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Echoes of Charis: Paul's Contextual Reflections on Salvation

Echoes of Charis: Paul's Contextual Reflections on Salvation

by Stephan J. Joubert


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This study focuses on Paul the Apostle's theological understanding of grace within the framework of benefaction in the ancient Mediterranean world. Amidst various forms of asymmetrical reciprocal exchange, which permeated social relationships in these societies, Paul deliberately chose another path. His theological reflections on charis (grace/kindness), as well as his leadership and social interactions with his churches, reflect an intentional shift away from reciprocity to charis, as well as from euergetism (doing good deeds) to selfless service. Paul's theology of charis introduces a fresh understanding of God, who freely extends his goodness to all in Christ, since all His actions are exclusively motivated by grace, not reciprocity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783643905475
Publisher: Lit Verlag
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Series: Theology in Africa , #2
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Coming to Terms with Paul's Theology of Grace within the Framework of Ancient Mediterranean Reciprocity 1

1 Keeping Body and Soul Together 1

2 Outline of the Study 3

Section 1 The Nature and Form of Reciprocity in the Ancient Mediterranean World 8

Chapter 1 A Kaleidoscope of Approaches: Paradigms, Paradigm-Changes and the "Umwelt" of the New Testament 8

1 Introduction 8

2 Paradigms, Paradigm-Changes and Biblical Studies 9

3 Historical-Critical Studies on the Background of the New Testament 11

4 Studies on the "Umwelt" of the New Testament 13

5 The Social-Scientific Approach to the New Testament 17

6 New Paradigms in the New Testament Studies? 22

Chapter 2 One Form of Social Exchange or Two? Euergetism, Patronage, and Testament Studies. Roman and Greek Ideas of Patronage 26

1 "Euergetism" 26

2 Public Benefaction 27

3 Private Benefaction 28

4 Patronage: A System of Social Control 30

5 The Relationship between Patronage and Euergetism: One and the Same Form of Social Exchange? 34

6 Two Different Exchange Relationships? 35

7 Social Exchange and the Study of the Second Testament: Guidelines for Further Research 40

8 Conclusion 41

Chapter 3 Patrocinium and Euergetism: Similar or Different Reciprocal Relationships? Eavesdropping on the Current Debate among Biblical Scholars 42

1 The ABC of Paradigm Shifts 42

2 A New Interest in Ancient Reciprocity 42

3 Reciprocity as the Interpretative Lens for Understanding Ancient Graeco-Roman Benefaction 43

4 Patronage and Benefaction: The Same or Different Reciprocal Relation-ships? 47

5 Patronage and Benefaction on Lower Levels of Abstraction 55

6 Conclusion 56

Section 2 Theological Reflections on Paul's Theology of Grace in Context 60

Chapter 4 Managing the Household. Paul as Paterfamilias of the Christian Community in Corinth 60

1 "Common-Sense Knowledge" in the First-Century Mediterranean World 60

2 The Paterfamilias in the Roman World 61

3 Paul as Broker for the Heavenly Patrons 63

4 Paul and the Household of Believers in Corinth 65

5 Behaviour within the Household 68

6 Conflict in the Household 69

7 Conclusion 72

Chapter 5 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: An Agonistic Competition? 73

1 Introduction 73

2 The Agonistic Nature of the Graeco-Roman World 75

3 The use of Athletic Imagery in the Graeco-Roman World 76

4 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: An Agonistic Discourse 78

5 The Reason for the Agonistic Discourse in Verses 24-27 84

Chapter 6 Behind the Mask of Rhetoric: The Intra-Textual Relationship between Paul and the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 8 88

1 Paul's Apostle- and Patriarchal Roles in the Corinthian Letters 89

2 The "Wirkungsgeschichte" of 1 Corinthians 16 and the New Roles that Paul and His Audience Fulfil in 2 Corinthians 8 90

3 Paul's Textual Strategy in 2 Corinthians 8 92

4 Conclusion 99

Chapter 7 Religious Reciprocity in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15: Generosity and Gratitude as Legitimate Responses to the xαpiς τov θεov 101

1 Religious Reciprocity 101

2 The xαpiς τov θεov and the Collection for Jerusalem 102

3 2 Corinthians 9:6-10: God's Gracious Gifts Lead to Generosity 103

4 Conclusion 312

Chapter 8 Challenging Dominant Perspectives: New Approaches to Paul's Collection for the Poor in Jerusalem 113

1 The Formative Impact of Munck, Georgi and Nickle 113

2 The Eschatological Understanding of the Collection is Still Alive and Well in Millennium Three 114

3 New Approaches to The Collection 116

4 Conclusion 126

Chapter 9 Χαpiς in Paul. An Investigation into the Apostle's "Performative" Application of the Language of Grace within the Framework of his Theological Reflection on the Event/Process of Salvation 128

1 An Overview of Χαpiς in the Umwelt of Paul 128

2 Exploring the Semantic Nuances of Χαpiς on the Surface Level of Paul's Texts 133

3 The Basic Soteriological Building Blocks of Paul's Theology 135

4 Paul's Theological Reflection on Salvation in the Language of Charis 141

5 Χαpiς as a "Speech Act" 147

6 Conclusion 149

Chapter 10 Reconciliation in the Apostle Paul: A Divine Gift for a New Mankind 151

1 Reconciliation- Establishing the Peace of God in the Souls of Mankind 151

2 People who are Segregated in Hostility arc Brought Together in Christ 158

Chapter 11 "Seeing the Error of my Ways": Revisiting Paul's Paradigmatic, Self-Critical Remarks in 1 Corinthians 15:8-10 162

1 The Avoidance of Error in Ancient Graeco-Roman Society 164

2 Paul's Admission of Error 166

3 Chans Holds the Key 168

4 Paul's Public Admittance of Personal Unworthiness in the Presence of Christ as Paradigm for a New Life in Grace 171

Chapter 12 Paul's Apocalyptic Eschatology in 2 Corinthians 173

1 Language and Reality 173

2 The "Apocalyptic" Language of Paul 173

3 Literary Integrity of 2 Corinthians 175

4 The Basic Building Blocks of Paul's Apocalyptic Symbolic Universe as Reflected in 2 Corinthians 176

5 The Hermeneutical Movement of Time in 2 Corinthians 177

6 Radical Eschatology… from the Right Perspective 178

7 The Present Past 179

8 2 Corinthians 4:7-15: Paul's Apostolic Ministry as a Paradigm of Jesus' Presence both in the Present and Future 183

9 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10: A Compelling Vision of a Glorious New Future 185

10 Conclusion 186

Fin: Hearing the Echoes of Charis 188

Works Consulted 191

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