Church in the Wilderness: Paul's Use of Exodus Traditions in 1 Corinthians

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. No.379


By: Carla Sawfford Works
January 2015
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161536052
218 Pages
$110.00 Paper original


Much attention has been devoted to Paul's quotations from the Old Testament, but little attention has been given to Paul's use of biblical narratives. The most extensive use of scripture in 1 Corinthians involves an allusion to Israel's exodus (10:1-22), which contains only one quotation (1 Cor 10:7). Since there is much debate on how to identify scriptural allusions, Carla Works examines two passages where there is overwhelming scholarly consensus regarding the presence of exodus imagery: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 and 10:1-22. These passages, therefore, provide an ideal place to consider how Paul is using Israel's exodus traditions to instruct a predominantly non-Jewish congregation. The author argues that the exodus tradition, a tradition used to bolster Israel's identity and to teach Israel about the identity of God, is reinterpreted by Paul in light of Christ and is employed to foster the identity formation of the Corinthians as the church of "one God and one Lord" (1 Cor 8:6).