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Title: The setting and early effective-history of Paul's Temple metaphors
Author: Marlatte, Read W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5832
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This study examines the nature, function, and implications of Paul's Temple metaphors (1 Cor 3.16-17, 6.19-20; 2 Cor 6.14-7.1) and asks whether these metaphors indicate that the Jerusalem Temple has been superseded by the Christian community. Answers to this question have often relied upon the prioritization of particular backgrounds for Paul's language and the implementation of ideologically biased, interpretive models such as spiritualization. Issues arise in both these procedures due to the hermeneutical ambiguities involved in identifying metaphorical meaning. Our approach to Paul's Temple metaphors utilizes the analytical tools provided by Conceptual Metaphor Theory and calls for an awareness of these metaphors' early effective-history. Metaphors do not contain meaning but rather provide a conceptual structure that generates meaning through a hermeneutical act. Thus, in order to understand Paul's metaphors we must recognize not only their conceptual structures, but also how these structures have generated meanings and, as a result, how these meanings have shaped our interpretations of Paul himself. The historical setting of Paul's Temple metaphors is examined first in order to establish a set of assumptions and anticipations of meaning for when we encounter this type of language in this period. The public behaviour of the majority of Jews towards the Temple, as well as the presence of cultic criticisms, and conceptualizations in the Second Temple period demonstrate a widespread adherence to and support for the Temple. Turning to Paul's metaphors, we see how the Temple provides a conceptual model with which Paul can structure and reason about the status of both the community and body as indwelt and holy. While these metaphors do not suggest a deviation from Temple adherence, we demonstrate how they offer a set of conceptual and linguistic tools open to various interpretations and applications. We then examine a series of texts which highlight aspects of these metaphors' early effective-history: Ephesians 2.11-22, 1 Peter 2.4-10, Hebrews, and the Epistle of Barnabas. Through actualizing Paul's metaphors or by being associated with them, we observe how subsequent texts interpret, extend, and apply these metaphors to address their own particular questions. Awareness of this early effective-history reveals the semantic potential of these texts and allows us to reflect on the origins of some of our own interpretive tendencies, particularly those which lead us to supersessionist interpretations of Paul. Thus we conclude that a supersession of the Temple and its cult is not demonstrable from Paul's Temple metaphors as this is not the question these texts seek to answer. However, the conceptual framework provided by these metaphors places no observable hermeneutical constraints such that these texts could not be utilized in different historical circumstances to address the question of the validity of the Temple in relation to the Christian community. Observing how these metaphors provide conceptual structure and generate meaning enhances our understanding not only of Paul's texts, but also of ourselves as interpreters of Paul.
Supervisor: Bockmuehl, Markus Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Temple of Jerusalem ; Hermeneutics ; Reception History ; Metaphor in the Bible ; Epistle of Paul ; Effective History