Traditionally, “the body of Christ” has been read through an organism metaphor that emphasizes unity of the community in Christ. The weakness of this reading is that there is no clear articulation of how members of the community are united with Christ. The body language in Paul’s letters can be best understood when read through a metaphor for a way of living that emphasizes Christ’s embodiment of God’s gospel. The body of Christ in Paul’s letters is, first of all, his physical body that represents his life and death. Then, derivatively, it is also associated with Christian living—for example, “You are Christ-like body” (1 Cor 12:27)
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DOI 10.1177/0020964312463190
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