The Significance Of Paul’s Addition Of “And Daughters” In 2 Corinthians 6:18 -- By: Lee Magness

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 29:2 (Spring 2015)
Article: The Significance Of Paul’s Addition Of “And Daughters” In 2 Corinthians 6:18
Author: Lee Magness

The Significance Of Paul’s Addition Of “And Daughters” In 2 Corinthians 6:18

Lee Magness

Lee Magness is Professor Emeritus of Bible at Milligan College. He continues to serve as a valued teacher at Milligan and at Emmanuel Christian Seminary, both in eastern Tennessee. He holds a PhD from Emory University and is well published.

“And I will be to you as a father, and you will be to me as sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” So writes Paul in 2 Cor 6:18, evidently quoting from 2 Sam 7:14. But the 2 Samuel passage lacks the words “and daughters.” Some scholars assume that Paul has merged the language of 2 Samuel with a quotation from another OT passage where sons and daughters are mentioned. Others argue that Paul has added the words not to echo an older text, but to affirm an insight of his own.1 Whether Paul has borrowed the phrase or created the phrase, the addition clarifies his understanding of God’s covenant people. And the clarification is significant: Paul included women.

The Shape Of A Pauline Catena

The verse falls within the debated passage, 2 Cor 6:14-7:1. Some treat the passage as a non-Pauline interpolation,2 others as a Pauline interpolation drawn from another communication with the church at Corinth or elsewhere.3 Some read the passage as a tangential parenthetical statement, while others read it as an integral part of Paul’s argument regarding the implications of God’s covenant for the controversies in Corinth.

Whatever its role in the Corinthian correspondence, this passage, which deals with the contact between followers of Christ and unbelievers, includes a catena—a chain or series—of four quotations from the OT, imploring believers who comprise “the temple of the living God” to have nothing in common with unbelievers and their idolatrous ways. The four quotations are arranged chiastically.4 The first and the fourth citations (v. 16b and v. 18) remind believers that God is their God, their father, and that they are his people, his children. The first section (A, 16b) reads, “I will dwell among them and walk among [them] and I will be their God and they will be my people.” The last section (A’, v. 18) echoes, “And I will be t...

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