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Download Paul's Letter to the Philippians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary ePub

by Ben Witherington III

Download Paul's Letter to the Philippians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary ePub
  • ISBN 0802801439
  • ISBN13 978-0802801432
  • Language English
  • Author Ben Witherington III
  • Publisher Eerdmans (October 6, 2011)
  • Pages 344
  • Formats mobi lrf lrf doc
  • Category Bibles
  • Subcategory Bible Study and Reference
  • Size ePub 1629 kb
  • Size Fb2 1369 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 342

Interprets Paul’s letter in light of its rhetorical content and cultural contextSkeptical of the trend among many biblical scholars to analyze Paul’s short, affectionate letter to the Philippians in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions, Ben Witherington instead looks at Philippians as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory ― an extension of Paul’s oral speech, dictated to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients. Witherington examines Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul’s purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his original audience would have heard and received Paul’s message.

He has an uncanny ability to bring out unknown aspects and to analyse Greek in a manner which assists his reader.

Paul’s short, affectionate letter to the Philippians has been much belabored of late by biblical scholars keen to analyze it in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions. Yet Ben Witherington argues that Philippians shouldn’t be read as a letter at all but, rather, as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory-an extension of Paul’s oral speech, dictated to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients. Paul’s short, affectionate letter to the Philippians has been much belabored of late by biblical scholars keen to analyze it in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions.

Witherington examines Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul’s purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his original audience would have heard and received Paul’s message.

Witherington examines Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul's purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his original audience would have heard and received Paul's message.

507 Pages · 2008 · . 3 MB · 297 Downloads ·English.

Interprets Paul's letter in light of its rhetorical content and cultural context Skeptical of the trend among many biblical scholars to analyze Paul's short, affectionate letter to the Philippians in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions, Ben Witherington instead looks at Philippians as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory - an extension of Paul's oral speech, dictated. to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients.

There seem to be proportionally more original readings and scholarship on his own part. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Book Format.

Evangelical Theological Society 55(3) · January 2012 with 53 Reads.

Talk about Paul's Letter to the Philippians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary


Ohatollia
An excellent resource for preaching from Philippians.
Anayaron
Great book
Hunaya
Ben Witherington has done a tremendous job in creating these socio-rhetorical commentaries on Paul's letters to early gatherings of Christians. He has an uncanny ability to bring out unknown aspects and to analyse Greek in a manner which assists his reader.
lubov
I have read a number of books by Witherington, notably "The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth", and he has always impressed me. Not a lot of biblical scholars are good writers. He is. Anybody, even someone without any background in biblical scholarship, could pick up and understand what he is saying. And his scholarship is always topnotch.

One of my interests in Philippians is with the possible hymn to Christ embedded in it. And what's so fascinating about the hymn is that it must date to the very earliest followers of Christ, likely to the first ten years after the crucifixion of Christ.

Witherington argues that the possible hymn, Phil. 2.5-11 "is pre-Pauline material which Paul adopts and adapts for his present rhetorical purposes" (p 132).

Of course some commentators have argued against the passage as a hymn. However, there is no gainsaying the fact that hymns played an important part in early Christianity. Pliny remarks on Christians meeting "at dawn to sing antiphonal hymns to Christ as to a god" (p 134) and Paul mentions hymns in 1 Cor. 14.26 and other places.

Although the hymn, argues Witherington, was likely composed in Greek, not Aramaic, the fact remains that "Jewish Christian worship patterns owed much to synagogue practices, which included the chanting of psalms" (p 136).

So, given the importance of hymns, it would be strange if we didn't see evidence of them in Paul.

What Paul proposes in Philippians goes against the values of ancient society, which valued wealth, power, and pleasure. Paul insists Christians see "their own suffering on behalf of Christ (p 105) as having a place in the "redemptive plan of God" (p 105). "Paul also stresses that suffering for Christ is a high honor, not shameful" (p 103). Christianity has turned the values of pagan society upside down.

Not only can the Christian regard suffering for Christ to be a blessing, he can look to the way Christ suffered. "Though Paul does not elaborate, we must assume that he is alluding to Christ's obedience to God even until death on a cross" (p 149).

Paul mentions 'episkopois", which shows "that a formal and recognized local church leadership did not develop for the first time after Paul died" (p 48) but were part and parcel of early Christianity. Such church structure argues persuasively against early Christianity being many different early Christianities, which has been the argument of liberal scholars like Pagels and Ehrman.

Witherington points to the way Paul uses the conventions of one addressing family throughout Phil. And these conventions are important.

Paul was a man "on a mission...It would have been a very foolish orator indeed who ignored the dominant means of persuasion and argumentation of his age" (p 22). Understanding the conventions gives us a greater insight into what Paul was saying.

These are just a few of the interesting lines of argument Witherington investigates.
Brariel
Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, finished his series of commentaries on the New Testament with his treatment of Philippians.

Witherington focuses his interpretation on a number of standard commentary paths. He surveys existing commentaries and provide exegetical notes throughout. What sets Witherington's work apart from other standard commentaries is his consideration of the social and rhetorical realities of Paul's epistle.

Witherington examines the social custom of Philippi and sees a Roman colony where all things Roman are held in high esteem. Given Paul's pattern of being all things in order to proclaim Christ, we should not easily overlook his willingness to employ Roman rhetoric and refer to Roman custom in reaching the people of Philippi.

By taking heed of this Witherington shows Philippians not to be an ordinary friendship or family letter addressed to a beloved congregation, but rather a nuanced oration to be read aloud and shared by those who were accustomed to such. Paul, a practiced speaker of the gospel, used his rhetorical abilities to communicate to the Philippians in the manner appreciated most by them - the Roman way. According to Witherington, " Analyzing Philippians as deliberative rhetoric with some epideictic features allows the aims and purpose of this discourse to become increasingly clear: Paul wants the Philippians to continue embracing their Christian faith and model themselves on godly examples, especially the example of Christ himself, as Phil. 2 makes evident."

Witherington also takes time to view the role of woman in Philippi as a means of understanding what the role if any the females mentioned in the letter may have had in the church.

Finally Witherington soundly puts to bed the notion that Philippians is a product of a number of contributions melded together by showing a rhetorical unity that could not be achieved through a copy and paste approach.

This commentary is helpful in appreciating the subtleties of the epistle to the Philippians. It breathes a fresh perspective into the letter as the reader is able to see what was communicated through the original hearer's eyes. Witherington's commentary is conservative, and does not shy away from engaging liberal academic assertions where he sees contrary evidence or accepting solid beneficial work from scholars he would not otherwise agree with.