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The Corinthian Correspondence and the Birth of Pauline Hermeneutics

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Chapter Summary

The epistolary archive preserved in canonical 1 and 2 Corinthians constitutes an inestimably valuable resource for reconstruction of early Christian missionary tactics and conflicts, social composition of Pauline churches, and the development of Paul's theology in the crucible of dispute. The Corinthian archive provides us with the fullest body of evidence in the Pauline corpus of a succession of letters and verbal exchanges back and forth between Paul and his correspondents. This chapter focuses on three key stages of negotiated meaning in any Pauline letter, beginning with the first Pauline interpreter in what has become a long history of exegesis-Paul himself. It concludes that the preceding overview of reading strategies used by Paul and the Corinthians in the course of negotiating the meaning of his letters is not meant to be exhaustive, but to represent some essential ways the two partners dialogued about the legacy and effects of these texts.

Keywords: Christian missionary tactics; Corinthian correspondence; Paul's theology; Pauline hermeneutics



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