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Canaan to Corinth

Paul’s Doctrine of God and the Issue of Food Offered to Idols in 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1

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Michael Li-Tak Shen

Canaan to Corinth raises important questions dealing with the nature of food and its relationship to idolatry in 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1. What is the nature of food sacrificed to idols? Are Christians allowed to eat it? The Corinthians asked Paul, and he searched the Old Testament for his answer in the doctrine of God. This shed light on the idea of idolatry as a wrongful exchange of God for things in creation. Moses faced idolatry in Canaan and became the paradigm for Paul to deal with idolatry in Corinth. This examination clarifies the nature of the Apostolic Decree and the difference between «unclean food» and «idol food» and further suggests the hypothesis that Paul did not teach or practice the conscious consumption of food known to have been sacrificed to idols.