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Hermeneutical Issues in Canonical Pseudepigrapha: The Head/Body Motif in the Pauline Corpus as a Test Case

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Chapter Summary

This chapter engages some hermeneutical issues associated with reading canonical pseudepigrapha. Such issues reach a pinnacle in the context of the Pauline canon, which can be divided between those letters whose authenticity is generally accepted, and those letters whose authenticity is disputed or rejected outright. Traditional readings often promote a stark distinction between the body imagery in Romans and 1 Corinthians and the more explicit body/head imagery in Colossians and Ephesians. This view tends to be based upon a hermeneutic that necessarily views deutero-Pauline letters as developments or adaptations from earlier and authentic expressions of Pauline thought. Rather than understanding Christ's headship of the body as a metaphor for authority or source, the author proposes that this headship is a divine gift, an organic feature of bodies, with the purpose of promoting and producing ecclesial unity and maturity.

Keywords: canonical pseudepigrapha; Christ's headship; deutero-Pauline letters; hermeneutical issues

10.1163/9789004258471_005
/content/books/b9789004258471_005
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
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