Destroying the wisdom of the wise: an analysis of wisdom in first Corinthians 1-4 in light of Hebrew Bible wisdom narratives

Moody, John L. (2023) Destroying the wisdom of the wise: an analysis of wisdom in first Corinthians 1-4 in light of Hebrew Bible wisdom narratives. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow in partnership with Edinburgh Theological Seminary.

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This study seeks to discern if there is a link between Paul’s discussion of wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1-4 and the wisdom narratives of the Hebrew Bible – narratives where God imparts wisdom to a person or persons in a significant way. To narrow the investigation, I have selected the wisdom narratives surrounding the biblical figures of Joseph, Solomon, Isaiah and Daniel. I then delineate the criteria I use for discerning the Pauline allusions to these passages, adapting the methodology outlined by Dale Allison.

Various options for the source of conflict in the Corinthian church are proposed and assessed, with the conclusion that the influence of Stoic teachers was the likely culprit. I then outline the argument of the four chapters.

Three categories of motifs are examined using Allison’s criteria: source motifs (motifs that speak of God as the source of wisdom), reversal motifs (motifs where God reverses the established social order) and covenant motifs (motifs where wisdom is given for the preservation or flourishing of God’s people).

I conclude that there are discernable allusions between the Solomon, Isaiah and Daniel narratives and 1 Corinthians 1-4, but there is insufficient evident to establish a link with the Joseph story. I further argue that Paul’s intention in including these allusions is an act of out narrating – he seeks to undermine Stoic influence by enfolding the Corinthians into the narrative structures of Israel's redemptive history.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Castaneda, Dr. Benjamin
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83790
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 13:31
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 13:37
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83790

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