Friday, August 28, 2009

Destroying food and stomachs in 1 Cor 6:13

With regards to the previous post, the loss of speech marks does immediately pose a problem as Paul then appears to be saying "God will destroy stomachs and food" which we, fairly naturally, hear as implying "in the life of the Resurrection there will be no eating." Of course that sounds wrong as we know that both Hebrew and Christian visions of the resurrection life use the image of a feast, and that the resurrected Christ cooked and ate fish as proof of his resurrection. However it is an assumption that this refers to the resurrected life, i.e. that those who are resurrected will experience the destruction of their stomachs. Might it be better to understand this destruction as an act of judgment? After all, here stomach and food have been brought into the discussion not because food is an issue but representing the those deeds which are purely the satisfaction of base desire and those things which have existed purely for the satisfaction of those base desires. The eschatalogical image of feasting is not the joy of having a full stomach but of everyone united in a common act of celebration. And even Jesus' post resurrection acts of eating were focused on his relationship with his disciples (John 21:9-17, Luke 24:36-43). Indeed, later on in 1 Corinthians Paul rebukes the Corinthians for eating and drinking purely to satisfy their appetites instead of showing due regard and love for each other (1 Cor 11). So, perhaps here in 1 Cor 6:13 stomachs and food are a cipher for the gratuitous and selfish satisfaction of base desires which is leading Corinthians Christians to visit prostitutes and it is that that will be destroyed by God along with all other desires and acts which are not rooted in loving communion with God and each other.

Let me know what you think :-)

1 comment:

  1. In all honesty, I really have never thought about it.

    Though now that you've encouraged me to, I think that it metaphorically represents sinful desires and the objects of those desires.

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