Directions in New Testament Methods

By Martin C. Albl; Paul R. Eddy et al. | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION: REVIEW OF THE WHOLE TEXT AS A RESPONSE TO THE RHETORICAL SITUATION

Let us first sketch a line-by-line picture of the text to see the impact of Paul's arrangement of stasis, topoi, syntax, and genre (see 56-7 in Mack). As you read, keep in mind the thesis of this paper: 1 Corinthians 15 is an example of deliberative rhetorical discourse in which Paul responds to the Corinthian community's expressed doubt about bodily resurrection. He dissuades them from their disbelief and exhorts them to stand firm in their faith, accepting belief in the bodily resurrection as one of its constitutive truths.

Exordium A direct address (apostrophe) of the Corin-
thians reminding them of their reception of the
gospel through which they are being saved (vv 1-2).
Narration Paul's account of how he faithfully handed
down the kerygma to the Corinthians (ethos) and the
reliable witness of the twelve and of the miracle of
Christ's appearance to him (citation) (vv 3-11).
Rhetorical Problem Some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead (vv 12-19). Use of tightly knit sentences (sorites) (logos) that reach a climax in v 19: if for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable of all (pathos).
Rationale for stasis Christ has been raised from the dead (logos).
Stasis The first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (v
20) (metaphor), (i.e., all those in Christ will be raised
from the dead).
Confirmatio Adam brought death; Christ brings life (paradigm) (vv 21-24). So in Christ all shall be brought to
life (v 22) (stasis).
After Christ subjects everything including death
to the Father, then Christ is subjected to the Father
and then God is all in all (sorites) (logos) (climax)
(pathos) (vv 24-28).
If there is no resurrection: why be baptized for
the dead? (v 29) Why do we endanger ourselves daily?
(v 30) Why did Paul fight with beasts (metaphor)
(i.e., people who opposed him) at Ephesus? (v 32)
(series of rhetorical questions, examples).

-69-

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