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Power and authority in Paul’s ministry: a study in 1 Corinthians

Yorkston, Ian Charles (1998) Power and authority in Paul’s ministry: a study in 1 Corinthians. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The object of study is the power and authority used by the apostle Paul in his interaction with the Corinthians as reflected in 1 Corinthians. Working definitions of the two key terms are offered. In Part One, a review was undertaken of the secondary literature related to issues of power and authority. This review was divided into three sections devoted to traditional historical-critical analyses reflecting the period from 1900 to the 1970s, social-scientific approaches and rhetorical-critical approaches, respectively. Historical-critical analyses include the works of Sohm, Harnack, Schweizer, Käsemann, Campenhausen, Dunn and Turner. The Social- scientific survey includes the works of Weber, Berger & Luckmann, Theissen, Schütz, Holmberg, Meeks and Chow. Rhetorical-critical analysis centres on Shaw, Welborn and Mitchell. Part Two comprised an exegesis of 1 Corinthians 12-14, a large, representative text from the letter, to examine how Paul exerted power and authority on the Corinthians through the text. Paul's use, in practice, of power and authority, as distinct from his own claims regarding power and authority could be observed. Care is taken to allow issues of social context and rhetoric as well as theology to influence the debate as appropriate. Paul's strategic appeal as norms to concepts such as the gospel, the common good, love and upbuilding are noted. Part Three gives brief consideration to what has been achieved in the present thesis and points to further possible research. The definitions of the two key terms are revisited to incorporate material uncovered in the course of the study.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1998
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:44

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