Chris's Reviews > The Corinthian Body

The Corinthian Body by Dale B. Martin
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's review
May 21, 2007

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bookshelves: queer, bible

Martin synthesizes classics and Biblical scholarship in the service of an intriguing thesis.

While he explicitly aims his work at both audiences, Martin is likely to be most read in New Testament circles. His attempt to reconstruct the way Paul's audiences would likely have understood the body is persuasive to me, and is also the most original aspect of the book.

Martin's application of that reconstruction will be compelling to the extent that the reader shares Martin's methodological and theological assumptions. For example, Martin takes it for granted that the content of 1 Corinthians is, by our standards, misogynist. Not all readers of the New Testament would be comfortable granting that assumption; those thus discomfited would likely reject much of Martin's argument as well.

I hesitate to recommend the book to anyone who can't or won't suspend (dis)belief for as long as it takes to read the book. It's possible to accept or reject Martin's argument on its own terms, but it's best to give it a full hearing first, if possible.

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