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Drawing the Line: Paul on Idol Food and Idolatry in 1 Cor 8:1–11:1

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the following questions: Is it necessary to postulate that Paul in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1 reacts against actual attendance by Corinthian Christians at banquets in the temple precincts? Where does Paul draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable Christian behavior concerning the consumption of food offered to idols? The answer to the second question depends on the answer to another question: i.e. what is the main issue in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1? The chapter examines these questions on the basis of some 'which result from the preceding discussion. First, the author assumes that in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1, Paul does not react against actual attendance by Corinthian Christians at banquets in temple precincts. Secondly, he postulates that the legitimate right which Paul grants to those who have knowledge is not the right to eat food offered to idols in pagan temples.

Keywords: Christian community; Corinthians; idols; pagan temples; Paul



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