Was Paul out of his mind? re-reading 2 Corinthians 5.13
Talbot School of Theology
Paul's use of the words έξίστηιμ and σωϕρoνέω in 2 Cor. 5.13 has proven extremely difficult for interpreters. Some believe Paul is making reference to a charge of eccentric behavior, while others think he is alluding to his own ecstatic experience. This article argues that the complaint of 2 Cor. 5.13 should be read in light of the central complaint leveled against Paul in Corinth: his poor rhetorical skills (10.10; 11.6; 12.19; 13.3). After demonstrating the prominence of this issue in 2 Cor. 10-12, 1 Cor. 1-4 and 2 Cor. 2-5, this article allows Paul's detractors to explain their terminology. Understood as a complaint against Paul from those whose rhetorical tastes were more refined, the language of 2 Cor. 5.13 is considerably illuminated. Both έξίστημτ and σωϕρoνέω were used in rhetorical hand books in relation to proper oratorical style. This reading anchors this text firmly within the literary context, while also reflecting issues prominent in the Greco- Roman world of first-century Corinth.
Paul, the Apostle, Saint -- Relations with contemporaries Bible . Corinthians II 1-7 Greek language -- Terms -- Existēmi Greek language -- Terms -- Sophroneo
Journal for the Study of the New Testament
DOI of Published Version
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Hubbard, Moyer V., "Was Paul out of his mind? re-reading 2 Corinthians 5.13" (1998). Faculty Articles & Research. 656.