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Shaping the Message

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Chapter Summary

The criteria that determine the epistle to the Colossians' literary composition present and interpret the story from "Paul's" point of view. The artistic application of these criteria are what in effect convert the substance and significance of the story into direct expression, as its rhetorical and normative aspects come to the fore. By means of the literary style and shape of the message, the direct communication of the text, the author wants to prove his version of the story to be "true". The writer's interpretation and judgments regarding the story reveal not only his literary and rhetorical skills, but also impute to each figure of the narrative certain moral characteristics and values, as the general "truths" of the story achieve explicit form. Colossians, like any text of the New Testament, can be interpreted in relation to existing literary practices and contemporaneous conventions for linguistic logic and organization.

Keywords: Christ; Colossians; epistolary transaction; New Testament

10.1163/9789004267343_008
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