Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-jbqgn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T07:26:49.480Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Conclusion: Divination and Philosophy in Paul

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2023

Matthew Sharp
Affiliation:
University of St Andrews, Scotland
Get access

Summary

I began this study by showing how previous scholarly categories have not been able to present a full picture of Paul’s access to divine knowledge which situates him convincingly in his historical context. While Paul’s letters evince diverse means of access to divine communication, categories such as “prophecy” or “revelation” account for only portions of the evidence, and neither of those categories has been able to situate Paul’s full range of divinatory methods in the first-century culture of a Jew living in the Hellenistic Roman Empire. Under the rubric of “divination” I have analysed Paul’s various means of divine communication under the subheadings of “visions,” “speech,” “texts,” and “signs,” elucidating their role in Paul’s letters with reference to the contemporary divinatory practices of the Graeco-Roman world. I have also considered how Paul presents the mechanics of divination in conversation with contemporary philosophical reflections on the same topic.

Rather than summarise each chapter in turn, I organise my conclusions below thematically and synthetically, drawing together various strands that have emerged from the cumulative analysis of this study. Part one functions as something of a summary of Chapters 2 to 5 and focuses on the different types of knowledge each divinatory method provides. Part two considers the implications of this for how to situate the question of “revelation” in Paul’s historical context. Parts three and four take up again the question of the mechanics of divination from Chapter 1, presenting some more nuanced conclusions about divination in relation to Paul’s anthropology, cosmology, and theology that the ensuing chapters have made possible.

Methods of Divination in Paul

As ancient people turned to the gods for advice and information on a broad range of matters, so, too, Paul’s methods of divination uncover a large range of information: from smaller scale signs and revelations that direct various aspects of everyday life, to expansive insights about cosmology and eschatology. Within this range certain methods and certain types of signs lend themselves most readily to certain types of information.

Non-verbal signs are perhaps the most limited in scope as they generally only convey divine approval or disapproval.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×