‘The Rock Was Christ’: The Fluidity of Christ’s Body in 1 Corinthians 10.4 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Paul’s identification of Christ with the rock that provided water to Israel in the wilderness has confounded interpreters. This article seeks to demonstrate that Paul depends upon a tradition within early Jewish thinking, as evidenced in poetic works such as Deut. 32, Ps. 78 and Ps. 95, which linked Israel’s God to this rock. Despite growing unease with using rock imagery to describe God, as seen in Jeremiah’s recasting of this tradition, as well as the consistent efforts of the LXX translators of the Hebrew Bible to render such language in less chthonic terms, Paul identified the rock with the presence of Christ in the wilderness, and therefore demonstrates his indebtedness to a conception of divine fluidity which Benjamin Sommer has explored in his recent book The Bodies of God.

publication date

  • December 2013