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18 Determinism and Free Will in Paul: The Argument of 1 Corinthians 8 and 9

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Paul's argument on determinism and free will in 1 Cor 9. A perceived roughness in the transition between chapters 8 and 9 has contributed to the description of chapter 9 as a digression from Paul's discussion of idol meat. The digression has then been thought explanatory, particularly of 8:13. For the most part, scholars have tried to determine the nature of the freedom Paul had in mind (from the Law, from financial dependence, to eat idol meat, or as a description of social status). Paul begins his discussion of the problem of idol meat by relativizing the knowledge the Corinthians claimed for themselves (8:1-6). Stoics and writers susceptible to Stoic influence cautioned against the misappropriation of this notion of ἐξουσία.

Keywords: Corinthians; determinism; Paul



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