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Title: Spirit, penance, and perfection : the exegesis of I Corinthians 5:3-5 from A.D. 200 to 451
Author: McDonald, B. A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis examines the exegesis of I Corinthians 5:3-5 between the years of 200, when the text is first cited, and 451, by which time the text had been subjected to a variety of exegetical approaches and applied to a number of different situations. A chronological (rather than topical) approach has been adopted; each writer's overall use of the passage is studied, in hope that this will give better insight into his exegesis of the Corinthian text. Although penitential theology was beginning to develop, with one major penance allowed for grievous post-baptismal sin (an idea found in the Shepherd of Hermas), the earliest extant exegesis of I Corinthians 5:3-5 occurs in the works of Tertullian during his Montanist phase; he cites it to support his argument that certain grave sins are beyond remission by the Church. For Tertullian, the interitum carnis refers to irrevocable excommunication and possible death for a serious offender. The spiritus which is to be saved is that of the Church, since the offender's spirit cannot possibly be saved after a descent into serious sin. Later in the same century, Origen takes a different position; since Paul counselled the church at Corinth to forgive a penitent sinner (II Corinthians 2:5-11), this was presumably the same man who had so grievously sinned (I Corinthians 5). Therefore, all sins are remissible by the Church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available