Lecture 2: Pauline Lit and Theology

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crunchybunnies27
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Lecture 2: Pauline Lit and Theology
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2012-02-06 18:28:54
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Lecture Pauline Lit Theology VLI Winter 2012
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Lecture 2: Pauline Lit and Theology, VLI, Lecture 2, Winter 2012
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  1. AD 49; The churches that he and Barnabas recently founded in Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (Acts 13-14) in the southern part of the Roman province of Galatia.
    The date and to whom Galatians was written
  2. In Corinth in 51 AD
    The date and place 1 & 2 Thessalonians was written
  3. 54-55 AD from Ephesus
    The date and place 1 Corinthians was written
  4. Background:

    These churches were established on Paul's 1st Missionary Journey and were made up of Jews, Gentiles on the fringe of synagogues, and pagans. As he traveled and preached he experienced many miracles and signs and wonders confirming the gospel. The new Christian movement was in the throws of understanding the gospel in relation to Judaism and the Law. The conservative wing of the church insisted the Gentiles become Jews by circumcision and keeping Jewish law.

    Occasion and Purpose:


    Troublemakers had infultrated the churches. They claimed Paul watered down the gospel, disputed his authority and the truth of his message, and they said you needed "Christ plus __"
    The background material, occasion, and purpose for Galatians
  5. Background:

    __is a port city on the Aegean Sea. It was situated on the Egnatian Way (the main route from the East to Rome) about 100 miles east of Philippi and became the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Jewish opposition made Paul and his team leave after 5 weeks of being there. Paul moves south and sends Timothy back there and Timothy reports good news back along with questions.

    Occasion and Purpose:

    Paul wrote this to continue teaching his new converts as he would have done if he had stayed there longer. Teaches them to live a life of holiness, love, work, and hope and to follow his example. He gives them the foundations of the Christian life.
    The background material, occasion, and purpose for 1 & 2 Thessalonians
  6. Background:

    This place was destroyed in 146 BC and refounded by Rome in 44 BC being repopulated by its freedeom. It was a commercial, military, and cultural crossroad between East and West. To be called a _____ meant that you were an immoral person. It's about 50 miles west of Athens and 55 miles south-east of Delphi. Paul was sent here during Gallio's proconsulship. He remained here for about 18 months in 51-53 AD. Citizens were seeking honor, status and public recognition. They were entrepreneurs; highly competitive, valuing image and presentation in rhetoric and debate. Their culture was a mix of Roman order and Eastern ecstacy. Sexual immorality and perversion (from a Biblical grid) was the order of the day. The temple on the mountain above the city (which later housed a Crusader fort) contained 1,000 cult prostitutes (see Strabo, 24 AD) who would come down into the city at night and offer their services. This “platonic” dualism separated the material from the spiritual, the body from the soul, with a negative view of the body – thus their problem with the resurrection of the body Hellenism’s ethical responses could either be libertinism or asceticism. This dualism lies behind the major issues of this letter. Orators would compete, ridicule each other and offer “wisdom” before public crowds. “Such competition in sophoi logoi [‘wise words’] sometimes became quite divisive…. The group following a particular teacher could be so strong that they could be described as a secta, a ‘sect’ or ‘party.’ (See Seneca the Elder, Controversies 10.15, cited in David A. DeSilva, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp.557-558. Prevalent values were appearance, eloquence, status and strength.)


    Occasion and Purpose:

    Paul writes to challenge the results of Hellenistic Dualism because they were undermining his "foolish" message of the cross. He challenges a false "spirituality" and excesses in the use of the gift of tongues. He re-establishes his role as the "father" of the church and seeks to heal divisions centered in a bad theology and false leadership claims. He challenges the quest for "wisdom" in ecstacy, promising spirit given wisdom for the mature. He corrects specific moral failures. Gordon Fee writes that the real conflict is between Paul and a few key leaders.
    The background material, occasion, and purpose for 1 Corinthians.
  7. 1. Chapters 1-2—Personal argumentPaul’s message and ministry are directly from the Risen Christ; confirmed in Jerusalem and Antioch.

    2.Chapters 3-4—Theological argumentThe promise trumps the law. Abraham, not the law, is our prototype. The purpose of the law is to bring us to Christ where we are all made one by faith alone.

    3. Chapters 5-6—The result of faith-righteousness is freedom, living in the Spirit, loving each other and bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Now in community we carry each other’s burdens, exercise godly discipline and sow to the Spirit.
    Recognize the three-point argument that Paul makes in Galatians to counter the “Judaizers.”
  8. Teacher, Discipler, and Church Planter
    Recognize the three roles Paul assumes in 1 Thessalonians
  9. 1. No grounds for fear for those who have died, they are “asleep.” Those who are still alive are "awake" in Christ.

    2. The return of Christ is certain but still future: "the rebellion" and "the man of lawlessness" must first be openly revealed.
    Recognize the concerns about the Day of the Lord in 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
  10. State in 1 sentence/phrase the theme of Galatians
    We are justified, not by works, but by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone.
  11. State in 1 sentence/phrase the theme of 1 Thessalonians.
    Imitate Paul and live a life of holiness, love, work and hope.
  12. State in 1 sentence/phrase the theme of 2 Thessalonians
    Suffering, hope, what must precede the Lord’s coming (dispelling the fear that Jesus has already returned), and the necessity to work in the meantime.
  13. State in 1 sentence/phrase the theme of 1 Corinthians
    What it means to be “spiritual” and living it out in community.
  14. Recognize aspects of Hellenistic dualism that lies beneath the problems addressed by each major literary unit in 1 Corinthians. (Sect. 8.1.2.3, 8.3.1, 8.5.1.7, 8.5.2.6, 8.5.3.5, 8.5.4.4, & 8.5.5.7)
    • Hellenistic Dualism: This “platonic” dualism separated the material from the spiritual, the body from the soul, with a negative view of the body – thus the Corinthian’s problem with the resurrection of the body (see 1 Cor. 15). Hellenism’s ethical responses could either be libertinism or asceticism. This dualism lies behind the major issues of this letter.
    • 8.3.1 Paul writes this letter to challenge the results of Hellenistic Dualism: heightened spirituality and Dualism’s value system. These were undermining his “foolish” message of the cross, the reality of the bodily resurrection, and depreciated the physical life and its moral consequences.

    8.5.1.7 The fruit of Hellenistic dualism: human wisdom and disunity


    8.5.2.6 Examples of Hellenistic dualism, immorality, knowledge and freedom


    8.2.3.5 Hellenistic dualism, knowledge and freedom

    8.5.4.4 Hellenistic dualism, elitism, and ecstasy

    8.5.5.7 Hellenistic dualism denies the resurrection
  15. Historically:
    Jewish- the crucified are cursed by God
    Greco-Roman- crucifixion is the ultimate form of capital punishment. It includes humilitation, torture, and death. Under Roman Law, no citizen could be crucified.
    Recognize the ways in which humans view the cross as an offense.
  16. Culturally: In Roman society it was obscene to even speak of the horror of crucifixion.
    Recognize the ways in which humans view the cross as an offense.
  17. Philosophically: Rather than starting with a universal, general, reasonable assumption, such as "God is love," the gospel starts with the particular (the cross) and from it establishes the universal that "God is love in that Christ died for us." The cross is an illustration of God's love; it is the basis of God's love. From the cross we can accept John 3:16 as true.
    Recognize the ways in which humans view the cross as an offense.
  18. Moral and theological offense: we cannot save ourselves.
    Recognize the ways in which humans view the cross as an offense.
  19. The value of papyrus and the low level of literacy meant that many ancient letters were dictated to trained scribes (amanuenses). It was was typical when the amanuensis had composed the letter, for the write to add a final greeting in his own hand. It seems likely that most of the NT letters, including those of Paul, were produced this way.


    A reasonable conclusion is that the freedom given to an amanuensis would have different depending on the skill of the amanuensis and the nature of the relationship between the writer and the amanuensis.
    TEXTBOOK LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize Carson and Moo’s description of and conclusion regarding the use of amanuenses (trained scribes) by New Testament authors. (See Chapter 8, An Introduction to the New Testament by Carson and Moo)

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