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  2 Corinthians 4:13: Evidence in PaulTat Christ Believes douglas a. campbell dcampbell@div.duke.eduTe Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 My interest in this text stems initially from its bearing on the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate. 2 Corinthians 4:13 is not generally discussed in this connection in any detail, usually being mentioned briefly in passing, if at all, 1 by the debate’s protag- 1 Richard B. Hays has consistently noted its importance, along with the plausibility of amessianic and christocentric reading, without ever attempting a detailed analysis: see esp. hisfamous study The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1–4:11 (1983;2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 259 n. 44; but see also idem, “Postscript: Further Reflec-tions on Galatians 3,” in Conflict and Context: Hermeneutics in the Americas (ed. Mark Lau Bran-son and C. René Padilla; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), 274–80, esp. 276–77; and idem, “ChristPrays the Psalms: Paul’s Use of an Early Christian Exegetical Convention,” in The Future of Chris-tology: Essays in Honor of Leander E. Keck (ed. Abraham J. Malherbe and Wayne A. Meeks; Min-neapolis: Fortress, 1993), 122–36, reprinted with revisions as “Christ Prays the Psalms: Israel’sPsalter as Matrix of Early Christology,” in The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 101–18 (this latest version is cited in whatfollows).Morna Hooker pays some attention to this text in “ ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ,” NTS 35 (1989):321–42, esp. 335 (and she notes 2 Cor 1:17–22 as well in a convoluted but suggestive analysis onpp.334–35). Veronica Koperski also notes its significance briefly in “he Meaning of Pistis Chris-tou in Philippians 3:9,” LS 18 (1993): 198–216, esp. 209, as do Gerald O’Collins and Daniel Kendallin “he Faith of Jesus,” TS 53 (1992): 403–23, esp. 417 n. 57.Moisés Silva makes an interesting concession on the basis of this text (“Faith versus Worksof Law in Galatians,” in  Justification and Variegated Nomism,  vol. 2, The Paradoxes of Paul  [ed.Donald A. Carson, Peter . O’Brien, and Mark A. Seifrid; WUN 181; übingen: Mohr Siebeck;Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004], 217-48, esp. 231). He states first in the body of his essay that “we cannot find even one unambiguous reference to the πίστις that belongs to Christ. o putit differently but more concretely, Paul never uses πιστεύω with Χριστός as its subject” (p. 231).his claim is part of one of his five principal arguments against the christological reading of πίστις  JBL 128, no. 2 (2009): 337–356  337  onists, although on one level this is understandable. he ambiguous constructionsin 2 Cor 4:13 are not πίστις Χριστοῦ genitives. But this neglect is unfortunate,because this verse may offer clear evidence not merely of Jesus acting faithfully, butof his doing so as the subject of the verb. It is a common complaint by opponentsof “the faithfulness of Christ” motif in Paul that Christ is never the subject of  πιστεύω in a Pauline text, from which observation it supposedly follows that Paulcould not therefore be suggesting Christ’s own faithfulness when he uses the cog-nate substantive in a genitive construction such as διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ . 2 If Paulhad intended this meaning, the objection runs, then he would have supplied uswith at least one instance of Christ as the subject of the verb πιστεύω —so Χριστὸςἐπίστευσεν or some such. 3 Hence the potential relevance of 2 Cor 4:13. I suggestthat here Christ is the directly implicit subject of πιστεύω —and not once, buttwice, also drawing the cognate substantiveinto this orbit of meaning. his is a Χριστοῦ (see pp. 228–34). But he admits that 2 Cor 4:13 is such a possibility if Ps 116:10 (LXX115:1) is understood messianically by Paul (introducing 2 im 2:13 as well) (p. 232 n. 38). Hence,this contention weakens to the claim that “such language is not typical of Paul” (p. 232). his isan important concession, amounting in fact to a differentargument; that is, such usage is “untyp-ical” as against “unattested.” Such advocates face their own challenges in relation to issues of typ-icality, since Paul seldom uses Christ as an object of the verb πιστεύω , and never in a genitiveconstruction. A distinctly minority tradition of earlier readers of 2 Corinthians urged a messianic read-ing: see H. L. Goudge, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (London: Methuen, 1927), 41-42; andAnthony . Hanson, The Paradox of the Cross in the Thought of St Paul  (JSOSup 17; Sheffield:JSO Press, 1987), 51–53.he first extended treatment of this question has appeared only very recently (at least atmy time of writing): see homas D. Stegman, “ Ἐπίστευσα, διὸ ἐλάλησα (2 Corinthians 4:13):Paul’s Christological Reading of Psalm 115:1a LXX,” CBQ 69 (2007): 725–45. Stegman’s vigorousarticle is drawn from his doctoral dissertation (published as The Character of Jesus: The Linch- pin to Paul’s Argument in 2 Corinthians [AnBib 158; Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2005]). Itworks from a particular reading of the broader context in2 Corinthians toward a plausible pos-sible reading of 2 Cor 4:13, finally endorsing Hays’s srcinal messianic suggestion. Of course, Iconcur with this conclusion exactly but argue for it here in the opposite direction. I focus on thelocalized data to suggest, in the light of various considerations there, that we ought to read thistext christo- centrically (considerations largely absent from Stegman’s study). I then go on to sug-gest that the wider context supports this localized judgment strongly. Hence, Stegman’s analysisis an excellent complement to my suggestions—especially his rich and insightful account of thecontext. (My own extended treatment of related matters is The Deliverance of God: An ApocalypticRereading of Justification in Paul  [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009]; 2 Cor 4:13 is treated in ch. 21,§3.2). 2 A construction found in this or closely related forms in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16 (2x), 20;3:22; and Phil 3:9. 3 See, e.g., Koperski, “Meaning of Pistis Christou ,” 209, and 210 (noting on 209 n. 68 thecomments of Silva, Jan Lambrecht, and David M. Hay—a list that could be greatly lengthened). 338  Journal of Biblical Literature 128, no. 2 (2009)  useful conclusion, if it can be established (although the underlying argumentativesituation here is more complex than first meets the eye 4 ).he following analysis takes place in two main phases. First, I will carefully consider 2 Cor 4:13 itself, which is a subtle and complex text. Second, I will con-sider its contexts in a series of widening circles—the immediately following v. 14,which is part of the same sentence by way of a participial construction, then the pre-ceding context, especially 2 Corinthians 4, then the following context, especially ch. 5. By the end of these various discussions a participatory reading of 2 Cor 4:13should be emerging, 5 that is, a reading emphasizing Paul’s identification with Christ 4 A caveat is necessary at this point. he objection by opponents of the subjective readingof πίστις Χριστοῦ that Christ is not the subject of the cognate verb in Paul, and therefore notof the genitive either, can be challenged on methodological and broader evidential grounds. he objection is basically a conditional argument. If  Christ was faithful in Paul then hewould be the subject of the verb, but he is not the latter, so he cannot be the former (If A then B;not B, therefore not A). his is a valid logical argument overall, but logic cannot establish thetruth of the initial premise (If A then B—here, if Christ is the subject of the genitive constructionthen he must also be the subject of the verb). And without the establishment of the initial prem-ise, the argument’s conclusion is invalid. Moreover, the initial statement must be true empirically,or in terms of the available evidence, for the conclusion to be valid; it is not itself  a logical claim.At this point difficulties arise: (1) it is an unreal  or counterfactual  case, so there is no evidence forits truth, and cannot be by virtue of the structure of the argument!  We can never know if A impliesB. Moreover, (2) in methodological terms, it is simply false to demand that all readings of sub-stantive constructions in Paul have a corresponding verbal cognate, especially given the limiteddata that we have firsthand from Paul. So, many of those making this demand in this relation donot themselves apply it to other notions and readings that they hold dear elsewhere. (Does Paulever say that Christ “bled,” thereby allowing us to speak of the blood of Christ? Is he ever the sub- ject of the verb “to atone” [ ἱλάσκεσθαι ]? And so on.) his false equation can then lead in turn to ignoring that the noun has a wider semanticspread than its cognate verb, which means that a substantive phrase might very reasonably not cor-respond to a cognate verbal one. his also means ignoring the reading that subjective advocatesactually suggest is in play, thereby overlooking the parallel constructions that are offered to the dis-puted genitives (i.e., the relevant evidence), which are not cognate constructions but are never-theless still legitimately introduced as parallels!hus, there are numerous good reasons for rejecting this objection. Hence, unfortunately,a detailed engagement with 2 Cor 4:13 as putative counterevidence runs the risk of affirming it,if only in a general, rhetorical way. But the possible reinforcement of a weak objection should nothinder the detailed consideration of a text that can ultimately yield important insights into Paul’sthinking, especially about believing. So we will proceed to analyze 2 Cor 4:13 in what follows withthis caveat in mind: the following investigation does not suggest that the cogency of the fore-going objection is actually being accepted. he evidence of 2 Cor 4:13 is simply being consideredin its own right. It does turn out to be the case, however, that our conclusions will disprove thatweak objection anyway. 5 Participation is an important interpretative trajectory in relation to Paul’s soteriology that Campbell: 2 Corinthians 4:13 339  by way of the Spirit, with Christ as the srcinal subject of the verb πιστεύω —aconclusion with intriguing implications not only for the πίστις Χριστοῦ debatebut for how we understand the activity of “faith” in Paul more broadly, and theshape of his gospel in general. I. 2 Corinthians 4:13 We should begin our more detailed analysis by noting that interpreters andcommentators alike have not really known what to do with 2 Cor 4:13. 6 Certainly it does not play a prominent role in most explications of Paul’s argument at thispoint, but I suspect that this is in part because the verse operates a bit like a Rubik’sCube. One senses that there is a coherent disposition in Paul’s statements—a pointat which all the presently muddled colors match—however, twisting and reposi-tioning the components of his argument into that intelligible arrangement arestrangely difficult. here are in fact three rather unusual subordinate elements thatwe must try to construe intelligibly, both in their own right and in relation to oneanother. We must: (i) discern the meaning of the phrase τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα τῆςπίστεως [ κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον κ.τ.λ. ], “the same spirit of faith [that is inaccordance with the scripture . . .]” (NRSV); (ii) account for Paul’s citation of the underpins much of my analysis here. An elegant recent summary of the approach is Robert C. annehill, “Participation in Christ: A Central heme in Pauline Soteriology,” in idem, The Shapeof the Gospel: New Testament Essays (Eugene, OR: Cascade [Wipf & Stock], 2007), 223–37; an ear-lier and fuller summary is provided by James D. G. Dunn, The Theology of Paul the Apostle (Edin-burgh: & Clark, 1998), 390–95. Important treatments of this approach include William Wrede, Paul (1904; trans. E. Lummis; London: Green & Hull, Elsom, 1907), esp. 74–154; Gustav Adolf Deissmann, St. Paul: A Study in Social and Religious History (2nd ed.; trans. L. R. M. Strachan(London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1912); Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (1931;trans. W. Montgomery; New York: Seabury, 1968); James Stewart,  A Man in Christ: The Vital Ele-ments of St. Paul’s Religion (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935); E. P. Sanders, Paul and Pales-tinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977), esp. 447–74;Morna Hooker, Pauline Pieces (London: Epworth, 1979), 36-52; eadem, From Adam to Christ:Essays on Paul  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 13–69; and Udo Schnelle,  Apos-tle Paul: His Life and Theology  (trans. M. Eugene Boring; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005),410–505. (his brief exegetical study is not the place to explore the broader importance andcogency of this approach to Pauline soteriology in general, as it deserves.) 6 Among the commentators, I have relied in what follows especially on Victor P. Furnish, IICorinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 32A; New York: Dou-bleday, 1984), esp. 57–59, 85–87, 252; Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians (WBC 40; Waco: Word,1986), esp. 81–84, 89–90, 94–95; and Margaret E. hrall,  A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians,  vol. 1, Introduction and Commentary on II CorinthiansI–VII  (ICC; Edinburgh: & Clark, 1994), see esp. 337–44. 340  Journal of Biblical Literature 128, no. 2 (2009)
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