Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Remain in Your Calling and Keep "Walking": Paul's Hint in 1 Cor. 7:17 That Gentiles Should Follow Jewish Law

 Here's the passage in question:

"{7:17} But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. {7:18} Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. {7:19} Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. {7:20} Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."  (1 Cor. 7:17-20)

Here's Brian Tucker's take on "let him walk":

"Paul hints [in 1 Corinthians 7:17] at the way he sees the continued relevance of the law within the Pauline movement; his focus is specifically on differing halakhic understandings (i.e., strict or less strict interpretive traditions).  ...Here in 7:17, Paul uses the imperative 'let him walk'...which echoes Jewish teaching and learning discourse and 'walking in the way of the Lord' language of the Hebrew Bible (Exod 18:20; Ps 25:4; Deut 26:17; 28:9).  Tomson rightly notes that there is a significant amount of halakhic material in 1 Corinthians:  'the authoritative, halakhic character of First Corinthians is striking.'" Remain in Your Calling:  Paul and the Continuation of Social Identities in 1 Corinthians by J. Brian Tucker

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