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Paul's Pneumatological Statements And Ancient Medical Texts

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Chapter Summary

Studies of Pauline pneumatology demonstrates the methodological importance of contextualizing Paul's pneumatological statements. Ancient medical texts frequently present physiological conceptions of pneuma that provide a productive context for understanding Paul's pneumatological statements. In particular, these texts presents ways in which pneuma enters the human body and produces dynamic, rational, health-giving, and life-giving effects. Following a brief description of the physiological conception of pneuma in these texts, the chapter describes some of the more interesting similarities between these texts and Paul's statements about the Spirit. Surprising for moderns, ancient medical texts place pneuma in the category of nutrition. In Paul's pneumatology, the reception of the spirit is the decided difference between his converts' pre-Christian existence and their new life in Christ. The chapter demonstrates that the physiology of pneuma presented in the ancient medical texts provides an interesting and cogent context for understanding Paul's pneumatological statements.

Keywords: ancient medical texts; Paul's pneumatological statements; pneuma



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