Paul's Gift from Philippi: Conventions of Gift Exchange and Christian Giving

Paul's Gift from Philippi: Conventions of Gift Exchange and Christian Giving

by G. W. Peterman, Gerald W. Peterman
     
 

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This book is a study of Paul's response to the financial help he received from the church in Philippi whilst he was a prisoner in Rome. Philippians 4.10-20 has always puzzled commentators because of its seemingly strained and tortured mode of thanks. Word studies, psychological studies and literary studies have all failed to provide insight into the text, which is… See more details below

Overview

This book is a study of Paul's response to the financial help he received from the church in Philippi whilst he was a prisoner in Rome. Philippians 4.10-20 has always puzzled commentators because of its seemingly strained and tortured mode of thanks. Word studies, psychological studies and literary studies have all failed to provide insight into the text, which is unique in the Pauline corpus. Using contemporary sources Dr Peterman reexamines this difficult passage in the light of Greek and Roman practices and language regarding the exchange of gifts and favours in society. He concludes that 'gift exchange' or 'social reciprocity', with its expectations and obligations, permeated every level of society in Paul's day, and that Paul's seemingly ungracious response was an attempt to create a new, Christian attitude to gifts and to giving.

Editorial Reviews

David E. Garland
Paul's supposedly grudging acknowledgment of the Philippians' gift in Phil. 4:10-20 has vexed one commentator after another....Peterman's work...seeks to redress this lapse....Peterman presents a clear, concise, and well-mapped thesis which is a welcome addition to recent studies exploring the social conventions underlying NT texts. Whether or not Peterman is right in every detail of exegesis, he is right on the basic methodology....[He] provides convincing arguments that Paul's thank-you was not an afterthought or a tactless expression of ingratitude.
Society of Biblical Literature
From the Publisher
"Peterman's work also adds to our knowledge of conventions of social reciprocity in the Greco-Roman world and provides weighty countervailing evidence against arguments that would chop the letter to the Philippians into an assortment of separate letters sent at different times." David E. Garland, Journal of Biblical Literature

"...Peterman's book is an important contribution to our understanding of the letter and of Paul's rich theology of Christian giving." James Ware, Religious Studies Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521020664
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2005
Series:
Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, #92
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

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