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Paul The ‘Herald’ And The ‘Teacher’: Paul’s Self-Images Within An Oral Milieu

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Chapter Summary

The diatribe is a type of discourse employed in the philosophical school. When we compare the diatribal sections in Romans with the Bion, Rufus, Epictetus, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, Tyre, and Phlio, its similarity, especially with Epictetus, is striking. Following S.K. Stowers we classify the diatribal sections of Romans into two categories, (1) address to an imaginary interlocutor and (2) counter-arguments, i.e., objections and false conclusions. This paper argues that Paul the apostle to the Gentiles lived and undertook his missionary activities in a primarily oral milieu. Since Paul was a former Pharisee, it was natural for him to value orality because Pharisees valued orality and abstained from writing down oral tradition. It was not until AD 200 when rabbis, the successors to Pharisees, began to place the Pharisaic tradition into writing in the formof the Mishnah.

Keywords:Gentiles; oral milieu; orality; Paul; Pharisaic tradition; self-images



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