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10 Exhortation in First Thessalonians

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shares the interest of Elpidius Pax in Paul's manner of exhorting recent converts, but whereas he seeks to illuminate 1 Thessalonians with Jewish advice to converts, the chapter draws attention to the Graeco-Roman tradition of moral exhortation. Before offering examples of the way in which Paul utilizes and modifies elements of that tradition, the chapter identifies some hortatory features that pervade the letter throughout. Paul's modification of the hortatory tradition to describe himself as bearer of the divine message is further illustrated by his adaptation in chapter 2 of the description of the ideal philosopher and his exercise of παρρησία. Paul's use of the traditional hortatory material is marked by profound change as he reshapes it to express his experience of God working in him, or stresses the theological and religious dimensions of ethics, or uses traditional Christian material to address issues also of concern to pagan consolers.

Keywords: 1 Thessalonians; Graeco-Roman tradition; moral exhortation; paraenetic letters; Paul



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