Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Being conformed to Christ in community : a study of maturity, maturation and the local church in the undisputed Pauline epistles
Author: Samra, James George
ISNI:       0000 0000 6662 2495
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2005
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores Paul's conception of maturity, paying special attention to the maturation process and the role of the local church in facilitating this process. Although maturity is a subject central to Paul's theology it is often overlooked in Pauline studies. The thesis is an exegetical-theological study of the seven generally accepted epistles, which makes heuristic use of three studies for the purpose of illuminating Paul's thoughts regarding maturity: a survey of modern psychology, an analysis of the writings of the community of Qumran and an analysis of Philo's presentation of the Therapeutae. We argue that Paul understood his apostolic commission to involve delivering mature believers on the day of Christ and this suggests that the concept of maturity was important to his life, work and thought. Paul's understanding of maturity reflects a tension arising from the apocalyptic and eschatological framework underlying much of his thought. Believers are to become in character what they are declared to be in status. It is suggested that the central motif of Paul's conception of maturity is believers being conformed to the image of Christ. This is a process that begins here and now whereby believers' attitudes and actions become aligned with those exhibited by Christ, who provides the defining standard of maturity for Paul. We suggest that for Paul there are five means used by the Spirit to conform believers to the image of Christ and these five means are presented and analyzed as components of the maturation process. They are: identifying with Christ, enduring suffering, experiencing the presence of God, receiving and living out wisdom from God, and imitating a godly example. The thesis concludes by arguing that Paul expected the local church to facilitate this process of maturation so that believers' participation in a local assembly would result in their being conformed to Christ. The church does this by facilitating the five components of the maturation process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available