Paulus und die kaiserzeitliche Epistolographie
By Thomas Johann Bauer
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
Are the oldest Christian writings literature? At the beginning of the 20th century, A. Deißmann’s answer to this questions with respect to Paul’s letters was no, and New Testament studies experts were generally of the same opinion. Does however the nonliterary character of Paul’s letters show that Paul and his addressees belonged to the uneducated classes? Is it so difficult to compare his letters with the literary letters written by those who were educated or even with literary letters which were art forms? Using the letters to Philemon and the Galatians as examples, Thomas Johann Bauer shows that Paul was very familiar with the scholarly theory of letters and the conventions of letter writing in a cultivated style and knew how to apply these competently and in a manner appropriate to the situation. In addition, both letters document a sophistication in their arguments and their self-portrayal which would scarcely have been possible without training in rhetoric.
Wissenchaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament No. 276
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