Monday, September 01, 2014

2 Corinthians 5:8 and the Resurrection

Here are some points I have read about 2 Cor. 5:1-8:

"But what does Paul mean in his desire not to be found naked? While most commentators interpret 'naked' either as 'disembodied' or as 'moral nakedness' or 'shame,' there is another possibility if the allusion is to Ecclesiastes 5:14-15 LXX: 'As he [sc. the rich man] came forth naked from his mother's womb, he shall return back as he came, and he shall receive nothing for his labor, in order that it might go with him in his hand.' Seen in the light of this passage, Paul does not want to be found 'naked' in the sense of being physically buried without receiving a reward for his apostolic suffering and labor . . . If this interpretation is correct, then 2 Corinthians 5:3 is not as tautological as it may at first seem. Paul is saying that he wants to receive his resurrection body so that he will not be found naked in the grave, having lived and died in vain, without recompense"(James M. Scott, 2 Corinthians, 113).

See Marvin C. Pate's Adam Christology as the Exegetical and Theological Structure of 2 Corinthians 4:7-5:21. He contends that the word "naked" in 2 Cor. 5:3 should be interpreted in the light of the Genesis account and 3 Bar. 4:16; 2 En 22:8; 30:12. Pate thinks that Paul is referring to shamefulness and a "loss of glory" in 2 Cor. 5:3.

I would also suggest David Aune's discussion on GUMNOS in Revelation commentary (Word series). Note how "nakedness" is associated with shamefulness in Rev. 16:15. There are a number of parallels for this usage in non-canonical literature and the OT (Gen. 3:10; 9:24; Isa 20:4; 47:3; Hosea 2:10; 1 Cor. 12:23; Apoc. Moses 20). See also Jub. 3:30.

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