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Durham e-Theses
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Paul and the schismata in I corinthians

Rough, John Stewart (1984) Paul and the schismata in I corinthians. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis sets out to reconstruct the situation at Corinth, with particular emphasis upon the divisions, at the time of Paul’s writing of I Corinthians (Introduction). An essential component of such a reconstruction, which is presupposed to be necessary for the interpretation of the epistle, is the sociological dimension of the community (Chapter I). Difficulties involved in the reconstruction of the divisions are discussed (largely from a review of proposed interpretations), and a methodology is adopted which lays the principal emphasis upon Chapters 1-4 as the source of information (Chapter II).In the second part, statements of a basically factual nature in I Cor. 1-4 are examined, leading to the preliminary conclusion that a plurality of divisions, centred upon rival leaders, existed, but was possibly not taken seriously at Corinth (Chapter III). The overall development of argument (in I-4) relates the divisions to the theme of human .wisdom, opposed to God's power. Paul views divisions as proof of 'fleshly' dependence on human wisdom, expressed in 'puffed up' behaviour, denying dependence upon God (Chapter IV). Corroborative evidence of Paul's strategy of attacking false wisdom at the root of all divisiveness, rather than particular parties, is provided by stylistically prominent indications of purpose (e.g. imperatives, purpose clauses). Paul's claim to unique authority and responsibility is an attempt to transcend divisions (Chapter V).In the third part (Chapter VI), the conclusions from I Cor. 1-4 are tested against relevant sections of I Cor. 5-16. The evidence confirms the overall conclusion of a diversity of tensions within the community, producing, within a vacuum of authority, divisions centred upon leaders. Paul appeals for a voluntary surrender of rights and freedom, in consideration for others, and for the building up of the community (Conclusion).

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1984
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:44

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