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16 Traditions and Theology of Care in the New Testament

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Chapter Summary

The New Testament (NT) for the most part consists of writings aimed at the moral, religious, and theological formation of people relatively young in the faith. The pastoral methods in these writings were indebted to Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. Pastoral care in the Greco-Roman tradition was part of a rich and wide-ranging enterprise known as psychagogy, which also included what we mean by spiritual exercises, psychotherapy, and psychological and pastoral counseling. Modern critical study of the NT has established that, the traditions about Jesus that they employed had already been adapted to the church's needs. The center of Jesus's concern was not human moral education, as it was with the Greeks, but the kingdom of God. Acts 20:17-35 provides a view of Paul's pastoral work that contains some of the elements that characterized Paul, but also marks changes characteristic of the later period.

Keywords: Greco-Roman traditions; New Testament (NT); pastoral care; Paul; theological formation



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