Menander Thais 218

Classical

'Loose-brideled'? Pest! Methinks, thought I have suffered this, that none the less I'd now be glad to have her. Sing to me, goddess, sing of such an one as she: audacious, beautiful, and plausible withal; she does you wrongs; she locks her door; keeps asking you for gifts; she loveth none, but ever makes pretense. Communion with the bad corrupts good character.

1 Corinthians 15:33

New Testament

31 Every day I am in danger of death! This is as sure as my boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If from a human point of view I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Sober up as you should, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame!

 Notes and References

"In the midst of his argument for the resurrection of the dead in 1 Cor 15, Paul cites the only iambic trimeter in his undisputed epistles: a sentence from a comedy of Menander. ‘If the dead are not raised’, Paul opines, ‘“let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” [LXX Isa 22.13]. Do not be led astray, “Bad company corrupts good morals” [fr. Menander, Thais]’. (1 Cor 15.32b-3) A minimalist interpretation of Paul’s quotation of Menander might suggest that it is a piece of unreflective rhetorical adornment. Paul knows the aphorism from a popular collection, akin to the famed Menander’s Maxims, which would become a common text in Hellenistic Greek education. Upon closer scrutiny, however, there are several reasons to suspect that Paul’s deployment of this comic quotation merits serious attention..."

Cover, Michael The Divine Comedy at Corinth: Paul, Menander and the Rhetoric of Resurrection (pp. 10-11) Cambridge University Press, 2018

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