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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Paul-Apollos Relationship and Paulís Stance toward Greco-Roman Rhetoric: An Exegetical and Socio-historical Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4
Mihaila, Corin

New York: T&T Clark, 2009 pp. xix + 252. $140.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 402

Description: This book evaluates the role played by Paul's use of the Apollos name in his argumentation against dissention in the community of Corinth. Research into the social and rhetorical background of the Corinthian church, shows that the Corinthians were evaluating their leaders based on their rhetorical prowess, seeking to associate with those who would enhance their status and honour. The coherence of Paul's argument in "1 Corinthians" 1-4 is evaluated, particularly by showing how Paul's discourse of the cross and Sophia relate to the issue of the dissensions in the Corinthian ekklesia. Once demonstrated that there is a misunderstanding of wisdom amongst church leaders at the basis of the dissensions, a redefinition of the wisdom offered in "Corinthians" is required. In what could be considered the locus of Paul's theology of proclamation (i.e., "1 Corinthians" 2:1-5), he rejects any employment of worldly wisdom in his proclamation of the cross for theological reasons and will not allow himself or other leaders to be drawn into this game of personality cult and honour enhancement. Such conclusions then raise the question of the role played by Apollos' name in Paul's argument against dissensions. After a review of several possible views, it is concluded - based primarily on exegetical grounds and refusing to engage in hermeneutical speculations - that Paul had a congenial relationship with Apollos. If any distinction is drawn between the two, it was solely the Corinthians' fault, who viewed their preachers in competitive rather than complementary terms. Formerly the "Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement", a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. "The Early Christianity in Context" series, a part of JSNTS, examines the birth and development of early Christianity up to the end of the third century CE. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context. European Seminar on Christian Origins and "Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Supplement" are also part of JSNTS.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Literature

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Review by Keith A. Reich
Published 9/25/2010
Citation: Keith A. Reich, review of Corin Mihaila, The Paul-Apollos Relationship and Paulís Stance toward Greco-Roman Rhetoric: An Exegetical and Socio-historical Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

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