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The Power of Words: Rhetoric in James and Paul

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Chapter Summary

A study of James and Paul from the perspective of the Power of Words is evocative of many aspects of their interrelated expressions of the diversity of earliest "Christianity". Each of them expresses a point of view in words intended to be persuasive to the readers. This is one level of a comparative study of the power of words. We may also recognize that the way each of them conceives of the human predicament has a bearing on the way they think of the saving-power of the words they communicate. James and Paul are powerful users of persuasive speech, of rhetoric. But the word Paul proclaims is a more powerful word than the word of James. It needs to be because the human predicament, according to Paul, is more serious. Indeed, it is beyond human remedy.

Keywords: Christianity; human predicament; James; Jesus' words; Paul; rhetoric



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