In due order within The City of God’s longer discussion of Hannah’s prayer at Samuel’s dedication,1 Augustine arrives at the clause, “[a]nd [he] shall exalt the horn of His Christ” (1 Sam 2:10). Here, Augustine ponders:
How shall Christ exalt the horn of His Christ? For He of whom it was said above, “The Lord hath ascended into the heavens,” [1 Sam 2:10 LXX; 4QSama col. 2, line 33] meaning the Lord Christ, Himself, as it is said here, “shall exalt the horn of His Christ.” Who, therefore, is the Christ of His Christ? Does it mean that He shall exalt the horn of each one of His believing people, as [Hannah] says in the beginning of this hymn, “Mine horn is exalted in my God?” [1 Sam 2:1 LXX, Vg.] For we can rightly call all those christs who are anointed with His chrism, forasmuch as the whole body with its head is one Christ.2
Although Augustine does not appear to cite 1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 10:17 in developing his interpretation of Hannah’s prayer, these texts may well be reading 1 Sam 2:10 [LXX; 4QSama col. 2, line 33] along a similar, Christological trajectory.3 Boasting is to be in Jesus alone, who has ascended into heaven and with whom the church is united as a “collective person[—as] ‘Christ existing as church-community.’”4
3. See J. David Stark, “Rewriting Prophets in the Corinthian Correspondence: A Window on Paul’s Hermeneutic,” BBR 22, no. 2 (2012): 236–38; J. Ross Wagner, “‘Not Beyond the Things Which Are Written’: A Call to Boast Only in the Lord (1 Cor 4.6),” NTS 44, no. 2 (1998): 283–86, for discussion.
Beat Weber, “Toward a Theory of the Poetry of the Hebrew Bible: The Poetry of the Psalms as a Test Case”
Grant LeMarquand, “The Bible as Specimen, Talisman, and Dragoman in Africa: A Look at Some African Uses of the Psalms and 1 Corinthians 12–14”
Craig Keener, “Paul and Sedition: Pauline Apologetic in Acts”
David Stark, “Rewriting Prophets in the Corinthian Correspondence: A Window on Paul’s Hermeneutic”
Ayodeji Adewuya, “The Spiritual Powers of Ephesians 6:10–18 in the Light of African Pentecostal Spirituality”
Adewuya’s article is a revision of his engaging lecture at this past November’s Institute for Biblical Research meeting in San Francisco. My own essay discusses “rewritten Bible,” or “rewritten scripture,” particularly with a view toward using this literature as an aide in discussions of Pauline hermeneutics.