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Consequences Of Bilingualism In Paul's Letters

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Paul's articulation of 'Jesus the Christ' through the specific linguistic configuration constructed by him in order to transmit the kerygma of his Church to the Hellenised populations of the Roman Empire. It explores the various dimensions of the 'translation' and the ways in which 'Hebrew meanings' were re-signified by being transferred into 'Greek words'. In Paul's letters, colliding signifiers of both traditions seem to co-exist in an un-easy interdependence. The chapter focuses on various 'strong' terms, such as ecclesia, pneuma, and agape in order to explore the diverse connotations that such terms had to different groups in the Hebrew communities outside Palestine and later to the Greek-speaking believers of diasporic communities. Paul's bilingualism led to the re-grafting of his letters on to the existing religious philosophies of the late first century, appropriated by mainly Greek community leaders and thinkers who had no contact with Judaism.

Keywords: Jesus the Christ; Paul's bilingualism; Paul's letters



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