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Ancestral, Oracular And Prophetic Authority: "Scriptural Authority" According To Paul And Philo

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Pauls view on the authoritative Jewish writings is rather nuanced and subtle. It demonstrates that these writings are considered authoritative for a variety of reasons, firstly because they are ancestral writings of the Jews, in the same way as ancestral writings of others in Greco-Roman antiquity were considered authoritative. Secondly, in Pauls view, some parts of the Jewish writings are more authoritative than others insofar as they contain direct divine oracles of God, normally rendered in direct divine speech and addressed to the prophets who record them. Thirdly, the question that then arises is in what sense the prophets, and their writings, are related to Gods oracles, which are encompassed by the prophetic writings. It then looks at Philo, who seems to have reflected theoretically on difference between oracular and prophetic authority and who provides a close analogy for Pauls more implicit views on the issue.

Keywords: ancestral writings; Jewish writings; oracular; Paul; Philo; prophetic authority; scriptural authority



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