itself a built-in hermeneutical model that concretely demonstrates the proper way to read the scriptures—becoming unveiled happens when one turns to Christ, which in turn is equivalent to accepting the apostolic kerygma (the proclaimed message about Christ) with its concomitant hermeneutic. Thus, the unveiled hermeneutic on display in Paul’s letters is a guide, purposed in part toward bringing about a similar hermeneutical transformation in others, who come to discover, in turning (i.e., converting) to Christ through the work of the Spirit (3:17; cf. 3:6b)186 and through the unveiled reading practice pneu/ma, evstin) or the antecedent reference in 3:16 (h`ni,ka de. eva.n evpistre,yh| pro.j ku,rion). See Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2007), 177–80. Thus, 3:16 compares to 3:14, inasmuch as both stress the existential removal of the veil “in Christ,” rather than its objective abolition. 184 See 1 Cor 15:3-5; Rom 1:2-4, 16-17; Gal 3:8; ch. 2; ch. 5. 185 Although using a different vocabulary set, I believe Hays, “Conversion of the Imagination,” 5, makes much the same point when he speaks of Paul’s interpretative missionary strategy in these words: “[Paul] was calling Gentiles to understand their identity anew in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ—a gospel message comprehensible only in relation to the larger narrative of God’s dealing with Israel.” 186 In 2 Cor 3:17, the identity of the “Lord” in the assertion “Now the ‘Lord’ is the Spirit” (o` de. ku,rioj to. pneu/ma, evstin), should be fixed on the basis of the citation that follows (ou- de. to. pneu/ma kuri,ou( evleuqeri,a) and its most natural referent for the audience, that is, the “Lord” in 3:16 (taking the article as anaphoric). Since Paul strongly prefers to restrict the title “Lord” to Jesus Christ whenever possible (for evidence see ch. 5 n. 151), both the employment of ku r, ioj in 3:16 and the second reference to “Lord” in 3:17 point in the same direction—Christ is the referent. The equation between the Lord Christ and the Spirit in 3:17a is thus functional (i.e., “Now, the Lord [Christ] is [functionally present in this case through the work of] the

Figuration and the Divine Economy


modeled by Paul, that they themselves have become unveiled as well. In this way, the unveiling of the mind does not occur apart from the guidance of the underlying christological meaning of the scriptures. Rather, unveiled scriptural proclamation, when joined with the work of the Spirit in initiating conversion, leads to an unveiled mind. An Ethnic Hermeneutical Failure? For Paul, the hermeneutical deficiency associated with the veil is a deficiency unique to a particular type of reader of the “old covenant” or “Moses”—that is, a reader who does not see that the old covenant has been nullified and a new covenant has been instituted, which things were proclaimed by “Moses” himself both through parable and direct statement. Thus, this hermeneutical problem is not ethnically specific at its core—it could potentially afflict anyone who reads the old covenant kata. le,xin, while failing to see that it parabolically announces something deeper in its narration of Moses’ repeated unveiling—its own demise. Thus, Paul probably did not associate it exclusively with ethnic Judaism in his day, even though his reference to the “sons of Israel” (3:13) seems to point in this direction. God-fearing Gentiles and even pagans who became sufficiently acquainted with the Mosaic scriptures could potentially also be veiled in this fashion, although obviously ethnic Jews would have constituted the vast majority of the veiled for Paul, not due to their ethnicity per se but to their reading location. The Hermeneutics of the Veil A Recapitulation In summary, I have advanced a new proposal regarding the interpreta tion of Moses and the veil in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18—Paul reads the narrative of Moses’ veiling as a divinely ordained parable that can be paraphrased as follows: Spirit”), much as we see in the functional equatative in Gal 4:24 (“Now these women are two covenants”—au-tai ga,r eivsin du,o diaqh/kai). But adding to the complexity, in this case, the “Lord” Christ in 3:16 is being deliberately put in the role occupied by the Lord God in the narrative world of Exodus 34. It is not unusual for Paul in his use of the scriptures to place Christ in the role occupied by God in the source text (e.g., Rom 14:11 [see ch. 5]; 1 Cor 1:31; 2:16; Fee, Pauline Christology, 576–79). The other possible solution (preferred by James D. G. Dunn, “2 Corinthians III.17—‘The Lord Is the Spirit,’” JTS N.S. 21 (1970): 309–20; Thrall, Second Corinthians, 1.281–82) is to understand the “Lord” in 3:17a as pointing at the Lord God mentioned in the text of Exodus 34, bypassing Christ altogether, but Paul’s characteristic diction makes this improbable. See Fee, Pauline Christology, 177–80, with whom I agree, for an outstanding discussion.


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation 12

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we do not speak in parabolic riddles, 13and in this manner we are unlike Moses, who would customarily place a veil over his face in order that the sons of Israel might not gaze at his glorified face—which is a symbol of the Mosaic covenant that itself is in the process of being brought to nothing. 14But the minds of those Israelites who saw Moses’ parabolic actions were hardened, not recognizing that Moses was thereby trying to show those with eyes to see that the covenant of which he was the figurehead was both temporary and lacked ultimate transformative power, figuratively pointing them toward the new covenant in Christ. Moreover, due to their hardness of heart, not only did those Israelites observing Moses at that time fail to understand the message God was trying to convey through Moses’ actions, many of our Israelite brethren today are in the same predicament. For until this very day, the same veil remains when they read the Mosaic Law, including the parabolic story of Moses’ unveiling contained therein. The veil has not been removed, because it is only nullified by participation in Christ. 15 Even today, whensoever Moses happens to be read, a veil lies over their hearts! 16But whensoever any veiled interpreter turns to the Lord Jesus, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord—that is the Lord Jesus whom I have just mentioned with reference to the unveiling—is operative in facilitating this turning to himself (and the concomitant unveiling of the heart) via the Holy Spirit. Moreover, where the Spirit of the Lord Jesus is, there is freedom from the performance-demanding legislation of the old covenant. 18And all of us who with unveiled faces are beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord Jesus are being transformed into his image from glory into glory by the Lord Jesus—that is, by the Lord Jesus as present functionally via the Holy Spirit.

For Paul, the parabolic action in Exodus 34:29-35 is directed at both Moses’ original audience and at readers of the Mosaic Law who live in the post–Christ event age, but especially the latter, due to the nexus between the scriptures and the post–Christ event era within God’s divine economy. The immediate purpose of Moses’ self-veiling for the audience in the narrative world of the text is twofold: (1) it signals the temporary nature of the Mosaic dispensation, and (2) it indicates that the viewing of the glory attendant to the Mosaic dispensation is not capable of producing complete transformation. Yet Moses’ actions are ultimately intended to divide his audience into two camps, those who understand the parable and those who do not. Those who “get” the parable are those who look to a new covenant, which is to be accompanied by an unceasing transformative glory. Those who do not are further hardened, which Paul describes as a metaphorical transfer of the veil from Moses’ face to the hearts of the sons of Israel.

Figuration and the Divine Economy


The letter is the defining feature of the Mosaic covenant and by metonymy stands in its place. Thus, for Paul, “the letter kills” because the Mosaic covenant (1) does not produce transformation, (2) speaks only curse when functioning as performance-demanding legislation, and (3) contains a literal narrative sequence that must be penetrated, yet cannot be penetrated apart from the distinctively Christian kerygmatic key that shows the res underlying the verba. Hence, although Paul himself does not support a letter/spirit hermeneutical antithesis, his valorization of the inner meaning over the outer letter in his statement “the letter kills” does anticipate patristic and medieval hermeneutical developments in vital ways. However, this is not to say that the literal is unimportant to Paul or is to be despised; rather, the literal is essential, precisely because one must pay careful attention to it, because it contains the clues (e.g., Moses’ repeated removal of the glory by veiling) that allow one to penetrate through it to God’s divinely intended meaning.

The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Kerygma Summary and Prospect The preceding two chapters have surveyed Paul’s own statements about the scriptures to try and pin down his self-avowed hermeneutical practices. In the previous chapter, certain pre-Pauline protocreedal structures were examined, especially 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5 and Romans 1:3-4. From Paul’s vantage point, these protocreedal structures can be described as both kerygmatic and apostolic; moreover Paul himself places these kerygmatic structures at the center of his hermeneutical enterprise. In fact, Paul syntactically extends these protocreeds to locate his own apostolic mission within the narrative framework that these kerygmatic statements provide. In this chapter, numerous other explicit statements by Paul that have traditionally been regarded as hermeneutically significant were analyzed. The chapter began with a discussion of ancient practices of literary composition, and it was determined that the identification of citations and allusions from the scriptures to be included in a letter would have been undertaken primarily during the inventio step, while the assignment of precise literary clothing in which to present the citations and allusions would have been established during a subsequent elocutio step. As such, for Paul, the primary engine driving interpretation is the apostolic kerygma, which is exercised within the bounds of the divine economy, generating new interpretations that are subsequently described by Paul using appropriate literary tropes, such as the metaphorical use of tu,poj language and


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

avllhgori,a. Paul’s choice of the tu,poj metaphor is especially appropriate, inasmuch as the metaphor captures the “deliberately anticipatory” mimetic relationship between inscripturated past-tense events and events transpiring in Paul’s present. Moreover, Paul’s use of allegory as a trope permits Paul to utilize the same text as his opponents, to speak about divinely orchestrated correspondences in a compact “that” is “this” format, and to compliment the intelligence of his audience by allowing his audience to make inferences. Yet a hermeneutically robust reading of the scriptures cannot be achieved by all. Paul reads Exodus 34:29-35 as a parable indicating that certain readers of “the letter” (“the literal”) are veiled to the deeper res intended by God—the demise of the Mosaic dispensation and the arrival of a new covenant. This veil, as part of the old order, has already been objectively abolished; yet it still enjoys a limited metaphysical status in the post–Christ event era. The veil is real for those who are not “in Christ,” but the veil has been abolished for those who are “in Christ,” that is, those who have embraced (tacitly or overtly) the “unveiled” hermeneutical guidance supplied by the apostolic preaching by a response of faith in Jesus as Lord. In so responding, these individuals themselves become “unveiled” and are in a position to succeed hermeneutically. They can pass through the literal and attain to the God-given underlying meaning because they have the kerygmatic hermeneutical key. The close of this chapter represents a transition point in this book. Up to this point, we have been deductively exploring Paul’s statements regarding his own hermeneutic; in the next part of the book, we will undertake an inductive study in line with the intertextual methodology put forward in chapter 1. More specifically, we will be examining how an exegetical technique common in the earliest church and evidenced in Paul, but which has hitherto received insufficient attention—prosopological exegesis—can illuminate certain puzzling, yet theologically rich, instances of Paul’s use of the scriptures. This analysis will further demonstrate that the apostolic kerygma, operating within a distinctively Christian divine economy, stands at the hermeneutical center of Paul’s interpretative activities.


G Introducing Prosopological Exegesis After tracing the story of scholarship on Pauline hermeneutics at the outset of this book, I put forward a fresh methodological proposal for the study of Paul’s use of the scriptures. Specifically, I suggested that a void exists in the scholarship on two interrelated fronts. First, surprisingly, there has been little effort to locate Pauline hermeneutics within the context of early Christian exegesis through comparative analysis. Second, the employment of intertextual models to texts in Paul (and the NT more generally) has been almost exclusively focused on the LXX as the pre-text. However a more robust intertextual model acknowledges that any text is informed not just by its pre-text, but also by co-texts (other literary works that use the same pre-text independently) and posttexts (works that receive the pre-text through the text). In this chapter and the next, we will more fully implement this proposal by using early Christian sources as a resource for Pauline hermeneutics, arguing that the apostolic proclamation is at the methodological center of Paul’s interpretation of the scriptures. This chapter is devoted to examining an exegetical technique that enjoyed a definite currency in the early church, prosopological exegesis, but that has not, to the best of my knowledge, been hitherto discussed with regard to Paul or the rest of the NT. In brief, prosopological exegesis explains a text by suggesting that the author of the text identified various persons or characters (prosopa) as speakers or addressees in a pre-text, even though it is not clear from the pre-text itself that such persons are in view. This chapter will introduce prosopological exegesis as it was practiced in antiquity, while the following chapter will show that a careful exploration 183


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

of Paul’s use of this reading technique unearths a new layer of theological depth and richness—especially as it pertains to the fellowship between divine persons—in a number of passages.

Prosopological (or Prosopographic) Exegesis in Modern Scholarship Although it has intimations in previous scholarship, both in classical and in theological studies,1 it appears that prosopological exegesis as a distinctive, widespread interpretative strategy for the early church was first brought to the attention of modern scholarship in 1961 by Carl Andresen in his landmark study of the exegetical roots of Trinitarian language.2 The impact of Andresen’s article has primarily been felt in systematic and patristic theology.3 To the best of my knowledge, prosopological exegesis has not been explored with regard to the use of the scriptures by NT authors, apart from the idiosyncratic attempt by Hanson,4 the brief notices in Andresen,5 a short section in Rondeau, and my own suggestion in a paper that was drafted in 2005, but is just now forthcoming.6 As a seminal and provocative study, Andresen’s contribution merits further attention. 1

On the classical front, see esp. Hans Dachs, Die lu,sij evk tou/ prosw,pou: Ein exegetischer und kritischer Grundsatz Aristarchs und seine Neuanwendung auf Ilias und Odyssee (Erlangen: Junge & Sohn, 1913). As an example of earlier theological scholarship that touched on the idea of prosopological exegesis, albeit without using this nomenclature, see Erwin R. Goodenough, The Theology of Justin Martyr: An Investigation into the Conceptions of Early Christian Literature and Its Hellenistic and Judaistic Influences (Jena: Frommann, 1923; repr., Amsterdam: APA-Philo, 2004), 145. 2 Carl Andresen, “Zur Entstehung und Geschichte des trinitarischen Personbegriffes,” ZNW 52 (1961): 1–39. 3 See e.g., Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition: From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451), 2nd rev. ed., trans. John Bowden (Atlanta: John Knox, 1975), 125–27; Basil Studer, “Zur Entwicklung der patrististichen Trintitätslehre,” TGl 74 (1984): 81–93, esp. 85–86; Hubertus R. Drobner, Person-Exegese und Christologie bei Augustinus: Zur Herkunft der Formel Una Persona (Leiden: Brill, 1986), 5; Michael Slusser, “The Exegetical Roots of Trinitarian Theology,” TS 49 (1988): 461–76; Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, “Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology,” Comm 17 (1990): 439–54, esp. 440–43. 4 Anthony T. Hanson, in a variety of publications, has made overtures toward what I am labeling prosopological exegesis—see the introduction to ch. 5 regarding Hanson’s contribution. 5 See Andresen, “Zur Entstehung,” 20–21, who mentions Acts 2:24-35 and Heb 1:5-13. 6 My interest in prosopological exegesis was first stimulated by a doctoral seminar on patristic exegesis of the Psalter at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2005, which was led by Brian E. Daley and Gary A. Anderson. For the seminar, I wrote a paper that compared expositions of Ps 69:22-23 (ET) by Origen, Theodoret of Cyrus, and Paul. A revised and abridged version of this paper was distributed to the “Romans through History and Cultures Group” of the Society of Biblical Literature for the national meeting in Boston in November

Introducing Prosopological Exegesis


Carl Andresen on prosopographische Schriftexegese The passage that prompted Andresen’s research into prosopographic exegesis (prosopographische Schriftexegese) is Tertullian’s Adversus Praxean 12, which pertains to the unity and number that constitute the Trinity, and draws on Genesis 1:26 (“let us make man in our image”). Andresen recognizes that Tertullian has not formulated this exegesis on his own, but that he depends on an older christological exegesis of the scriptures, noting that Theophilus of Antioch, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and Ps-Barnabas all make the same basic move.7 Andresen then makes the crucial observation that, in several other places in the surrounding context, Tertullian constructs his concept of “person” on the basis of the dialogical character (Dialogcharakter) or forms of address (Anredeformeln) in the text, but it is in fact not clear on the basis of the scriptural passages in question that such persons are in view.8 To justify this practice, Tertullian says: “almost all the psalms which sustain the role [personam] of Christ represent the Son as speaking to the Father, that is, Christ as speaking to God” (Prax. 11.7).9 Likewise, Tertullian goes on to note that certain prophecies, such as Isaiah 45:14-15, do not speak a word of prophecy to a generic audience, but that the persona addressed is specifically Christ: Accordingly, Isaiah also [says] to the Person of Christ [Esaias ad personam Christi]: “The Sabaans, men of stature, shall come over unto to you; with their hands in chains and they shall worship you because God is in you: for you are our God and we knew it not, O God of Israel.” (Prax. 13.2)10

2008. The full paper will be available as “Prosopographic Exegesis and Narrative Logic: Paul, Origen, and Theodoret of Cyrus on Ps 69:22-23,” in The Greek Fathers’ and Eastern Orthodox Interpretations of Romans, ed. Daniel Patte and Vasile Mihoc, Romans through History and Cultures 9 (London: T&T Clark International, forthcoming). My use of the term “prosopographic exegesis” was not consciously dependent on Andresen but was in fact indirectly dependent, since this was the language I first encountered in my own research. I would now prefer to follow Rondeau’s lead in using the nomenclature “prosopological exegesis” for reasons to be discussed. 7 Andresen, “Zur Entstehung,” 9. 8 Andresen, “Zur Entstehung,” 11. 9 Text and trans. in Ernest Evans, ed. and trans., Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani Adversus Praxean, Tertullian’s Treatise against Praxeas (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1948). 10 The translation by Evans, Tertullian’s Treatise against Praxeas, has been slightly modified to indicate that Isaiah is understood by Tertullian to be speaking to Christ here, not about Christ, as both the preceding and following discussions in Adversus Praxean make clear. Evans himself perhaps acknowledges this by translating the final deus as a vocative “O God of Israel.”


The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation

Tertullian believes that the prophet can speak in this manner in the words of a persona (or prosopon) not otherwise mentioned in the source text and can also address a persona not explicitly in view in the source text. Andresen observes that just as in his use of Genesis 1:26, Tertullian is likewise indebted here to an earlier grammatical and exegetical tradition in his assignment of various personae to a scriptural text.11 Andresen goes on to present pre-Tertullian instantiations of prosopographic exegesis, and we will have occasion to draw on his work again when seeking to formulate a definition of prosopographic exegesis. However, Andresen’s work on prosopographic exegesis has been powerfully reinforced and greatly extended by the magisterial study of Rondeau on the patristic exegesis of the Psalter, and it is to her contribution we now turn. Marie-Josèphe Rondeau on exégèse prosopologique Marie-Josèphe Rondeau forthrightly draws on Andresen’s study in her own work, while substantially augmenting and expanding his results.12 She favors the nomenclature exégèse prosopologique (prosopological exegesis), rather than Andresen’s term prosopographische Schriftexegese (prosopographic exegesis), because the term prosopographische is already employed by the academy in a quite different sense, presumably referring to the use of this term in social historiography for the study of a person or people-group according to regional origins, family connections, group characteristics, and so forth.13 I think that Rondeau’s nomenclature is to be preferred, both for the sake of alleviating confusion within the broader academy, and also for more fundamental definitional reasons rooted in the early Christian sources, as will become clear subsequently. Thus “prosopological exegesis” will be the term used in the remainder of this study.14 11

Andresen, “Zur Entstehung,” 11–12. Marie-Josèphe Rondeau, Les commentaires patristiques du Psautier (3e–5e siecles): 1. Les travaux des Pères grecs et latins sur le Psautier. Recherces et bilan; 2. Exégèse prosopologique et théologie, 2 vols., Orientalia Christiana Analecta 220 (Rome: Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1982–1985). The second volume contains the bulk of theoretical discussion of prosopological exegesis. 13 Specifically Rondeau, Les commentaires, 1.8 n. 7, states: “Nous préférons parler de prosopologie, parce que la langue scientifique contemporaine emploie en un autre sens le mot prosopographie,” which unfortunately leaves indeterminate exactly what autre sens she has in view for this word, forcing us to surmise that sociohistoriography is the referent. Taking prosopography in this quite different sociohistoriographic sense, the best study is Bruce J. Malina and Jerome H. Neyrey, Portraits of Paul: An Archaeology of an Ancient Personality (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1996). 14 The adoption of this nomenclature represents a deliberate shift from my forthcoming essay, “Prosopographic Exegesis and Narrative Logic,” cited in ch. 4 n. 6. 12

Introducing Prosopological Exegesis


Like Andresen, Rondeau is primarily focused on unearthing the significance of prosopological exegesis for dogmatics, inasmuch as the application of this technique by patristic commentaries on the Psalter has bearing on issues of personhood as it relates to the subtleties of the christological (and other ecclesial) debates in the third to fifth centuries. Thus, Rondeau examines vastly more material than Andresen. Moreover, she provides a considerable service to subsequent scholarship by her careful attention to the lexicography surrounding the assignment of a prosopon throughout her work (e.g., tracing the application of formulas, such as evk pro,swpou, and ex persona, through multiple works), and she also makes excellent categorical distinctions by cataloguing the various prosopa assigned by various ancient authors. Yet, since Rondeau is mainly interested in the theological implications of prosopographic exegesis for patristic theology, she only devotes four pages in Les commentaires (21–24) to amorces néotestamentaires, in which she briefly mentions that some NT authors distinguish prosopa in texts such as Isaiah 53:7-8, Psalm 2:7-9 LXX, and Psalm 109:1 LXX. While a full study of the use of prosopological exegesis in the NT remains a desideratum, in the next chapter we will begin the task by exploring prosopological exegesis within the Pauline corpus along the lines laid down by Andresen and Rondeau. But before coming to Paul himself, it is essential to contextualize prosopological exegesis properly within its ancient social world, so that Paul’s use of this sophisticated reading strategy can be fully appreciated.

Prosopological Exegesis in Antiquity Although the ultimate origins of prosopological exegesis remain a matter of speculation and lie outside the scope of this project,15 I would like to argue that three distinct but ultimately interrelated social settings converged in prosopological exegesis, all of which came to full flower within rationalistic philosophical literary criticism within the pagan world and scriptural exegesis within Judaism and Christianity: (1) literary production viewed as a divinely inspired activity, (2) drama, and (3) rhetorical/ educational training.16 All of these topics are fascinating and warrant 15

Dachs, Die lu,sij evk tou/ prosw,pou, 8–11, traces its origins in ancient Homeric scholarship back to Aristarchus of Samothrace (ca. 144–214 BCE), who succeeded Apollonius as head of the library in Alexandria ca. 153. 16 See Andresen, “Zur Entstehung,” 14–18, who identifies the influence of spätantiken Inspirationsdogma and the Welt der Bühne, but does not emphasize the connection to the educational/rhetorical setting. On the other hand, in her treatment of prosopopée (proswpopoii