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The Triumph of God in 2 Cor 2.14: Additional Evidence of Merkabah Mysticism in Paul

  • J. M. Scott (a1)

In a recent article, Martin Hengel argues that the early Christian interpretation of Ps 110.1 provided not only the most important impulse to the development of Christology in the nascent church, but also a blasphemous enormity to contemporary Jewish sensibilities: the idea that the crucified Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was raised and seated ‘at the right hand’ of God that is, enthroned as a co-occupant of God's own ‘throne of glory’ (cf. Jer 17.12), located in the highest heaven. For in the OT, being seated on the throne in heaven is reserved for Yahweh alone, and in subsequent Jewish tradition it is rare to find any reference to someone sharing the throne of God.

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1 Hengel, Martin, ‘“Setze dich zu meiner Rechten!” Die Inthronisation Christi zur Rechten Gottes und Psalm 110,1’, in Le Trône de Dieu (ed. Marc, Philonenko; WUNT 69; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1993) 108–94. On the interpretation of 2 Cor 2.14 developed in the present article, see further my forthcoming commentary on 2 Corinthians in the NIBC series (Peabody MA: Hendrickson).

2 On Yahweh's sitting enthroned in heaven, see Ps 2.4; 11.4; 123.1; also 1 Kings 22.19; Isa 6.1–9.

3 See Hengel, ‘Setze dich’, 165–6,168,171–4, on the second-century BC Exagoge of Ezekiel the Tragedian (11. 68–89). See further 1 Enoch 55.4 (‘Kings, potentates, dwellers upon the earth: You would have to see my Elect One, how he sits in the throne of glory …’); 62.3 (‘On the day of judgment, all the kings, governors, the high officials, and the landlords shall see and recognize him [sc. the Elect One] – how he sits on the throne of glory …’); 4Q491 11 i 11–12: ‘[El Elyon gave me a seat among] those perfect forever, a mighty throne in the congregation of the gods.’ On the latter, see Smith, Morton, ‘Two Ascended to Heaven – Jesus and the Author of 4Q491’, in Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Charlesworth, James H.; New York/ London: Doubleday, 1992) 290301; Schuller, Eileen, ‘A Hymn from a Cave Four Hodayot Manuscript: 4Q427 7 i + ii’, JBL 112/4 (1993) 505628 (here 627 n. 42).

4 Cf. Hengel, ‘Setze dich’, 177.

5 Ibid., 151, 163, 177, 188. Cf, similarly, Craig Evans, A., ‘In What Sense “Blasphemy”? Jesus before Caiaphas in Mark 14.61–64’, in Society of Biblical Literature 1991 Seminar Papers (ed. Lovering, Eugene H. Jr.; SBLSP 30; Atlanta: Scholars, 1991) 215–34 (esp. 220–1); Schaberg, Jane, ‘Mark 14.62: Early Christian Merkabah Imagery?’ in Apocalyptic and the New Testament: Essays in Honor of J. Louis Martyn (ed. Joel, Marcus and Soards, Marion L.; JSNTSup 24; Sheffield: JSOT, 1989) 6994.

6 Cf. Hengel, ‘Setze dich’, 152.

7 Ibid., 152.

8 Cf. Ibid., 150,151.

9 Cf. Ibid., 137–8. Cf. A. F. Segal, Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee (Yale/London: Yale University, 1990) 58.

10 Hengel, ‘Setze dich’, 142.

11 Ibid., 142.

12 Ibid., 164.

13 Ibid, 136,167.

14 Here, as often in 2 Corinthians, Paul uses the first person plural (the so-called ‘apostolic plural’) to refer to himself.

15 Cf. Breytenbach, Cilliers, ‘Paul's Proclamation and God's “Thriambos”: Notes on 2 Corinthians 2:14–16b’, Neotestamentica 24/2 (1990) 257–71 (esp. 262); Hafemann, Scott J., Suffering and the Spirit: An Exegetical Study of II Cor. 2:14–3:3 within the Context of the Corinthian Correspondence (WUNT 2.19; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1986) 33.

16 Cf, e.g., Furnish, Victor Paul, II Corinthians (AB 32A; New York: Doubleday, 1984) 187; Dautzenberg, G., ‘θριαμβεύω’, EDNT 2 (1991) 155–6.

17 Cf., e.g., Duff, Paul Brooks, ‘Metaphor, Motif, and Meaning: The Rhetorical Strategy behind the Image “Led in Triumph” in 2 Corinthians 2:14’, CBQ 53/1 (1991) 7992 (here 87); Roetzel, Calvin J., ‘“As Dying, and Behold We Live”: Death and Resurrection in Paul's Theology’, Interpretation 46/1 (1992) 518 (here 11–12).

18 Cf., e.g., Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome, The Theology of the Second Letter to the Corinthians (New Testament Theology; Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1991) 2930.

19 Cf. Versnel, H. S., Triumphus: An Inquiry into the Origin, Development and Meaning of the Roman Triumph (Leiden: Brill, 1970) 1; Künzl, Ernst, ‘Triumphator und Gott’, in Der römische Triumph. Siegesfeiern im antiken Rom (Beck's Archäologische Bibliotek; Munich: Beck, 1988) 85108.

20 For a brief description of the pompa triumphalis, see Versnel, , Triumphus, 95.

21 Cf. Michael Pfanner, Der Titusbogen (Beiträge zur Erforschung hellenistischer und kaiserzeitlicher Skulptur und Architektur 2; Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern, 1983).

22 Cf. Versnel, Triumphus, 166. See further Plutarch Mar. 22.1–5.

23 Cf, e.g., FredS. Kleiner, , The Arch of Nero in Rome: A Study of the Roman Honorary Arch before and under Nero (Archaeologica 52; Rome: Bretschneider, 1985) 24, PI. I-XXXIV; Mattingly, Harold, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum 1: Augustus to Vitellius (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1965) PI. 1.20; 2.1,10; 3.20; 8.16,17,18,19, 20; 9.2, 3; 13.3, 4, 5; 14.10,11; 15.6, 7; 22.1, 2, 3; 24.9,10,13; 25.2, 3; 30.9,10). Note also that by ca. AD 150 at the latest, the monumental entrance to the Corinthian forum contained a triumphal arch surmounted by chariots driven by Helios and his son Phaethon, respectively (cf. Pausanias 2.3.2).

24 Cf. Künzl, ‘Triumphator und Gott’, 98–9.

25 Plutarch Cam. 7.1; cf. Livy 5.23.5–6. See further Versnel, Triumphus, 61, 67–8. On the issue of the people's indignation at a triumphal procession, see also Plutarch Pub. 9.9.

26 Similarly, Augustus mentions in his Res Gestae, which announces the conquest of the orbis terrarum (Preamble), that the Senate conferred upon him the title of pater patriae, and that the Senate also decided that the title should be inscribed, among other places, in the Forum of Augustus ‘under the quadriga placed there in my honour’ (§ 35).

27 Cf. Stern, Menahem, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism (3 vols.; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 19741984) 1.207, 210–11. In Valerius Maximus, Iupiter Sabazius is probably meant to be the Jewish God (Ibid., 1.358–9).

28 On this ‘interactive’ theory of metaphor vis-`-vis other current theories, see Soskice, Janet, Metaphor and Religious Language (Oxford: Oxford University, 1985) 2453. Recently, the question of metaphor in 2 Corinthians has been the matter of considerable debate, especially in respect to establishing a method for approaching Pauline theology. Cf. Kraftchick, Stephen J., ‘Death in Us, Life in You: The Apostolic Medium’, in Pauline Theology 2:1 & 2 Corinthians (ed. Hay, David M.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993) 156–81, and the response by Beverly R. Gaventa, ‘Apostle and Church in 2 Corinthians: A Response to David M. Hay and Stephen J. Kraftchick’, in Ibid., 182–99 (esp. 187–93).

29 A recently published Qumran fragment called Second Ezekiel (4Q3S5 4), which forms the oldest witness at our disposal to explicit exegesis of the vision in Ezekiel 1 (i.e., late Has-monean or early Herodian), already uses the term ‘… the vision which Ezekiel saw … […] a radiance of a chariot and four living creatures’ (11. 5–6). Cf. D. Dimant and Strugnell, J., ‘The Merkabah Vision in Second Ezekiel (4Q385 4)’, RevQ 14 (1990) 331–48.

30 This chariot is also portrayed as a ‘throne’ having ‘wheels’ (cf. Dan 7.9; 1 Enoch 14.18).

31 Cf. Halperin, David, The Faces of the Chariot: Early Jewish Responses to Ezekiel's Vision (Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum 16; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1988) 174.

32 Hence I translate not ‘team’ (so Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 171–2,174) but ‘quadriga’ (with Marcus Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature, s.v., 1.528).

33 Cf. LSJ, s.v., 1766.

34 Cf., e.g., Plutarch Cam. 7.1; Mar. 22.2; Pub. 9.9; Rom. 16.8.

35 On the early use of four mules for chariots, cf. Littauer, Mary A. and Crouwel, J. H., ‘Chariots’, ABD 1 (1992) 888–92 (here 890). See the copper quadriga drawn by four asses in Pritchard, James B., The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament (2nd ed.; Princeton: Princeton University, 1969) 50 (* 166), with the description on p. 268.

36 Cf. Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 170–1. Cf., likewise, , Exod. Rab. 42.5, citing Ezek 1.10 and Ps 106.20 (‘They exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox’). According to the Mekhilta to Exod 14.29, however, R. Aqiba denounced R. Papias' theoretical consideration of Ps 106.20 as a reference to the ‘celestial ox’ of the Merkabah.

37 On the striking association in 4Q385 4.9 between the Golden Calf and the ox of Ezek 1.10, which is already present in the MT (cf. Ps 106.20), see Dimant and Strugnell, ‘The Merkabah Vision in Second Ezekiel’, 339–40. Halperin, (Faces of the Chariot, 60,186) argues that Ezek 1.7 LXX presupposes this understanding of the Merkabah and the calf, because the translation tries to suppress it by reading καì πτερωτοì οί πόδες αὐτ⋯ν (‘and their feet were wings’) instead of ‘the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot’ in the MT.

38 Cf. Hab 3.8; 1 Chr 28.18; 3 Enoch 22.11; 24.1; Apoc. Mos. 33.2; Apoc. Abr. 18.12; T. Abr. 9.8. See Halperin, further, The Faces of the Chariot, 266, 331.

39 Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 157–93.

40 Cf. Newsom, Carol, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice: A Critical Edition (HSS 27; Atlanta: Scholars, 1985).

41 Cf. Dimant and Strugnell, ‘The Merkabah Vision in Second Ezekiel’, 347; Baumgarten, Joseph M., ‘The Qumran Sabbath Shirot and Rabbinic Merkabah Tradition’, RevQ 13 (1988)199213.

42 The Shirot contain some twenty references to the throne chariot(s) (cf. Newsom, , Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, 44–5). In particular, the twelfth Sabbath song (4Q405 20 ii–21–22 6–14) begins with a lengthy description of the appearance and movement of the divine chariot throne, drawing heavily on Ezekiel 1 and 10.

43 Dimant and Strugnell, ‘The Merkabah Vision in Second Ezekiel’, 347. The authors characterize 4Q385 as ‘a late Hasmonean or even early Herodian manuscript’ (Ibid., 331).

44 Ibid., 348.

45 Ibid., 332.

46 Yadin, Y., The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness (Oxford: Oxford University, 1962) 114–97.

47 Cf. Alexander, Philip S., ‘The Family of Caesar and the Family of God: The Image of the Emperor in the Heikhalot Literature’, in Images of Empire (ed. Loveday, Alexander; JSOTSup 122; Sheffield: JSOT, 1991) 276–97.

48 Compare Paul's citation of Ps 68(67).19 (⋯ναβ⋯ς είς ὓψος) with 4Q458 2 ii 5, which likewise seems to interpret Ps 68.19 messianically: ‘… and he will ascend to the height’ (). Line 6 explicitly refers to ‘one anointed () with the oil of the kingdom of [ ].’

49 As Richard Rubinkiewicz observes (‘Ps LXVIII 19 [ Eph IV 8]: Another Textual Tradition or Targum?’, NovT 17/3 [1975] 219224), the citation in Eph 4.8 agrees with readings in the Targum to Ps 68.19 at two crucial points: Whereas the MT and the LXX have and ἒλαβες, respectively, Eph 4.8 and the Targum have ἒδωκεν and Likewise, whereas the MT and the LXX have and ⋯νθρώποις, Eph 4.8 and the Targum have the plural τοῖς ⋯νθρώποις and . Cf. also Test. Dan 5.10–11.

50 Cf. Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, 141–56, 262–358. Note, however, that W. Zimmerli argues that Ezekiel 1 itself alludes to the theophany at Sinai (Ezechiel 1–24 [BKAT 13.1; 2nd ed.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1979] 83).

51 Newsom, , Song of the Sabbath Sacrifice, 319 (on 4Q405 20–21–22 ii 12–13). Halperin, (The Faces of the Chariot, 57–9) argues that Ezek 43.2 LXX (from pre-Christian Alexandria) understood the connection between God's chariotry at Sinai and Ezekiel's chariot vision.

52 The underlying Hebrew ‘chariotry’ comes from the same root as.

53 Cf. Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 141–9.

54 Cf. Ibid., 289ff. (here p. 303); Str.-B., 3.596–8.

55 Cf. also Exod. Rab. 12.28 to Exod 19.2; Tanhuma Hazinu 3 (ed. Buber).

56 See further Ernst, Bammel, ‘Paulus, der Mose des neuen Bundes’, Theologia 54 (1983) 514; Hafemann, , Suffering and the Spirit, 216–18; Markus Bockmuehl, N. A., Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity (WUNT 2.36; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1990) 143.

57 Although Moses did subsequently enjoy repeated access to the presence of God (cf. Exod 34.34).

58 Cf. Apoc. Abr. 17.1–6; Ascen. Isa. 8.17; 9.31–3; Apoc. Zech. 8.2–4; T. Job 48.3; 49.2; 50.1–2; Hist. Rech. 16.8a-b; 1 Enoch 71.11. On participation in the heavenly liturgy, see further Himmelfarb, Martha, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (New York/Oxford: Oxford University, 1993) 34, 35–6, 51, 54, 56, 60–1, 63–4, 66, 68; Grözinger, Karl-Erich, ‘Singen und ekstatische Sprache in der frühen jüdischen Mystik’, JSJ 11 (1980) 6677. Bockmuehl discusses the possibility that speaking in the ‘tongues of angels’ in the Corinthian church (1 Cor 13.1; 14.2) is an example of Merkabah mysticism and the participation in the heavenly angelic liturgy before the throne of God (Revelation and Mystery, 168–70).

59 Cf. 4Q405 20–21–22 ii 6–13; Newsom, , Song of the Sabbath Sacrifice, 1718, 64.

60 Cf. Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire, 201 and Pl. 38.4, 5. For a coin of Divus Augustus enthroned on an elephant quadriga, see Ibid., 134 and Pl. 24.9. On the elephant quadriga as a symbol of emperor deification, see Pfanner, Der Titusbogen, 99. The whole concept of the sessio ad dexteram should be investigated in light of the widespread tradition of the σύνθορονος. According to Ps.-Callisthenes, for example, the Persian king claimed to be ‘king of kings, relative of the gods, co-occupant of the throne with the god Mithras’ (Historia Alexandri Magni 1.36.2; cf. 1.38.2 [ed. W. Kroll]).

61 Note that the knowledge of God is associated with the ‘new covenant’ of Jer 31 (38).31–4 (cf. v. 34), to which Paul refers in the subsequent context (2 Cor 3.6).

62 Cf. 1QH 11.13–14; T. Levi 2.10.

63 Cf. Boer, P. A. H. de, ‘An Aspect of Sacrifice, II: God's Fragrance’, in Studies in the Religion of Ancient Israel (VTSup 23; Leiden: Brill, 1972) 3747.

64 Cf. Himmelfarb, , Ascent to Heaven, 40–1.

65 Note that this text gives the same word combination (⋯σμή-εὺωδία) and in the same order as Paul gives in 2 Cor 2.14–15. Cf. Furnish, , II Corinthians, 188.

66 Cf. Hofius, Otfried, ‘Wort Gottes und Glaube bei Paulus’, in Paulusstudien (WUNT 51; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1989) 148–74 (here 161–3).

67 According to Jewish tradition (e.g., b. Shabb. 89a), Moses had learned the secret of the incense as a cure for the plague during his Merkabah encounter with God on Sinai, and this is indeed one of the ‘gifts’ to which Ps 68.19 refers. Cf. Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 302.

68 This parallel is now well recognized in the literature. Cf., e.g., Hafemann, , Suffering and the Spirit, 87, 89–101; Stockhausen, Carol K., Moses' Veil and the Glory of the New Covenant: The Exegetical Substructure of II Cor. 3.1–4.6 (AnBib 116; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1989) 82–6; Hofius, O., ‘Gesetz und Evangelium nach 2. Korinther 2’, in Paulusstudien, 85 n. 70.

69 On the translation adopted here, see Wevers, John William, Notes on the Greek Text of Exodus (SBLSCS 30; Atlanta: Scholars, 1990) 4 56.

70 The literal use of κατέναντι is by far the most common in the LXX and in the NT. Cf. Renwick, David A., Paul, the Temple, and the Presence of God (BJS 224; Atlanta: Scholars, 1991) 6194.

71 Cf. Wevers, , Notes on the Greek Text of Exodus, 523–4.

72 Cf. Rom 9.3 with Exod 32.32.

73 In Hekhalot literature, the goal of the ascent to the Merkabah was to enable the ordinary person to assimilate the whole Torah instantly, directly, and permanently (cf., e.g., Schäfer, Peter, ‘The Aim and Purpose of Early Jewish Mysticism’, in Hekhalot-Studien [Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum 19; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1988] 276–95 [esp. 289ff.]; Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 437–46). At least one passage alludes in this connection to Ezek 11.19–20 (cf. Jer 17.1 MT), the promise that God would ‘remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them’. Hence, according to Ma‘aseh Merkabah (Schäfer, Synopse, §578; cf. Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 429), the Merkabah mystic adjures ‘the great prince of Torah, you who were with Moses on Mount Sinai and preserved in his heart everything that he learned and heard, that you come to me and speedily remove the stone from my heart. Do not delay.’ The purpose of this complete communion with God and complete knowledge of Torah was to attain the redemption of Israel in the here and now (cf. Schäfer, ‘The Aim and Purpose of Early Jewish Mysticism’, 295). We may perhaps compare the Corinthians' realized eschatology (cf. 1 Cor 4.8–10; 15.12).

74 Cf. Hafemann, , Suffering and the Spirit, 215–16.

75 Paul speaks here of the ‘glory of the face’ of Moses (v. 7) and ‘glory in the ministry of condemnation’ (v. 9). In other words, Moses' ministry was a manifestation of divine power and glory.

76 Cf. Hofius, ‘Gesetz und Evangelium nach 2. Korinther 3’, 78–81, 86ff., with many interesting Jewish parallels which show that Paul's interpretation of Exod 34.29–35 is often indebted to tradition. See further Linda Belleville, L., ‘Tradition or Creation? Paul's Use of the Exodus 34 Tradition in 2 Corinthians 3:7–18’, in Paul and the Scriptures of Israel (ed. Evans, Craig A. and Sanders, James A.; JSNTSup 83; SSEJC 1; Sheffield: JSOT, 1993) 165–86; Scott Hafemann, J., ‘Moses in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: A Survey’, JSP 7 (1990) 79104.

77 Cf. Hofius, ‘Gesetz und Evangelium nach 2. Korinther 3’, 95–6. See also Alexander, ‘The Family of Caesar and the Family of God: The Image of the Emperor in the Heikhalot Literature’, 293.

78 The difficult hapax legomenon κατοπτρίζεσθαι probably denotes ‘to see in a mirror’ (cf. Diog. Laert. 2.33; 3.39) rather than merely ‘to see’.

79 On Ezekiel 1 as the background of 2 Cor 3.18, see, e.g., Segal, , Paul the Convert, 60 with n. 94; Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 212 with n. 22; also, 230, 231–8, 265.

80 Cf. Morray-Jones, C. R. A., ‘Transformational Mysticism in the Apocalyptic-Merkabah Tradition’, JJS 43 (1992) 131; Segal, , Paul the Convert, 3471; Himmelfarb, M., ‘Revelation and Rapture: The Transformation of the Visionary in the Ascent Apocalypses’, in Mysteries and Revelations: Apocalyptic Studies since the Uppsala Colloquium (ed. Collins, John J. and Charlesworth, James H.; JSPSup 9; Sheffield: JSOT, 1991) 7990; idem, Ascent to Heaven, 29.

81 For heuristic purposes it will be assumed here that 2 Corinthians 10–13 belong to the original letter which included 2.14ff. The complex problem of the unity (or composite nature) of the letter cannot be discussed here.

82 As C. R. A. Morray-Jones points out, warnings against self-exaltation with regard to visionary experience are common in the Hekhalot literature (‘Paradise Revisited [2 Cor 12:1–12]: The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul's Apostolate, Part 2: Paul's Heavenly Ascent and Its Significance’, HTR 86/3 [1993] 265–92 [here 271–2]).

83 The stative verb ⋯ρκεῖν (‘to be sufficient’), which Paul uses in 2 Cor 12.9, falls within the same semantic domain as ίκανός (‘sufficient’), ἱκανότης (‘sufficiency’), and ίκανο⋯ν (to make sufficient’) in 2.16; 3.5, 6. Hence instead of ίκανόν ⋯στιν in Lk 22.38, D has ⋯ρκεῖ. For the parallelism between ⋯ρκεῖν and the ίκανός word group, see, e.g., Exod 12.4; Plutarch Phocion 30.1; Strabo Geog. 2.4.8.

84 If, as several scholars have suggested, the Lord's answer to Paul's request in 2 Cor 12.9 reflects a midrash on Deut 3.26, where God responds to Moses' request to enter the land (cf., e.g., Bockmuehl, , Revelation and Mystery, 143; Furnish, , II Corinthians, 530; but see Heckel, Ulrich, Kraft in Schwachheit [WUNT 2.56; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1993] 89), then the connection with 2 Cor 2.14–3.18 is even stronger. For, as we have seen, Paul argues there that the reason for his sufficiency is really the same as that of Moses (see the allusion to Exod 4.10 in 2 Cor 2.16b).

85 Cf. Morray-Jones, ‘Part 2’, 271–2, 281, 283; Segal, , Paul the Convert, 58; Bockmuehl, , Revelation and Mystery, 175.

86 Cf. Hengel, ‘Setze dich’, 136, 144, 194.

87 The exact same expression (κατέναντιθεο⋯⋯νXριστῷλαλο⋯μεν) occurs in 12.19, which underscores that there is a relationship between chapter 12 and 2.14–17.

88 For other occurrences of ⋯νXριστῷ in 2 Corinthians, see 1.19; 3.14; 5.17, 19; 10.17; 12.19.

89 Unfortunately, most interpreters have misunderstood Paul's rhetoric here to mean that he places no importance on his revelatory experience. Cf., e.g., Furnish, , II Corinthians, 544; Käsemann, Ernst, ‘Die Legitimität des Apostels. Eine Untersuchung zu II Korinther 10–13’, in Das Paulusbild in der neueren deutschen Forschung (ed.Rengstorf, Karl Heinrich; WF 24; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969) 475521 (here p. 520); Heckel, , Kraft in Schwachheit, 58–9.

90 Cf. Morray-Jones, ‘Part 2’, 270, 277, 283; Heckel, , Kraft in Schwachheit, 61.

91 Schäfer, P., ‘New Testament and Hekhalot Literature: The Journey into Heaven in Paul and in Merkavah Mysticism’, JJS 35 (1984) 1935. See also Halperin, , The Faces of the Chariot, 67; Bockmuehl, , Revelation and Mystery, 175–7.

92 Morray-Jones, C. R. A., ‘Paradise Revisited (2 Cor 12:1–12): The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul's Apostolate, Part 1: The Jewish Sources’, HTR 86/2 (1993) 177217; idem, ‘Part 2’, 265–92 (here 283).

93 Cf. Heckel, , Kraft in Schwachheit, 60. Cf. Gr. Apoc. Ezra 1.7; 5.7; Apoc. Mos. 37.3–5.

94 For the equation of Paradise with the third (and highest) heaven, see Apoc. Mos. 37.5; 40.1; 2 Enoch 8.1. See further Bietenhard, Hans, Die himmlische Welt im Urchristentum und Spätjudentum (WUNT 2; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1951) 161–91; Heckel, , Kraft in Schwachheit, 61–2.

95 Cf. Klauck, Hans-Josef, ‘Die Himmelfahrt des Paulus (2 Kor 12,2–4) in der koptischen Paulusapokalypse aus Nag Hammadi (NHC V/2)’, SNTU 10 (1985) 151–90 (here 159).

96 Cf. Klauck, ‘Himmelfahrt des Paulus’, 182. On the methodological problems involved in such a comparison, however, see Alexander, P. S., ‘Comparing Merkabah Mysticism and Gnosticism: An Essay in Method’, JJS 35/1 (1984) 118.

97 Cf. Parrott, Douglas M., ‘The Apocalypse of Paul (V,2)’, in The Nag Hammadi Library in English (3rd ed.; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988) 256–9 (here 259).

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