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The agon motif in the pastoral epistles

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Chapter Summary

The Pastoral Epistles present themselves as Paul's personal letters of encouragement and exhortation to his disciples and co-workers who now assume greater responsibility with the end of Paul himself in view. It is significant that the athletic termini play an increasingly important role in the later letters of Paul. In place of the 'good fight' of him who has been entrusted with the Gospel there has appeared a generalised picture of the moral-religious struggle of the Christian. The usual references to the common concept of man's moral and religious task on earth as an Agon or military campaign, whether in the diatribe or in the Mysteries, do not suffice the explain or illustrate the picture of the Agon in the Pastorals.

Keywords: Agon; athletic termini; Pastoral Epistles; Paul



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