Divisions Over Leaders And Food Offered To Idols: The Parallel Thematic Structures of 1 Corinthians 4:6-21 and 8:1–11:1 -- By: E. Coye Still, III

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 55:1 (NA 2004)
Article: Divisions Over Leaders And Food Offered To Idols: The Parallel Thematic Structures of 1 Corinthians 4:6-21 and 8:1–11:1
Author: E. Coye Still, III


Divisions Over Leaders And Food Offered To Idols:
The Parallel Thematic Structures of
1 Corinthians 4:6-21 and 8:1–11:1

E. Coye Still, III

Summary

How significant is 1 Corinthians 14 in the epistle as a whole? Paul approaches specifically the problem of food offered to idols in essentially the same manner as he approaches the problem of divisions over leaders. More precisely, 1 Corinthians 8:111:1 appears to follow closely Paul’s pattern of argumentation in the climatic 1 Corinthians 4:6–21. In Paul’s remarkably similar approaches to different presenting problems do we have a clue that Paul’s own apostolic hardships are a cruciform paradigm for the pastoral counsel throughout 1 Corinthians 5–15?.

Introduction

Nils A. Dahl suggests viewing ‘1 Cor. 1:104:21 as an introductory section with a definite purpose within the letter as a whole.’1 Dahl argues that ‘the section 1 Cor. 1:104:21 … prepares for the content of the answers given to the questions raised and indicates the theological basis from which these answers are given.’2 I am persuaded that careful comparison of 1 Corinthians 14 with 8:111:1 strongly supports Dahl’s analysis.

Various scholars have observed similarities in the presuppositions of Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 14 and 8:111:1.3 It seems to me that in both sections Paul employs a problem – paradigm – call for imitation pattern of argumentation. The problem is divisive loyalties to respective leaders in 1 Corinthians 14 (see 1:10–12)You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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