The Divine Comedy at Corinth: Paul, Menander and the Rhetoric of Resurrection
Cambridge University Press
New Testament Studies
This article asks how the New Comedy of Menander might have influenced Paul's theological rhetoric in 1 Cor 5–15. An intertextual reading of Paul's letter against the backdrop of Menander's Samia reveals a number of shared topics, ethical concerns and dramatic characteristics. Paul's citation of Menander's Thais in 1 Cor 15.33 is part of this larger strategy to frame the struggles in Corinth within the ambit of Greek household ‘situation comedy’. Like Menander, Paul hybridises tragic and comic motifs throughout his epistle, inflecting the comedy of the Christ narrative with tragic examples of human misapprehension in this plea for ecclesial reconciliation.