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8 Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles

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Chapter Summary

The author of the Pastoral Epistles made frequent use of the language of health and disease in polemic leveled at false teachers and their followers. In using the terminology of health and disease, the author of the Pastorals revealed an understanding of the nature of the church's teaching and also characterized those who opposed it or did not hold to it. In sum, the author's use of the medical images is part of his overall perception of the heretics. The author of the Pastoral Epistles describes them as intellectually inferior, having diseased minds which produce violent preaching and contaminate those who accept their teaching. The use of the medical imagery in the Pastorals is thoroughly polemical. There is no picture, as in the moral philosophers, of the intellectually and morally ill person who will be cured by reason through the application of the drugs, surgery, and cautery of παρρησία.

Keywords: medical imagery; moral disease; pastoral epistles



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