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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Paul's Witness to Formative Early Christian Instruction
Edsall, Benjamin A.

Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014 pp. xiv + 297. $135.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe, 365


Description: Benjamin A. Edsall provides a new approach to the classic quest for the preaching and teaching (or the kerygma, didache and catechesis) of the early Church. His method draws on ancient communication practices whereby communicators rely on knowledge they expect their audience to possess. This reconstruction of early Christian instruction is based on rhetorical cues in 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians and Romans. Passages are grouped and analyzed according to the way in which they function as appeals to knowledge. This Pauline lens, the author argues, illuminates not only Paul's formative instruction - what he taught while establishing his communities and how he built on this initial instruction in his letters - but also how he assumed certain elements present in his own teaching to be part of a shared formative heritage among non-Pauline communities in Rome.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, Early Christian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins, Literary Approaches, Rhetorical Criticism

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Review by Matthew R. Malcolm
Published 3/1/2016
Citation: Matthew R. Malcolm, review of Benjamin A. Edsall, Paul's Witness to Formative Early Christian Instruction, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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