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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Temple of the Living God: The Influence of Hellenistic Philosophy on Paulís Figurative Temple Language Applied to the Corinthians
Richardson, Philip N.

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018 pp. xxii + 307. $38.00

Description: When writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul used figurative temple language repeatedly to shape the identity of his audience (ďTemple of God,Ē ďTemple of the Holy Spirit,Ē and ďTemple of the Living GodĒ). While other scholars have identified the place of the Jerusalem temple in Paulís thinking or the impact of temples in the life of Corinth, there has been no comprehensive study of the way that figurative temple language in philosophy could have influenced the Corinthiansí worldview. Hellenistic philosophy was pervasive in the first century and provided theological guidance for faith and practice to Paulís Gentile audience before their conversion. Philip N. Richardson provides a comprehensive survey of figurative temple language in Hellenistic philosophy, shedding light on the way that the kinds of philosophical thought known in cities like Corinth may have influenced the Corinthians to think about figurative temple language. This study throws into sharp relief the similarities and differences between Paulís use of temple language and that of philosophy, and illuminates Paulís setting of this language in the wider framework of 1Ė2 Corinthians and his purpose for its use in the argument of the letters.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, History of Religions, Literary Approaches

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Review by Michael K. W. Suh
Published 1/30/2020
Citation: Michael K. W. Suh, review of Philip N. Richardson, Temple of the Living God: The Influence of Hellenistic Philosophy on Paulís Figurative Temple Language Applied to the Corinthians, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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