Theologizing in the Corinthian Conflict: Studies in Exegesis and Theology of 2 Corinthians
Biblical Tools and Studies
European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting location:Piliscaba/Budapest date:3-6 August 2006
In studies on 2 Corinthians, 6:14-7:1 is known as the ‘puzzling passage,’ because it fits in rather awkwardly with its immediate context and contains many hapax legomena. This has led to much speculation on the authenticity of this passage and whether it was interpolated into its present place from elsewhere (whether by Paul or a later redactor). One of the most extreme arguments, advanced by Hans Dieter Betz in 1973, is that it is an anti-Pauline passage reflecting the theology of Paul's opponents in the Letter to the Galatians. While this theory has not found much favour, the counter-argument of Pauline authorship, integrity and theology within its context has gained ground but not achieved full consensus either. We will briefly consider the range of exegetical positions and then survey some recent studies in the last decade to witness which end of the spectrum they belong to. More importantly, our contribution seeks to explore the theological implications of a letter lacking or retaining this enigmatic passage and whether, at the end of the day, its retention or excision tells us more about exegetical predispositions than Paul’s own theology.