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Philosophical And Epistolary Contexts For Pauline Paraenesis

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Chapter Summary

A significant portion of New Testament literature may be described as paraenetic or exhortive in character. Since the pioneering work of Lietzmann and Dibelius on paraenesis as a Gattung or Greco-Roman literary form, the most significant body of comparative material for New Testament scholars has been the Hellenistic moral philosophers. Sections of the Pauline letters or the letters in their entirety are typically compared with the philosophical letters of popular moralists. This chapter examines the work of A.J. Malherbe in particular who has emphasized in several places parallels between Pauline letters and the ethical letters that emerged from the philosophical epistolary tradition. It then plots out some of the implications of the study for understanding paraenesis in relation to the Pauline letter structure.

Keywords: Greco-Roman literary; New Testament; Pauline letters; philosophical epistolary tradition

10.1163/ej.9789004181632.i-369.72
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