Better Call Paul "Saul": Literary Models and a Lukan Innovation

This article argues that Luke's characterization of Saul as a god-fighter can be read as modeled on the biblical King Saul and on Pentheus from Euripides's Bacchae, and that the characterization of Paul in Acts 13:4-17:15 can be read as modeled on the Bacchae's Dionysus. My approach,...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of Biblical literature
Main Author: Kochenash, Michael 1985-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2019]
In:Journal of Biblical literature
Year: 2019, Volume: 138, Issue: 2, Pages: 433-449
Further subjects:B BACCHAE (Play : Euripides)
B Dionysus (Greek deity)
B PENTHEUS (Greek mythology)
B LITERARY interpretation
B HELLENISTIC antiquities
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:This article argues that Luke's characterization of Saul as a god-fighter can be read as modeled on the biblical King Saul and on Pentheus from Euripides's Bacchae, and that the characterization of Paul in Acts 13:4-17:15 can be read as modeled on the Bacchae's Dionysus. My approach, appealing to the Bacchae as a literary model, avoids a weakness of similar interpretations of the name Saul, which date to the early church, that it is a reference to King Saul. Saul remains "Saul" after the Damascus Road experience in order to demonstrate the appropriate response of one found to be a god-fighter, emulating Pentheus's model.
ISSN:1934-3876
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of Biblical literature
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1353/jbl.2019.0023