The brothers as the "glory of Christ" (2 Cor 8:23) Paul's Doxa terminology in its ancient benefaction context

James R. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies on Paul's doxa terminology in the Corinthian epistles have either focused on the apostle's allusion to the Moses "glory" tradition in 2 Corinthians 3:4-4:6 or on how the diverse "glory" traditions of the LXX and Second Temple Judaism informed his Christology (1 Cor 2:8). However, Paul's description of the brothers accompanying the Jerusalem collection as the "doxa of Christ" (2 Cor 8:23) has commanded little attention. Where the phrase has been discussed, it has been understood against the backdrop of the Isaianic "servant" songs (Isa 42, 49, 52-53) and prophecy (60, 62). Alternatively, the text is explained contextually in terms of the brothers promoting Christ's glory (2 Cor 3:18; 8:19). This article proposes that the honorific inscriptions, Dio Chrysostom's Rhodian oration, and the imperial context of "glory" allow us to appreciate better why Paul described his colleagues as the "doxa of Christ." In employing the phrase, Paul works within the honorific rhetorical conventions, but upends their eulogistic rationale and imperial focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-188
Number of pages33
JournalNovum Testamentum
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Keywords

  • 2 Corinthians
  • Beneficence
  • Counter-imperial
  • Dio Chrysostom's Rhodian oration
  • Doxa
  • Glory of benefactors
  • Glory of the Julio-Claudian house
  • Honorific inscriptions
  • Jerusalem collection

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