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Durham e-Theses
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The literary phenomenon of 'conflation’ in the reworking of Paul’s letter to the Colossians by the author of the letter to the Ephesians

Vankooten, George H. (1995) The literary phenomenon of 'conflation’ in the reworking of Paul’s letter to the Colossians by the author of the letter to the Ephesians. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is concerned with the nature of the relationship of the Letter to the Ephesians (Eph) to Paul's Letter to the Colossians (Col).The first three chapters seek to argue that this relationship should be designated as "literary dependent". In Chapter I the suggestion made by A.T. Lincoln (Dallas [Texas], 1990) that the contemporary redaction of the Letter of Aristeas by Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities, Book XII, §§ 11-118 is similar to the use the author of Eph made of Col, is exposed to critical review. Chapter II focuses on the phenomenon of repeated 'conflation' in Eph. This literary phenomenon entails that several 'Colossian' texts from different parts of Col are conflated by the author of Eph into one passage and is subjected to exhaustive analysis. It is argued that conflation is the main feature of the literary dependence of Eph on Col but does not occur in Josephus' reworking of the Letter of Aristeas. Chapter III continues the comparison between the method of reworking employed in the Jewish Antiquities and in Eph by pointing out that the fluctuation in verbatim agreement of one document with its source can be meaningful. Chapter IV provides the new synopsis of both letters on which the whole examination is based. This synoptic overview is a desideratum since the previous synoptic editions of the Greek text of both letters by E.J. Goodspeed (Chicago, 1933) and C.L. Mitton (Oxford, 1951) are not accurate enough and unsuitable for research that focuses on the conflations of 'Colossian' verses in Eph. The fifth and last chapter deals with the question why Eph is literary dependent on Col and shows that despite the literary dependence, the theology of Eph is distinctive in comparison with its source Col. The distinctiveness of Eph's theology consists in a critical modification of the stress which Col places on Christ's already accomplished victory over the cosmic powers (Co/ 2.15). In order to safeguard an authoritative reception of his modification of Col, the author of Eph presented his letter as the parallel letter of Col alluded to m Col 4.16. The literary dependence on Col is necessary both to modify its content and to present his own writing as its parallel letter.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1995
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:50

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