Re: Was Paul counting on his readers ignorance?

David John Marotta writes:

> I do not think Paul was relying upon his audiances ignorance so that
> he could use a faulty argument from the grammar of Genesis.  What do
> others think?

I really wonder if this very rational interpretation isn't reading
Paul in an excessively modern way.  Having just finished a semester of
reading Tannaitic midrash, I must say that Paul's argumentation is
very strongly remeniscent of this method.  In many ways the Seed/seeds
distinction is a pretext that illustrates the point he really wants to
make.  Certainly there are allusions in this argument to discussions
and/or teachings shared by Paul and the Galatians to which we are not
privy, and it seems shallow to us today in part because of this lack,
but it seems to me that Paul *was* in fact doing violence to the
grammar of Genesis.  Please understand, I don't think this reflects
any lack of grammatical sophistication, either on Paul's part or on
the part of his audience--I think he was using a rhetorical device
common to the discourse of his teachers.  The section certainly makes
adequate sense if read in this way...

Paul J. Bodin                         Internet: pjb3@cunixb.cc.columbia.edu
Union Theological Seminary               smail: 435-52nd Street
(718) 439-3549                                  Brooklyn, NY 11220