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16 “Seneca” on Paul as Letter Writer

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Chapter Summary

In recent years, NT scholars have returned with some vigor to the examination of Paul's rhetorical strategy in his letters. Interest has also of late been shown in a particular aspect of rhetoric, namely, epistolary theory, and the ways in which it may illuminate Paul's letters for us. This chapter represents this latter interest. It makes us aware of a different dimension of Paul's letters, as it illustrates by drawing attention to 2 Cor 10:10 and, especially, the apocryphal correspondence between Paul and the Roman philosopher Seneca. Paul's correspondence with the Corinthians contains a striking number of references to and comments on his letter writing. One such letter, which Paul claims to have written out of his own grief (2 Cor 2:4), was successful because it made his readers grieve to the point of repenting (2 Cor 7:8-11).

Keywords: Corinthians; epistolary theory; Paul's letters; Seneca



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