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Pauline Epistolography: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter discusses about ancient letter form of Paul. The importance of the letter form for interpreting Paul first became readily apparent with the discovery and publication of the numerous Greek documentary papyri discovered in Egypt. One of those major issues of Pauline epistolography that is still current today would be the question of how to divide the Pauline letter into its pertinent sections. That is, is it composed of three, four or five parts? The question here revolves around whether one or two of the letter parts are viewed, on functional and/or structural grounds, to be separate and discrete units within the letter, or whether they are subsumed in the other parts of the letter. The third group posits that there are five parts to the Pauline letter, letter opening, thanksgiving, letter body, parenesis, and letter closing.

Keywords: Egypt; letter form; parenesis; Pauline epistolography



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