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Paul's Letter Thanksgiving

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Chapter Summary

The thanksgiving passages following the introductory greeting in most of the authentic Pauline letters (Rom, 1 Cor, Phil, 1 Thess, and Phlm) have been interpreted as a specific part of the letter opening as well as a common convention of Hellenistic letter writing. In 1 Thess 1:2-3, Phil 1:3-4, and Phlm 4 all three are used in combination with one another. In Rom 1:8 and 10, Paul uses a clause of thanksgiving combined with a report of a prayer, 7 while 1 Cor 1:4 contains just a clause of thanksgiving. Normal thanksgivings after the third century B.C.E., some of which are contemporary with Paul, are combined with mentioning the receipt of good news about the addressee. The expressions of thanks in Paul's letters bear a very profound religious aspect. Traditionally, they have been interpreted as a special unit belonging to the letter opening, as a formula called "introductory thanksgiving"..

Keywords: Paul's letters; prayer; thanksgiving



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