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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict
Twomey, Jay

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2013 pp. x + 98. $15.95

Series Information
Phoenix Guides to the New Testament, 8

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Second Corinthians offers a fascinating but fragmentary glimpse into Paulís continuing ties with the Corinthian community. At the same time, it is the site of many new critical challenges to traditional readings of Paul and early Christianity. In contrast to 1 Corinthians, this letter largely eschews the debates and discussions, the interests and concerns of Paulís correspondents. Instead we find Paul engaged in a multi-pronged defence of his ministry in and beyond Corinth. Over the course of thirteen chapters he runs the gamut of the emotions, rhetorically, from tears to joy to biting anger, while struggling to keep his relationship with (some say, his control over) the community intact. This Guide considers the historical contexts, the literary forms, the social and rhetorical backgrounds, the politics, the theologies, and the reception of 2 Corinthians. Each chapter surveys recent scholarly approaches to the text, focusing especially on critical perspectives that mesh with our contemporary concerns about gender, identity, race and class. Second Corinthians becomes, in the process, less the work of a single first-century writer than a set of fraught, even fractured negotiations between competing interests and impulses, conducted in Paulís voice. The last chapter brings the letter into conversation with Nathaniel Hawthorneís short story ĎThe Ministerís Black Veilí in order to shift the terms of the critical discussion from what Paul meant to how Paul means in later cultural moments.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 2 Corinthians, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches, Theological Approaches

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Review by Adam White
Published 5/13/2015
Citation: Adam White, review of Jay Twomey, 2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

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