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Education The Faculty Graduate Schools Graduate School Theology and Religious Studies PhD Programme PhD ceremonies Graduations 2004

29-01'04 | A.L.A. Hogeterp

Paul did not intend to break with Jewish traditions

In his letters to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul writes about sacrifice, priesthood and the Temple in many different ways. His position in early Christianity is of vital importance as he played a fundamental role both in a theological and a practical sense, in missionary work among Jews and Greeks. Thus far it has been assumed that Paul’s cultic ideas were related to ideas in other New Testament writings, and that a coherent development of spiritualization and substitution of a concrete concept of cult took place in earliest Christianity. PhD student Albert Hogeterp studied Paul’s cultic imagery and came to entirely different conclusions. In the concrete case of 1 Cor 9:13, it turns out that Paul’s cultic imagery derives from the Jewish priestly service, and that any noncommittal exegesis that leaves room for a variety of parallels is unjustified – and wrong. Rather than pointing out the contrast with Jewish Temple traditions, Paul aimed to promote a normative use of them in his letters to the Corinthians. Comparative research reveals, inter alia, that both Jewish traditions and Paul’s cultic imagery (1 Cor 6:19) assume a relationship between the purity of the body and the holiness of the Temple. In addition, a comparative literature study rules out the possibility that in 1 Cor 9:13 Paul was looking for parallels with a pagan Temple service rather than the Jewish one. Hogeterp’s PhD thesis discusses the context of Jewish and early Christian perspectives on the Temple in Paul’s time. Historical research into early Christian traditions that date back to the period before 70 AD (the year the Temple was destroyed) has resulted in an image of an originally Jewish movement that was still strongly attached to the Temple service. /GG

Albert Hogeterp (Dronrijp, 1973) studied history at the University of Groningen and spent one academic year (1995-1996) at the Sorbonne in Paris. He followed postgraduate training at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati (USA),where he was awarded the degree of Master of Arts in Bible and Cognate Studies in 2001. He conducted his PhD research at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen. On 1 February 2004 he was appointed as a research assistant at the Faculty of Theology of KU Leuven.

Date and time

Thursday 29 January 2004, 4 p.m.

PhD student

A.L.A. Hogeterp

PhD thesis

Paul and God’s temple. A historical interpretation of cultic imagery in the Corinthian correspondence


Prof. G.P. Luttikhuizen and Prof. F. Garcia Martinez

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