Paul's opponents and views of women in 1 Corinthians

Cowland, Greg, David (2021) Paul's opponents and views of women in 1 Corinthians. Masters thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology. [Thesis]

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Greg Cowland, Paul’s Opponents and Views of Women in 1 Corinthians, Master of Theology (MTh), Middlesex University/London School of Theology, 2021. This thesis will aim to explore the identity of Paul’s opponents in Corinth and seek to prove that they consisted of a group of Jewish-Christians. Different aspects of Paul’s styles of writing will be highlighted to support this claim. The thesis will then go on to question, exegete and re-interpret key scriptures concerning women within the Corinthian letter. Finally, Paul’s views, and relationships with women will be addressed.

To determine the identity of Paul’s opponents, a methodological approach, as outlined by J.L. Sumney, will be undertaken. The possible identities of certain groups named in 1, Corinthians 1:14 will be discussed and rejected, leading to the postulation that Paul’s opponents had Jewish origins. To support this, a theory of a Judaistic group following Paul’s missionary trail will be highlighted, as will the similarities in Paul’s defence and attack styles in both 1 and 2 Corinthians.

Paul will be shown to have a positive view of women, to value them as his co-workers, and to endorse them to have a voice and spiritual identity within the church.

The women passages (11:2-16, 14:34-35) of 1 Corinthians will then be discussed and exegeted with consideration of B.W. Winter’s suggestions of the ‘New Women’ movement in the Roman Empire. The style of prosopopoeia within letter writing will be introduced and suggested to be a factor within the modern reader’s understanding of the context of Paul’s letters. This will be supported by works by S.K. Stowers. Finally, Paul’s relation to women as his ‘co-workers’ and his positive views of them elsewhere in the
letter will be addressed.

The Thesis will conclude that the key ‘women passages’ were not the thoughts or the theology of Paul himself, but were instead instances where the apostle quoted his opponent’s arguments, which he went on to refute.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 34555
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 12:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:58

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