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Outlines in the post-pauline development

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Chapter Summary

To complete the picture of the Agon tradition a few words are necessary in order to show Paul's relationship to the further Christian use of the image and its terminology. Paul's picture of the athlete of the Gospel is most perfectly preserved in the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, especially in his letter to Polycarp. A decided hellenisation of the Christian Agon of faith can be detected especially in the writings of Chrysostom and Gregory of Nazianzus. Both the Agon of martyrdom and the Agon of asceticism begin -and certainly continue to contain-a genuine Pauline aspect, but both tend towards a false development. At the end one can say that the circle has been closed-the Christian Agon bears features which closely parallel the Agon of Hellenism.

Keywords: Agon tradition; letters of Ignatius; Paul's relationship



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