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Observations on the Jewish Background of 2 Corinthians 3:9, 3:7-8 and 3:11

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Chapter Summary

Paul has expanded and elaborated the (relatively) simple text of 2 Cor. 3:9 to produce the fuller version of 2 Cor. 3:7-8. Paul reverses his description-instead of the superiority of the Christophany to which he refers at 2 Cor. 3:9, he refers here to the inferiority of the covenant from Sinai. The reference to the Mosaic revelation that has 'faded' in 2 Cor. 3: 7 has become an allusion in 2 Cor. 3: 11, which would be difficult to understand without the earlier verse. The variants can be explained when Paul's Jewish background are considered, especially his alleged knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic, which accounts for the several semiticisms noticed in his text. The impression of a Hebraic background for 2 Cor. 3:9a is further strengthened by the lack of a Greek equivalent for the verb 'to be' in the first section of the statement a fortiori.

Keywords: Hebrew text; Jewish background; Mosaic revelation; Paul; Sinai



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