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The new covenant, the reinterpretation of scripture and collective messiahship

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that in 2 Corinthians 3 Paul adopts the internalization-centered understanding of Jeremiah 31: 31-34. It claims that at the core of Paul's reasoning there also lies the notion of the new covenant as designating an ultimate messianic reinterpretation of Scripture, an idea that seems to have reflected not only the apostle's thinking but also that of his milieu within the Jesus movement. The chapter deals with a peculiar pattern of belief that has not received due research attention, namely, that of a "collective messiahship" seemingly devoid of the need for a personal messiah. After reviewing Qumranic evidence on the idea of "collective anointment" and its possible biblical roots, the author discusses the notion of the new covenant as a radical reinterpretation of the Torah and then returns, finally, to the collective messiahship, tying the two themes together.

Keywords: biblical roots; collective messiahship; Corinthians; Jeremiah; Jesus movement; new covenant; Qumranic evidence; reinterpretation of Scripture; Torah



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