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Before the BibleThe Liturgical Body and the Formation of Scriptures in early Judaism$
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Judith H. Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190212216.001.0001

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The Eucharistic Body of Paul and the Ritualization of 2 Corinthians

The Eucharistic Body of Paul and the Ritualization of 2 Corinthians

(p.75) Chapter 3 The Eucharistic Body of Paul and the Ritualization of 2 Corinthians
Before the Bible

Judith H. Newman

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 considers the figure of Paul and the community in Corinth to argue that three practices in 2 Corinthians result in communal formation of the ecclesia and establish Paul as the authoritative apostolic author. The first is the collection for the saints in Jerusalem which reframes the Greco-Roman practice of euergatism. A second practice is the initial blessing of God which reconstrues the deep Judean memory of exile and restoration. Paul’s body can thus be understood as a “eucharistic body” in two senses. The community gives thanks as a corporate body to God as a result of the benefaction, and Paul’s body is the mediating instrument by which this thanksgiving is rendered. A third practice is the performance of the letter itself: subsequent readings by mediators both shape the community to which it is communicated and construct Paul as an author and revelatory authority because he is an exemplary sufferer like Christ.

Keywords:   Paul, 2 Corinthians, blessing, benefaction, collection, cultural memory theory, ritualization, apostolic authority

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