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Parenesis
(503 words)

In the primitive Christian community parenesis (from Gk. paraineō, “advise, urge”) had the aim of giving ethical instruction to the post-Easter churches (Ethics). Presupposing baptism, it linked basic theses to situational formulas. In its various forms parenesis was part of early Christian history and cannot be separated from it. We should also note the relation to the Jesus tradition and its basic ethical directions (Sermon on the Mount).

Research based on the insights of M. Dibelius (1883–1947) traces primitive parenesis mainly to the Epistles (Literature, Biblical and Ear…

Cite this page
Paulsen, Henning, “Parenesis”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 27 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.27>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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