If one is to exegete Pauline material sensitively, an awareness of early Christian theology is a must. Glancy however seems unaware of the belief in a general resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteousness to judgment. This may explain her barbed aside in her reading of 1 Cor 6:12-20: “Paul reminds the Corinthians that the body is made for the Lord and will ultimately share in the Lord’s resurrection. His lack of interest in the prostitute suggests that unlike the believer, her body “is not destined for resurrection.”.” I don’t know quite whether to put her interpretation down to reading the text through the prism of feminist critical theory, or an unawareness of Christian theology, or both. For the avoidance of doubt, early Christians would have expected everyone, prostitutes included, to be resurrected and face the final judgment.
· Exodus in Stephen's speech
Other side of the coin
I could give many more examples of how Paul turns the status of slaves and free people upside down. Of course, Paul could only promise spiritual freedom; but he couldn’t promise to free other people’s slaves in this life. Paul like Jesus turned everyone’s hopes to the age to come, when all would be put to rights.o This is really significant. It means that the way Paul looked at the world, he knew there was a moral problem with the institution of slavery itself. It’s “masters” that Paul removes from the spiritual equation, meaning that the fundamental moral problem with the institution is people being “masters” over other people. And with that insight, he seeks to work out how to apply it.o Thus, if you are loving your neighbour how you love yourself, then you can't be your neighbour’s slave-master, because you wouldn't like it the other way round. Being the master is disqualified as a form of loving your neighbour in Paul's argument.o This is resistance to the institution of slavery and its fundamental imbalance. Not in the sense of being a tract against the Roman Empire. Rather in Paul's vision for the church, the idea of people being slave-masters over other people just doesn't make sense. The institution of slavery is radically out of kilter with it.o This simple instruction erases the worldly distinctions of slave and master in the Christian community; the slaves and the free must act as “slaves” to one another, because this is Paul's interpretation of what it means to love your neighbour as yourself. He wants his community to live like a master-free zone.
· Paul advised slaves to make use of opportunities to become freedmen. Implicit in this is that Paul expects the co-operation of anyone in the church who had been owning slaves and become Christians, so that nothing obstructs his advice to slaves to become free (1 Cor 7:21).
If only it were consistently put into practice (something disappointingly absent from much of church history.