Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The formation and education of the Christian mind in Paul's earlier letters
Author: Bryant, Beauford H.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1957
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
All of Paul °s extant letters are addressed to persons already Christian What he said and did to pagan audiences for the purpose of snaking Christians of them can be lion_, therefore, only by inferences arawn after a careful first -hand stuc? 7` of these invaluable primary sources. Even the Acts of the Apostles, which Purports to record on occasion how he spoke and acted in respect to prospective converts among Gentilic audiences does not furnish us all the help on this problem that might appear upon onus first examination of the work. Apparently Acts was written upon the assumption of a good deal of "Christian knowledge" on the part of its readers, consequently many statements are left completely or partially without explanation. Moreover, Acts was written after Paul had gassed from the scene, and hence is further removed from the actual situations concurrently reported in the Pauline letters. Acts, therefore, is not a primary source, in the same way as the letters, for most of the perio'covered. by the earlier Pauline epistles. Furthermore, even those r41AMp.nt speeches and incidents in Acts, which v -reports are related as coming directly from the Apostle, are not verbati;rlAand some are possibly not even eye -witness accounts. They are merely epitomized summaries of what he said and dici on these occasions. This does not mean that these brief summaries are untrustworthy. It means only that they are selections and compressions of rather extensive Pauline addresses and activities (or narratives). The basis of the present study is the earlier letters of Paul. These include the six epistles: Romans, i and ií Corinthians, Galatians, and j and Ii Thessalonians. In addition to these , the relevant sections in the Acts of the Apostles have also been employed. The use of only the above six epistles is an arbitrary limitation made for the sake of (a) convenience, but much more because (b) they are possibly the earliest extant primary sources from within the ancient church. They therefore (c) mirror the earliest situations in the primitive Gentilic congregations and so reflect the methods and forms of evangelization and education before these ^crystallized "into the settled modes of successful Christian propaganda (such as our canonical gospels or even collections of Pauline epistles;) These conditions pose a problem which is both an important and a difficult one. With Gentiles who lacked the benefits of a Jewish background involving an acquaintance with the theory and practice of monotheism and morality, and who were devoid of any real knowledge of the source of Jewish thought and life, namely, the Old Testament --with such Gentiles, how did Paul proceed in eliciting and developing in them the Christian life and mind? There is finally the possibility that these six Pauline letters (d) furnish a valuable clue to the origin, effectiveness, and even validity of methods and practices reflected in the later parts of the PTT and the subsequent literature of post- apostolic Christianity. Of these six Pauline letters five were written to communities which he himself had founded and in which he had worked and one -- Romans --to a community which he knew only through others. In a few instances I have also cited (but not consistently so) from other letters of Paul (including Ephesians, which, if not Paul's, is so thoroughly Pauline that it may be regarded as the earliest commentary on his thought). The methods of the present study consist of (a) a close, first-hand examination of the contents of the primary sources- -the six selected Pauline documents--for traces and hints of Paul's missionary methodology, especially with Gentiles, and (b) a summarization of the results under great headings or divisions made both for convenience and for displaying the apostle's basic methods of procedure in creating and molding the Christian mind. The scientific method of procedure, therefore, is that of historical and literary analysis. In the first two chapters the method of historical and literary comparison is also extensively used. Certain individual problems of historical and literary criticism have been considered, yet they are not the primary aim. I think it ourht to be added also that while some of the modern principles of psychological and sociological study and experience have been employed, they have not been allowed the chief pre- eminence --at least not consciously so. In unfolding the thesis the development will move mainly within three major areas of interest: (a) a study of the Jewish and Gentilic backgrounds for a detection of influences on Pauline methods and procedures with his Christian converts (chapters 1 and 2); (b) a study of major Pauline methods in creating the Christian mind (chapter 3); and( a study of the significant Pauline methods in educating the Christian mind (chapters 4-6). This is rather a difficult task to undertake, especially for a neophyte in Pauline studies. The breadth of subject tends everywhere toward a superficiality of coverage. The thesis which I have sought to present and to prove is that, according to his earlier letters, the apostle Papal did consciously and intentionally form and educate a Christian mind in and ármag his Gentilic converts, and that he employed motives, methods, processes, and other helps towards that aim. Thus the title rage of the thesis might well have read "The Formation and Education of the Christian Mind in Paul's Earlier Letters, with Special Reference to Apostolic Missionary Method (or Methodology): Terminology, in regard to the concept and reality which I have designated "Christian mind; is not easy to handle. As we use the word mind in English, it varies all the way from "brain" through "attitude" to "understanding': I am not here primarily concerned with the "physical" possibilities attaching to the word ( "brain;' etc), but more with all that is involved in the mental and spiritual connotations of the term --- "thoughts; "judgments; "ideas; "attitudes;' "outlook', "intentions; "aspirations; "insights, "understanding'; etc. At the same time the expression "Christian mind" is not used ash synonym for abstractions and theoretical conceptions in the Christian's head, which may be held quite apart from the Christian's living and relationships. Rather our usage of the expression assumes a combination of the theoretical and practical, of thinking and living, as everywhere endemic to life "in Christ!' This study is limited largely to Paulus Gentilic converts, because as we saw above his converts from Judaism already had a strong backgroung of monotheism, morality, worship, and proven teaching techniques. How he proceeded to create and develop a Christian mind in these persons is relatively clear. But how he proceeded with new recruits fresh from the rankest paganism with little or no background of high ethical teaching and moral practice is less obvious. This is our problem. I may add that I have been unable to make a thorough revision of the original draft of the thesis, hence its excessive verbosity in parts and its needless repetitions. Also, I have had only limited access to the newer literature on Paul during 1955 (and 1956).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available