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Paul And The Athletic Ideal In Antiquity: A Case Study In Wrestling With Word And Image

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Chapter Summary

This chapter-a case study in the responsible use of the visual arts as background to exegesis-proposes that the apostle Paul operates similarly in his interaction with the Greek athletic ideal as expressed in the ceramics, statuary, reliefs, mosaics, coins, seal stones and incised honorific decrees of the eastern Mediterranean basin. It looks at how Paul interacts with the athletic images of the runner and boxer in discussing the divisions in the Corinthian house churches. The chapter explores Paul's critique of crowning in its epigraphic and visual arts context. Crown portraits were often incised in the inscriptions or painted on various monuments. The chapter argues that Paul interacted with the rendering of the athletic ideal in the visual arts as much as with its moral appropriation by the popular philosophers or its expression in the games themselves.

Keywords:athletic ideal; athletic images; boxer; Corinthian house churches; crown portraits; Greek; Mediterranean basin; Paul; runner



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