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The scriptures of Israel in Colossians 2:8–15: The echo of Genesis 17 in 2:13

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Chapter Summary

Two criteria necessary for an echo are: i) availability, and ii) word agreement. Regarding availability, Paul certainly knew the Abraham account found in the book of Genesis, and had almost certainly read it himself. Regarding word agreement, Col 2:13 shares a rare word-combination with the source text, with both texts discussing circumcision in the immediate context. While not a rare topic within Judaism, the concept of circumcision is specific enough to further justify our investigation. The two texts thus also share a concept similarity. It appears that Paul has intentionally played on the two key words of the phrase by switching their word order, and the intended rhetorical effect of this play produces a transformation in meaning.

Keywords: Abraham; book of Genesis; Colossians 2; concept of circumcision; echo; Judaism; Paul; word agreement



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