Monday, March 8, 2010
EGLBS Paper Proposal Accepted!
Here is the abstract:
2 Corinthians 4:1: Paul and Moses Once Again?
It is without dispute that Paul offers an extended exposition of Exodus 34.29-35 in comparing the ‘glory’ of his ministry with that of Moses (2 Cor 3.7-18). In keeping with this theme, I would like to suggest that Paul alludes to his Christophany in 2 Cor 4.1 where he speaks of "ministry" as the result of mercy he has "received " (ἠλεήθημεν). By mentioning his call/conversion, Paul extends his exposition on Moses by alluding to the Mosaic theophany in Exodus 33.18-19, in which Moses pleads with YHWH to “show me your glory” (33.18). YHWH’s response in part is to tell Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (ἐλεήσω ὃν ἂν ἐλεῶ)
To substantiate this reading, I will demonstrate, first, that Paul employs this language of “mercy” elsewhere to speak of his ministry that derives from his experience with the risen Christ (1 Cor 7.25; [cf. 1 Tim 1.13,16 ]). Second, this allusion fits nicely with Paul’s reflection on his conversion/call using “light” language in 2 Cor 4.6. Third, though perhaps more peripherally, if one is to use one of the criteria suggested by Hays for determining echoes, i.e. “recurrence”, Paul cites YHWH’s response (Exod 33.19) in Romans 9.15.
Postscript: There will be some tweaks to this as I will also draw on Paul's language of "grace" (χάρις) to speak of his christophanic experience (1 Cor 15.9-10; Gal 1.15-16).