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Keeping the Feast: Metaphors of Sacrifice in 1 Corinthians and Philippians
by Jane Lancaster Patterson
SBL Press, 2015
eISBN: 978-0-88414-066-5 | Cloth: 978-0-88414-067-2 | Paper: 978-0-88414-065-8
Library of Congress Classification BS2655.S23.P38 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 227.206


Develop a keener ear for Paul’s rhetorical strategy

Patterson uses cognitive metaphor theory to trace the apostle Paul’s use of metaphors from the Jewish sacrificial system in his moral counsels to the Philippians and the Corinthians. In these letters, Paul moves from the known (the practice of sacrifice) to the unknown (how to live in accord with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Patterson illustrates that the significant sacrificial metaphors in 1 Corinthians and Philippians are not derived from Jewish sacrifices of atonement, but rather from the Passover and sacrifices of thanksgiving. Attention to these metaphors demonstrates that imagery drawn from these sacrifices shapes the overall moral counsel of the letters, reveals more varied and nuanced interpretations of sacrificial references in Paul’s letters, and sheds light on Paul’s continuity with Jewish cultic practice.


  • Clarification of the strategic function of metaphors as a means of establishing an imaginative framework for ethical deliberation

  • Evidence of Paul’s active processes of theological reflection

  • Exploration of the intertwining of Jewish cultic practice with the rhetoric of moral commitment within early Christian churches

See other books on: Biblical teaching | Criticism, interpretation, etc | New Testament | Rituals & Practice | Sacrifice
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