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Title: Paul's financial policy : a socio-theological approach
Author: Briones, David Emilio
ISNI:       0000 0004 3048 4034
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis attempts to provide a reason for Paul’s seemingly inconsistent financial policy, insofar as he accepts monetary aid from the Philippians (and others) but refuses it from the Corinthians. After outlining and critiquing a variety of approaches to the quandary of Paul’s financial policy (Chapter 1), we then contextualise Paul in his ancient socio-economic background (i.e., the context of patronage, benefaction, reciprocity, and various other gift-exchange relationships in antiquity) and also place him in ideological comparison with Seneca’s De Beneficiis, the major gift-giving treatise of the first century (Chapter 2). This chapter serves as a reference point, adding argumentative support to subsequent chapters by situating Paul in his ancient context. In Chapter 3, we provide an exegetical analysis of the positive gift-giving relationship between Paul and the Philippians, teasing out the particular relational features that comprised their intimate bond. What appears is a three-way relational pattern with God as the source of Paul’s gift-exchange relationship with the Philippians. In Chapters 4 and 5, we turn to investigate Paul’s negative relationship with the Corinthians, primarily 1 Cor. 9 and 2 Cor. 10-12 but incorporate 1 Cor. 1-4, 11:17-34, and 12:12-31, in order to highlight the absence of the particular features found in the apostle’s relationship with the Philippians. We then propound a socio-theological reason for Paul’s refusal of Corinthian gifts. By placing the social context of gift-exchange in dialectical relationship with Paul’s theology of gift-giving (or grace), we conclude that he refused Corinthian support, not because they desired to patronise him as a dependent client (which has become commonplace among NT scholars), but because they sought to be under Paul as their superior, an act that neglected God as the superior source of all gifts in the divine economy. Paul therefore refuses their support to avoid two-way relationships of gift so prevalent in ancient society (i.e., the social aspect) and to underscore the source of the gift of the gospel, the one from whom and through whom and to whom are all things – God (i.e., the theological aspect). Thus, a socio-theological reason for Paul’s financial policy will emerge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available