Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Jesus there is a whole new world

To place Paul's moral instruction in the light of Aristides and Pliny's vice and virtue lists " is to run the risk of missing the major surprise of Gal 5:19-23a: the degree to which Paul's apocalyptic view has transformed the language of the catalogue tradition....(This approach by Meeks)..leaves largely out of account the degree to which apocalyptic frames of reference- notably the motif of cosmic warfare- led Paul to a radically new view of the cosmos itself, and thus to an apocalyptic transformation of the language of vice and virtues. Thus if one were able to imagine a conversation in which one could teach Paul the modern usage of such inelegant terms as 'resocialization', one would also be able to imagine him coining the still more inelegant term 're-cosmos-ization' , in order to refer to the deed by which God is bringing about the death of the old and enslaving cosmos, in order to create a community so novel as to be called the new creation, a community in which language itself is transformed"
J luois Martyn ' Theological Issues in the Letters of Paul' Studies of the New Testament and it's world T&t Clark:Edinbrgh1997,Pg 262 note 26.

Martyn's ideas on the change in the cosmos brought about by Christ fit with the 'it's not a metaphor' theory of cultic language in Paul. As the temple and cult formed a model of the cosmos, so the church (with her head) are the model of the new cosmos

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