Third Corinthians: Reclaiming Paul for Christian Orthodoxy
Third Corinthians (3 Cor) is an alleged correspondence between the Apostle Paul and the Corinthian Church. Some of the churches in the East treated 3 Cor as a genuine letter of Paul and incorporated it into their canon of the New Testament. Chapter one of the dissertation examines the manuscript evidence of 3 Cor, the history of its use in the early Church, and reviews the pertinent scholarly literature concerning 3 Cor. The second chapter discusses the text and transmission of 3 Cor. It re-examines the relationship of 3 Cor with the Acts of Paul and concludes that it was not originally part of the Acts of Paul. It discusses the textual variations among the manuscripts of 3 Cor and demonstrates that the Greek text in the Papyrus Bodmer X is the closest to the original. A new English translation of the Greek text is offered at the end of chapter two. The third chapter examines the main theological themes discussed in 3 Cor: Christ's birth in the flesh; the creation of the world and mankind; the appeal to the prophets; and the resurrection of the dead. The study demonstrates that the author's main concern was the issue of the resurrection of the flesh. The dissertation concludes that 3 Cor is a second century pseudepigraphon written to argue for the corporeal resurrection of the dead against the Gnostics' claims of a pneumatic resurrection. It was an effort on behalf of the second century Church Fathers to rescue the Apostle Paul from the Gnostics and reclaim him into second century Christian Orthodoxy.
Hovhanessian, Vahan A, "Third Corinthians: Reclaiming Paul for Christian Orthodoxy" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9825863.