Paul and how many others : a discourse on alterity in 2 Corinthians
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Paul's use of the term super apostles has generated much debate about who Paul references. Scholars provide several specific historic groups for possible identification; Jewish Christians at the church at Jerusalem or closely related subordinates, missionaries with Jewish heritage, and Gnostics, those of Jewish heritage, Jewish Christians, and even Gentile Gnostics. Entering into the previous scholarship of super apostles one notes that the conclusions are widely divergent. A study of ancient letter-writing context, rhetorical context, and general Corinthian context provides helpful analysis. Finally, a study of Paul's description and definition of the opponents not only in 2 Corinthians but external evidence as well provides information that perhaps there is another conclusion. This thesis is a discussion on the possibility of identifying the super apostles with a nonspecific group thus allowing for any of the previous scholarship or perhaps more appropriately anyone whom Paul relegated to "other."