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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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. 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.

Excerpt

In 1992-93, when I wrote a Philippians commentary at the request of Harold Rast (who at that juncture had left Fortress Press and started his own publishing house, Trinity Press International), I knew full well the limitations of the series dubbed the New Testament in Context. Nevertheless, Hal was gracious enough to allow me to do a small-scale socio-rhetorical commentary on one of my favorite Pauline letters, Philippians, and at 180 pages it was actually one of the larger commentaries in that series, considering it covered a book of only four chapters.

An exegetical flood of Noachic proportions has gone under the bridge in the discussiohen, too, a huge number of new commentaries on Philippians have emerged since I wrote my first one, including major or very important if smaller commentaries by John Reumann, Moises Silva (2nd edition), B. B. Thurston, Gordon Fee (my old mentor), Markus Bockmuehl, S. Fowl, Dean Flemming, P. T. O’Brien, and Walter Hansen, to mention but a few of the ones in English. There are also several quite slender commentaries in English which are nonetheless done by fine scholars and have also helped push the discussion along. I am thinking of those by C. Cousar and C. Osiek primarily. Scholars on the Continent have not been idle either — for example, the commentaries by N. Walter and the 2nd edition of the one by U. B. Müller, as well as a very full commentary in Italian by R. Fabris, and then the commentaries in French, including the rhetorical one by J.-B. Edart and also the one by J.-N. Aletti. We also now have a commentary on Paul’s letters, including Philippians, by B. Malina and J. J. Pilch from a particular sort of social-scientific approach.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.