By Karl Olav Sandnes
All through background, the human stomach has been considered as either a resource of disgrace and satisfaction. glossy cultures, fairly within the West, have constructed ability to domesticate this a part of the physique via corsets, routines, and revealing models. Does St. Paul deal with a tradition during which the tummy ranks excessive? This learn goals to respond to the query and the consequences could be amazing.
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Extra resources for Belly and Body in the Pauline Epistles (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series)
21 The narrowness and slenderness of the ribs indicate feebleness of heart’. v. 30 The Graeco-Roman belly Latin text: De signis ventris Tenuitas ventris bonitatem intellectus indicat; magnitudo ventris multum concubitum indicat. Angustia et tenuitas costarum debilitatem cordis indicant. A Greek paraphrase of Polemon’s work is available by the hand of Adamantius the Sophist, composed no later than the first part of the fourth century AD:22 Adamantius §14, Vol. 1, pp. 361–2 Hollow bellies signify strength of soul and greatness of mind, but the very slim and flat signify cowardice, bad disposition and gluttony.
7. g. Phil. 4:11–12, where both want and abundance are seen as blessings of God, and 1 Cor. 10:26, 30. PART 2 The Graeco-Roman belly It has already been claimed that to ‘have the belly as god’, or to be ‘enslaved to the stomach’ et cetera are commonplaces of ancient literature. This implies that Paul’s readers are likely to have recognized his dicta in Phil. 3:19 and Rom. 16:18, as well as some other texts, as familiar. It remains to substantiate this claim, and to see how this topos was used. From the very outset we should expect various nuances to appear in the material.
It is surprising that the commentaries hardly mention Tit. 1:12 as relevant for the understanding of Phil. 3:19 and Rom. 16:18. An exception is Stanley K. Stowers, Romans, pp. 49–50. Regardless of how one views the question of authorship, Tit. 1:12 is highly relevant here. Ceslas Spicq, Pastorales, pp. 608–11 identifies this as a saying of Epimenides of Cnossos (6th cent. BC). Spicq also mentions Phil. 3:19. The belly in ancient moral philosophy 37 which the author assumes his readers to be familiar.