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Reconstructing the historical background of Paul's rhetoric in the Letter to the Colossians

Author: Adam Copenhaver
Publisher: London ; New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.
Series: Library of New Testament studies, volume 585.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In approaching the debate surrounding the opponents in Colossians from a methodological standpoint, Copenhaver contends that Paul was not actually confronting active opponents when he wrote the letter. Rather, Copenhaver takes the view that Paul's letter was written to the churches in the Lycus Valley, in a desire to develop their identity as a new people in Christ and to appeal to them to live a new kind of life.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Copenhaver, Adam.
Reconstructing the Historical Background of Paul's Rhetoric in the Letter to the Colossians.
London : Bloomsbury Publishing USA, ©2018
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Adam Copenhaver
ISBN: 9780567678829 0567678822
OCLC Number: 1015309692
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: Machine generated contents note: ch. 1 History of Scholarship --
1. Gnosticism --
A. Review --
B. Critical Summary --
2. Pagan Religions --
A. Review --
B. Critical Summary --
3. Hellenistic Philosophies --
A. Review --
B. Critical Summary --
4. Judaism --
A. Review --
B. Critical Summary --
5. Summary --
6. Alternative Approaches --
7. Conclusion --
ch. 2 Epistolary Analysis of Audience in Colossians --
1. Audience in Ancient Letter-Writing --
A. Private Letters --
B. Private Letters Copied and Sent to a Second Audience --
C. Letters with Multiple Recipients --
D. Letters to a Defined Group --
E. Circular Letters --
F. Private Letters Written in Anticipation of a Public Reading --
G. Letters Written in Anticipation of Collection and Publication --
H. Letter-Essays --
I. Official Letters --
J. Pseudepigraphal Letters --
K. Literary Works with an Epistolary Framework --
L. Summary --
2. Defining the Audience in Colossians --
A. Colossians 1:1-2 --
B. Colossians 2:1 --
C. Colossians 4:7-17 --
i. Recommendation of Letter-Carriers (Colossians 4:7-9) --
ii. Greetings from Paul's Associates (Colossians 4:10-14) --
iii. Paul's Greetings and Instructions (Colossians 4:15-17) --
iv. Summary of Colossians 4:7-17 --
D. Summary of Audience in Colossians --
3. Conclusion --
ch. 3 Rhetorical Analysis or Colossians and the Rhetorical Situation --
1. Rhetorical Criticism and the New Testament --
A. Historical Survey of Rhetorical Criticism --
B. Exigence and the Rhetorical Situation --
C. Rhetorical Situation and Historical Reconstruction --
D. Summary --
2. Rhetorical Analysis of Colossians --
A. Epistolary Greeting (1:1-2) --
B. Exordium. (1:3-2:5) --
B.i. Prayers (1:3-23) --
B.i.a. Prayer of Thanksgiving (1:3-8) --
B.i.b. Prayer of Intercession (1:9-20) --
First Proof: Christ Hymn (1:15-20) --
B.i.c. Application to Colossians (1:21-23) --
[Summary of the Rhetorical Function of 1:3-23] --
B.ii. Paul's Suffering and Ministry (1:24-2:5) --
B.ii.a. Paul's Universal Mission (1:24-29) --
B.ii.b. Paul's Particular Mission to the Colossians (2:1-5) --
[Summary of the Rhetorical Function of 1:4-2:5] --
[Summary of the Rhetorical Function of the Exordium in 1:3-2:5] --
B/C. Major Transitio (2:6-7) --
C. Paraenesis (2:8-4:6) --
C.i. Negative: Polemic (2:8-19) --
C.i.a. First warning (2:8-15) --
Second Proof: The Believer's Position in Christ (2:11-15) --
C.i.b. Second warning (2:16-17) --
C.i.c. Third warning (2:18-19) --
C.i.d. Summary of warnings and transitio (2:20-23) --
[Summary of the Rhetorical Function of the Polemic in 2:16-23] --
C.ii. Positive: Paraenesis (3:1-4:1) --
C.ii.a. Introduction to paraenesis and transitio (3:1-4) --
C.ii.b. Put to death the old lifestyle of the world (3:5-11) --
C.ii.c. Put on the new lifestyle of the body (3:12-4:1) --
[Summary of the Rhetorical Function of the Paraenesis in 3:1-4:1] --
D. Peroratio: Summary and Final Instructions (4:2-6) --
E. Epistolary Closing (4:7-18) --
3. Conclusion: Exigence and Rhetorical Situation in Colossians --
ch. 4 Historical Analysis of the Religious Atmosphere in the Lycus Valley --
1. Literary Evidence --
A. Greco-Roman Literature --
B. Josephus --
C. Christian Literature --
D. Magical Papyri --
E. Summary of Literary Evidence --
2. Non-Literary Evidence --
A. Buildings and Structures --
B. Epigraphy --
C. Numismatics --
D. Artefacts --
E. Summary of Non-Literary Evidence --
3. Conclusion --
ch. 5 Reconstruction of Two Threads of Opposition --
1. Introducing the Two Threads (Colossians 2:8) --
2. Christ's Work Regarding the Two Threads (Colossians 2:14-15) --
3. Separating the Two Threads into Detailed Warnings (Colossians 2:16-19) --
A. Warnings against Jewish Practices (Colossians 2:16-17) --
B. Warnings against Apollo and Pagan Practices (Colossians 2:18-19) --
C. Summary of Detailed Warnings (2:16-19) --
4. Intertwining the Two Threads (Colossians 2:20-23) --
5. Conclusion.
Series Title: Library of New Testament studies, volume 585.
Responsibility: Adam Copenhaver.

Abstract:

In approaching the debate surrounding the opponents in Colossians from a methodological standpoint, Copenhaver contends that Paul was not actually confronting active opponents when he wrote the letter. Rather, Copenhaver takes the view that Paul's letter was written to the churches in the Lycus Valley, in a desire to develop their identity as a new people in Christ and to appeal to them to live a new kind of life. His warnings in Colossians 2 function as oppositional rhetoric, contrasting the religious practices of the Lycus Valley with this new belief. Paul's warnings are therefore broadly representative of the ancient world, while at the same time focused especially on two threads of historical referents, Judaism and pagan religions. Development of the above argument demonstrates that the challenge of reconstructing a singular opponent arises not only from the limitations of textual and historical evidence, but also from the assumptions and methodologies inherent in historical approaches to the text. By modifying these assumptions and adjusting the methodology, Copenhaver can show how Paul's letter takes on a new relationship to its historical context

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Publisher Synopsis

[M]akes an important contribution to the future study of Colossians and its historical embedding. * Journal of Ancient Christianity *

 
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