Discovering the Characteristics of Collegia—Collegia Sodalicia and Collegia Tenuiorum in 1 Corinthians 8, 10 and 15

in Horizons in Biblical Theology
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Abstract

In 1 Corinthians 8, 10 and 15 Paul appears to argue against some of the Corinthian Christians who would have regarded their Christian community as analogous to a sort of voluntary collegia in the first century Greco-Roman world. Some characteristics of the collegia are exhibited in these chapters. Especially 8:1-13 and 10:1-22 contains the characteristics of collegia sodalicia, while 15:29 comprises those of collegia tenuiorum. This finding provides an alternative to the current scholarly interpretation of the Pauline description of the Corinthians’ eating food sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8:1-13 and 10:1-22) and of their engagement in baptism for (or on behalf of) the dead (1 Cor 15:29).

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