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The Otherworld And This World In 2 Cor 12:1–10 In Light Of Early Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition

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Chapter Summary

The way Paul phrases the visionary experience and the obstacle to exaltation raises several questions. Why does Paul speak in the third person singular about his own visions and revelations? What is unutterable about the things heard in the rapture to the third heaven? How could the second half of the passage about the restraints which keep the apostle from being too elated be understood? In other words, why does Paul phrase revelation the way he does it in this passage? In other passages of his Letters, Paul is all the more versatile about revelations concerning, for instance, the expected coming of the Lord (1 Thess 4:13-18) and resurrection of the dead . This essay reconsiders Paul's formulation in this passage in light of the larger context of the letter and of Jewish apocalyptic literature contemporary to Paul, in search of the meaning of the very restrained terms.

Keywords: Jewish apocalyptic; Paul; visionary experience



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