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Soma in Biblical Theology: With Emphasis on Pauline Anthropology (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series) Paperback – August 22, 2005
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Bultmann, who cast such a long shadow in biblical studies, had been heavily under the influence of existentialism. Like far too many biblical scholars, Bultmann mistook the current fads of his day for the historical Jesus. In light of this, he called those who had translated 'soma' in its most obvious meaning--a physical body--naive.
Of course, most of Bultmann's theories are now refuted or under attack.
Gundry's investigation into soma is very thorough. It is difficult to imagine how anyone could marshal a defense of Bultmann's interpretation after reading this book.
After long investigation, Gundry points out that "within Pauline passages...soma denotes the physical body, roughly synonymous with 'flesh'" (p 50).
Bultmann, Gundry points out, talks about how sin is nothing but self estrangement. "Self integration constitutes authentic existence; self-estrangement constitutes inauthentic existence. Again, Heideggerian forms of thought...rise to the surface" (p 205). It is hard not to smile at existential concepts mashed onto early Christian thought.
There was an idea current in the ancient world which placed evil wholly in the body, an idea which later influenced some Gnostic philosophical schools. But "The Pauline answer is to locate evil throughout the whole man, willing spirit and acting body alike" (p 216).
A rewarding book to pick up.