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St. Paul's Corinth: Texts and Archaeology (Good News Studies, Vol. 6) [Paperback]

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Item description for St. Paul's Corinth: Texts and Archaeology (Good News Studies, Vol. 6) by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor...

Corinth, one of the most fascinating centers of the early Christian movement, is explored through both literary and archaeological means. In St. Paul's Corinth the evidence of thirty-three Greek and Latin authors is arranged and presented chronologically from the first century B.C.E. to the second century C.E. This third revised and expanded edition includes new textual and archaeological material based on continuing research on Corinth. The text of previous editions has been thoroughly revised in the interest of greater clarity and accuracy. The edition also includes updated maps and plans of the region.

Publishers Description

Corinth, one of the most fascinating centers of the early Christian movement, is explored through both literary and archaeological means. In St. Paul's Corinth the evidence of thirty-three Greek and Latin authors is arranged and presented chronologically from the first century B.C.E. to the second century C.E.

This third revised and expanded edition includes new textual and archaeological material based on continuing research on Corinth. The text of previous editions has been thoroughly revised in the interest of greater clarity and accuracy. The edition also includes updated maps and plans of the region.

"St. Paul's Corinth" is divided into four parts. "Part 1: The Ancient Texts" includes Pausanias," *Antipater of Sidon, - *Polystratus, - *Cicero, - *Crinagoras, - *Diodorus Siculus, - *Strabo, - *Livy, - *Propertius, - *Vitruvius, - *Philo, - *Inscription Honouring Iunia Theodora, - *Petronius Arbiter, - *Pliny the Elder, - *Epictetus, - *Flavius Josephus, - *Martial, - *Pseudo-Julian, - *Dio Chrysostom, - *Plutarch, - *Juvenal, - *Pliny the Younger, - *Suetonius, - *Appian, - *Florus, - *Aelius Aristides, - *Lucian, - *Apuleius, - *Gellius, - *Alciphron, - *Dio Cassius, - *Philostratus, - and *Athenaeus. -

"Part 2: Paul in Corinth" includes *The Edict of Claudius, - *The Proconsul Gallio, - and *After the Founding Visit. -

"Part 3: Archaeology"includes *House Churches and the Eucharist, - *Temple Banquets and the Body, - and *The Workplace and the Apostolate. -

"Part 4: Corinthian Bronze" includes *The Passion for Possession, - *The Value of Corinthian Bronze, - *The Origins of Interest in Corinthian Bronze, - *Corinthian Bronze in Rome, - *How Was Corinthian Bronze Made? - *Recognizing an Authentic Corinthian Bronze, - *Corinthian Bronze Statues and Figurines, - *Utilitarian but Beautiful, - *Bronze Production in Roman Corinth. -

"Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, OP, teaches at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.""

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Liturgical Press
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2002
Publisher   Liturgical Press
Edition  Revised  
Series  Good News Studies  
ISBN  0814653030  
ISBN13  9780814653036  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jerome Murphy-O'Connor

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Jerome Murphy-O'Connor is Professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor currently resides in Jerusalem. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor was born in 1935 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem Ecole Biblique et.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Good News Studies
  2. New Testament Theology
  3. Oxford Archaeological Guides

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Reviews - What do customers think about St. Paul's Corinth: Texts and Archaeology (Good News Studies, Vol. 6)?

Ok research, poor conclusions  Apr 10, 2008
The book is divided in 3 parts. The most of this review is spent analyzing the 2nd part.

In Part 1, Murphy-O'Connor examines all ancient texts that are related to Corinth. These are presented in chronological order with the exception of Pausanias. His account appears first because he wrote a fairly detailed account of Corinth. Although Part 1 is a handy reference of primary sources, it is lengthy and repetitious. In the brief commentaries Murphy-O'Connor does tie some of the accounts in with related issues in Paul's letters to the Corinthians. The most interesting of these will be developed below.

In Part 2, Murphy O'Connor analyzes the texts to determine when Paul was in Corinth. He looks at Acts 18:2 and 18:12, which reference the Edict of Claudius and the term of office of the proconsul Gallio, respectively. He concludes that unless we are to throw out all Pauline Chronology, we must recognize Luke's extreme vagueness in Acts 18:2 or simply acknowledge his carelessness and ignorance to the circumstance of the couple that Paul met when he first arrived in Corinth (Murphy-O'Connor : 148). However, he seems to have haphazardly arrived to this conclusion by coming upon different options, deeming them all unlikely, and then with full confidence bursting through one of them with his preconceived conclusion ready in hand. But, to his credit, I wish to show that Murphy O'Connor does present the evidence very well for a resolution of the issue; however, it is the opposite of what he has determined.
Although Murphy- O'Connor's argument for the date of Gallio's encounter with Paul (Acts 18:27-17) is "admittedly tenuous", it is also quite logical and well thought-out. He dates this interaction to have taken place between July and October A.D. 51 (Murphy-O'Connor : 158). So I will set this date, as he did, and move on to the more troublesome section. In Acts 18:2, Luke describes that when Paul arrived to Corinth he met a couple, Aquila and Priscilla, who had just "recently", came from Italy due to the Edict of Claudius. Murphy- O'Connor develops later that this "recently", must actually be some period of about eight years, thus challenging Luke's reliability (Murphy-O'Connor : 148).
There are three ancient sources that mention the Edict of Claudius: Suetonius, Dio Cassius, and Orosius. Orosius explicitly refers to the "expulsion of Jews by Claudius in his ninth year". This would mean that the edict of Claudius would have to have occurred from 25 January A.D. 49 to 24 January A.D. 50. Murphy- O'Connor than examines why he believes that this information is dubious. His first point is that Orosius depended on other sources, and since we do not have all of these sources, we can no longer have confidence in his writings. This reasoning is hypocritical because Murphy O'Connor glorified the work of Athenaeus in Part 1 because "Many of the works cited no longer exist, and without the data that he supplies our knowledge of ancient literature would be immeasurably poorer." (Murphy-O'Connor : 132) For the lack of the original referenced sources he praises one author and then condemns the other. Orosius does reference Suetonius and "he does highlight a valid doubt as to who precisely were expelled." (Murphy-O'Connor : 139) As a pupil of Augustine, it seems normal that to Orosius anyone who is fighting and arousing trouble against Christianity is effectively "agitating against Christ". This would be similar to someone now saying, "They ignored Christ" or "They fought against Mohammed". But Murphy-O'Connor does not attack this as much; instead, he charges him with anachronism because he called Christians "men of a related faith." Theologically, Judaism and Christianity can be considered different faiths; although, as Murphy O'Connor accurately points out, they were not at that point publicly recognized as such. Murphy-O'Connor then comes to the culmination of his criticism of the account of Orosius by proudly reminding us that there is no account of the Edict of Claudius in the Annals of Tacitus. It is not surprising to learn that this section is void of any references.
Murphy-O'Connor presents as a big surprise that in the Annals of Tacitus "there is not a single allusion to any action, taken or contemplated, against the Jews of Rome in that year". This is true, but not astounding. In fact, it would be surprising if it were in his Annals. The first problem is the content. We have only a little over half of the original work and when compared to Tacitus's Histories, then the length of time that is covered is twice as long in half the number of books. There clearly will be less detail (Benario: 57). There is extant material of events that took place under the reign of Claudius from 45-54 A.D; however, one historian adds that "the greatest detail has been given in the earlier years of Tiberius and the later years of Nero." (Walker: 14). In addition to the lack of material, there are the problems of "Discrepancies in Tacitus's statements" and "the introduction of non-factual material (Walker: 2,32). The second issue, is the style and theme of his writing. His method of relating history is a cause and effect analysis (Walker: 32) of what he considers to be the important events. "In enumerating the events of each year, Tacitus frequently selects a single incident for thoroughly detailed description extending over several chapters." (Walker: 16) Books XI-XVI, where Claudius's reign would appear, the author continues to develop "the view of the principate as progressively evil." (Walker: 32) The important events that would fit into his cause and effect analysis would likely not include the Edict of Claudius. Not only is there little written about the reign of Claudius, but his decision to expel Christians that weren't Roman citizens would not be an event that would help Tacitus's argument. Even on a large scale, the expelling of Jews on the account of Christ would hardly be seen as "progressing evil". The lack of mention of the Edict of Claudius in Tacitus's Annals should be expected.
Others have tried to "rehabilitate Orosius by arguing that indirect evidence corroborates his dating of trouble in Rome..." Murphy-O'Connor does well to point out the fault in these arguments. They are not well founded, but really they are also unneeded. They make the underlying assumption that as soon as Christianity arrived, the Edict of Claudius would occur. But logic says that this does not have to be the case. Murphy-O'Connor proves them wrong; however, it makes no difference. If Christianity arrived towards the end of the 30s in Rome (Murphy-O'Connor: 141), it still may not have been until the late 40s that the disturbance was big enough to catch the eye of the emperor.
Basically the only criticism of Orosius, is that he called people Christians who at the time would still be referred to as Jews (that follow Christ). But what about the other two references? Although another date is not specifically given, Dio Cassius mentions the Edict of Claudius in the midst of other events that occurred around 41 B.C. (Although Murphy-O'Connor did not address this issue, we will ignore the idea that since there was no specified date, perhaps the reference was to another time period.) Unfortunately, Murphy-O'Connor states that "neither Suetonius nor Dio Cassius can be taken at face value." Moreover, of Dio Cassius he says, "Thus, there is the distinct possibility that Dio Cassius had to rely on inaccurate information, and of course, he may have misunderstood what he read." Later Murphy-O'Connor adds, "He was not aware of any such punishment, and so substituted what he considered a lesser penalty." (Murphy-O'Connor: 143) Basically, Dio Cassius did not believe his sources and so he simply rewrote history. Consequently, Murphy-O'Connor strings together a reconciliation of Suetonius and Dio Cassius and once again admits that it is "admittedly tenuous". His theory of the true Edict of Claudius does seem plausible, but has no effect on the outcome that we are examining.
Murphy-O'Connor has already attempted to discredit all accounts of the Edict of Claudius. He is then forced to choose between the explicit account which has base in other sources and an account that he presents as dubious and containing material that the author has made up himself. Unfortunately, Murphy-O'Connor chose the latter. By choosing the account of Dio Cassius along with the assumption that the Edict of Claudius must have happened in AD 41, Murphy-O'Connor has now enabled himself to attack the credibility of Luke.
"Luke is much less precise than appears at first sight... Moreover, the edict involved only banishment from the city, not exile from the country. We cannot assume that the expelled Jews immediately took to the boats. It is more reasonable to assume that they took up residence somewhere outside the city in order to see how the situation would develop."
Fortunately, Murphy-O'Connor has unknowingly already proven his own arguments to be unfounded.
Although, it does seem unlikely that all the expelled Jews would immediately leave, it would be smart to look back at what Murphy-O'Connor says concerning Paul and the Isthmian games in respect to a passage written by Pausanias. "Finally, it must be kept in mind that the vast numbers of non-Corinthians who came for the games were accommodated in tents, and that Paul's trade was that of a tentmaker (Acts 18:3 - cf. p. 176 below)." (Murphy-O'Connor: 17) It is remarkable then that Murphy-O'Connor never mentions that Priscilla and Aquila are also tentmakers like Paul. It makes sense for this couple, after the edict of Claudius, to travel immediately to Rome. Luke does not reference many Jews, just these two, who must have been great friends of Paul's. Paul "stayed and worked with them" (Acts 18:3) and then later he "sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila" (Acts 18:18). Not only that, but also the couple risked their lives for Paul and all the gentile churches knew them (Romans 16:3-4). Given that Luke was a close follower of Paul, it seems highly unlikely that about the background of Priscilla and Aquila he "had no real information on such as minor point, and combined vague memories to produce a scenario which, on other grounds, cannot be factual." (Murphy-O'Connor: 148) Actually, Murphy-O'Connor has presented the foundation for a strong case that "recently" in Acts 18:2 really means "recently".
According to the case presented, the encounter with the proconsul Gallio must have taken place between July and October A.D. 51 (Murphy-O'Connor : 158). As pointed out by Murphy-O'Connor, Paul would have arrived in Corinth a year and a half earlier (Acts 18:11). By some poor math Murphy-O'Connor arrives at the year AD 49 (Murphy-O'Connor: 148) ( He must have looked at the date 51 subtracted 1.5 and arrived in 49). But if you take his real estimate of July - October of A.D. 51 then this would put Paul's arrival in Corinth at January - April of A.D. 50. Paul could have come at any point during this time because he was simply coming from Athens. Now from the side of Aquila and Priscilla, we assume that Orosius was correct and the Edict of Claudius occurred 25 January A.D. 49 to 24 January A.D. 50. If this event happened in the latter half of the year then Aquila and Priscilla would have had to wait out the winter before they could travel to Corinth (Murphy-O'Connor: 156). As pointed out by Murphy-O'Connor , during March of A.D. 50 is about when the seas would calm down enough so that they could travel to Corinth by boat and this would be about the same time that Paul would have arrived from Athens making Luke's account of "recently" extremely accurate. To his credit, Murphy-O'Connor states in the Forword that he is not proposing any new hypothesis (Murphy-O'Connor: XX) about this material. However, that would be most depressing if most other scholars have came to the same conclusion by the same means. A complete examination of the evidence shows the reliability of Luke's account of the arrival of Paul and the couple into Corinth and dates this to around October of AD 50.

In Part 3, Murphy-O'Connor examines a few archeological sites which he ties to portions of Paul's letters to the Corinthians. The first section on House - Churches and the Eucharist is an interesting look at the social context and setup of the house to explain the problem described by Paul in 1 Cor 11:17-33. His view is that when the church met together in the house, the elite members were allowed in the triclinium whereas the rest of the group stayed in the atrium. Although this would be against Christian rules against favoritism, it could explain 1 Cor 11:18. The next section is over Temple Banquets and the Body and is even better than the first. Although much of the explanation of the Strong and the Weak of 1 Cor 8-10 is hypothetical, it is also logical. The relating of body parts found in Asclepion to 1 Cor 12:12-31 is ingenious. The third section called, "The Workplace and the Apostolate" argues why being a tentmaker was actually a very appropriate trade for Paul. He may have been more of a leather worker in general, not limited to just tents, but regardless the demand for tents and tent repairs would have been high in Corinth. The job, as pointed out by Murphy-O'Connor, would allow him to interact with clients and be available for others who might need his advice throughout the day.
A literary and archaeological exploration of Corinth  Apr 7, 2003
Now in its third revised, updated, and expanded edition, St. Paul's Corinth: Texas And Archaeology by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor (Professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique) is a literary and archaeological exploration of Corinth, and presents the literary works of twenty-one Greek and Latin authors in chronological order from the first century B.C.E., to the second century C.E. Exhaustively researched with especial insight into the meticulous translations of the works it presents, St. Paul's Corinth is a fascinating, informative, scholarly, "reader friendly", and very highly recommended study.

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