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Two Schools And The Call To Reconciliation: Literary And Social Aspects Of Moral Exhortation In The Interpretation Of Knowledge

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Chapter Summary

The Interpretation of Knowledge, which has survived only in a fragmentary Coptic manuscript, has received little scholarly attention. Various literary aspects that typify paraenesis are present in the Interpretation of Knowledge. The author weaves moral exempla, imperatival statements, rhetorical questions, and antithesis within a two-way schema. Authoritative quotations are one form of motivational clause, though in Christian paraenesis Christology also plays a prominent, if not essential, role. Antithetical constructions, usually of binary opposites, may follow the two-way schema such as is found in the opening part of Didache. A self-enclosed rhetorical unit that incorporates several literary aspects of paraenesis is 9,27-38.

Keywords: Christian paraenesis; Interpretation of Knowledge; two-way schema



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