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New Testament Studies

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1 Corinthians 9.9–11: A Literal Interpretation of ‘Do not Muzzle the Ox’

D. Instone Brewera1

a1 (12 Crundale Crescent, Llanishen, Cardiff CF4 5PY, Wales)

When Paul interprets ‘Do not muzzle the ox while threshing’ as ‘do not neglect to pay Christian ministers’, commentators have quite naturally assumed that his exegesis was allegorical. However, comparisons with contemporary rabbinic exegesis suggest that this would have been regarded as a literal interpretation of the plain meaning of the text.