Modern exegesis of 1 Cor 5 has functioned under two assumptions: first, Paul’s phrase γυνὴ τοῦ πατρός echoes similar locutions found in Leviticus or Deuteronomy, and, second, sexual liaisons between sons and their stepmothers were considered incestuous in Greco-Roman antiquity. By examining the use of analytic kin circumlocution, this article argues that Paul’s periphrasis not only is a standard circumlocution for μητρυιά (“stepmother”) but also is constructed to highlight the particularly egregious nature of this affair: it is an inner-οἶκος adultery. Roman, Greek, and Second Temple Jewish data indicate that son–stepmother trysts, while especially offensive, were considered adulterous. By removing this perceived pentateuchal anchor, this article opens new possibilities for reading 1 Cor 5 as a test case in Paul’s homonoia argument in 1 Cor 1–4 and suggests marriage and the οἶκος as a new latticework for holding together the disparate elements of 1 Cor 5–7.

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