This article undertakes a new historical assessment of the beatings Paul received five times from Judeans (2 Cor 11:24). According to one view, the apostle took this punishment voluntarily, indicating his belonging to Judaism. I show that Paul could not have received this sentence in the diaspora, but only in Judea and Galilee. It was imposed on him by local courts to whose authority he was subject. On the one hand, this understanding is supported by the fact that, by analogy with penalties in Greco-Roman associations, offenses against the communal order were mostly sentenced by fines or exclusion. On the other hand, legal-historical arguments show that corporal punishment was not a legal option for diaspora synagogues. The fact that Paul did not voluntarily submit to the beatings therefore deprives 2 Cor 11:24 of its argumentative force in the debate about the apostle’s relationship to Judaism.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.