Fr Pavel Stefanov, Shoumen University, Bulgaria

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John Goodrich
Paul as an Administrator of God in 1 Corinthians
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, 262 pp., 1 table
(Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 152)
Price: £60.00


This book looks in detail at Paul's description of apostles in 1 Corinthians 4 and 9 as divinely appointed administrators (oikonomoi) and considers what this tells us about the nature of his own apostolic authority. John Goodrich investigates the origin of this metaphor in light of ancient regal, municipal and private administration, initially examining the numerous domains in which oikonomoi were appointed in the Graeco-Roman world, before situating the image in the private commercial context of Roman Corinth. Examining the social and structural connotations attached to private commercial administration, Goodrich contemplates what Paul's metaphor indicates about apostleship in general terms as well as how he uses the image to defend his apostolic rights. He also analyses the purpose and limits of Paul's authority – how it is constructed, asserted and contested – by examining when and how Paul uses and refuses to exercise the rights inherent in his position.


• Assesses the complicated and multifaceted nature of authority in Paul
• Interprets an often overlooked metaphor in frequently ignored New Testament passages
• Differentiates between words and concepts that have been confused in past research, while demonstrating the importance of doing so

Table of Contents:

1. Apostolic authority in 1 Corinthians
Part I. Oikonomoi as Administrators in Graeco-Roman Antiquity: 2. Oikonomoi as regal administrators
3. Oikonomoi as civic administrators
4. Oikonomoi as private administrators
Part II. Paul's Administrator Metaphor in 1 Corinthians: 5. Identifying Paul's metaphor in 1 Corinthians
6. Interpreting Paul's metaphor in 1 Corinthians 4.1–5
7. Interpreting Paul's metaphor in 1 Corinthians 9.16–23
8. Conclusion
Index of passages
Index of authors


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