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(4,336 words)

Author(s): Schirren, Thomas | Mitchell, Margaret M. | Ueding, Gert | Zachhuber, Johannes | Helmer, Karl | Et al.
[German Version] I. Antiquity 1. Greek. The expression ῥητορικὴ τέχνη/ rhētorikḗ téchnē was coined by the Sophistic school, which created the theoretical foundation for a form of communication thought of – especially in the Greek world – as an agon: the appearance of one or more communicators before the public, engaging in a linguistic contest. The cultural background of such performance events ¶ (Speech act) was the literary agon and the forensic contest, already mentioned by Homer ( Il. 18.497–508). It was the particular achievement of the Greek Enlightenment of the 5th…

Corinthian Epistles

(3,040 words)

Author(s): Mitchell, Margaret M.
[German Version] I. Significance – II. Attestation – III. Composition History – IV. Historical and Literary Reconstruction of the Corinthian Correspondence – V. Theological Legacy I. Significance The two letters of Paul in the biblical canon (Bible: III, 2.a; Paul) addressed to the “church of God that is in Corinth” (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1) and “all the saints ¶ throughout Achaia” (2 Cor 1:1) represent a collection of epistolary documents of inestimable importance for the history of primitive Christianity. As sources, they allow a …

Thessalonians, Epistles to the

(1,426 words)

Author(s): Mitchell, Margaret M.
[German Version] I. Author and Addressees The designation “Epistles to the Thessalonians” refers to two early Christian letters that were allegedly written by Paul (and Timothy and Silvanus) and addressed to the Christians in the capital of Macedonia. Thessalonica was an upcoming seaport and an urban center on the Via Egnatia, the most important arterial road connecting the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire (vom Brocke, Hendrix). II. The First Epistle to the Thessalonians 1 Thess would appear to be the oldest still extant Christian text (Koester [33] calls i…


(2,412 words)

Author(s): Mitchell, Margaret M.
[German Version] I. Form and Genre – II. Ancient Epistolary Literature I. Form and Genre 1. Letters in Christianity The letter is a literary form that has been of particular importance in the Christian religion since its beginnings as a means of communication, instruction, edification, and argumentation. This predilection for letters was rooted in the missionary character of earliest Christianity, which made it necessary to communicate over long distances, as well as in the surrounding cultures, which influenced…