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Title: Divine communication in the Letters of Paul : 1 Thessalonians as source
Author: Wheeler, Laurie Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 9817
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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This study examines Paul’s presentation of his gospel as a divine communication in the OT prophetic tradition. Despite the importance of the word of God to the OT prophetic vocation, Paul’s use of the phrase rarely refers to his gospel as a ‘word of God’. The phrase occurs once in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 and twice in 2 Corinthians (2:17 and 4:2). His reference to the gospel as a ‘word of the Lord’ is equally rare, occurring only in the Thessalonian Correspondence (1 Thessalonians 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:1). Chapter one of this study presents a contextual word study of Paul’s gospel language, illustrating the functional distinction between Paul’s primary gospel language terms. A survey of Paul’s primary gospel language in LXX usage provides background to Paul’s use of the prophetic topos ‘word of the Lord’. This word study demonstrates the importance of the Thessalonian letters as a source for our understanding of the phrases ‘word of God’ and ‘word of the Lord’ as categories of divine communication to which the gospel belongs. Chapters two through five of this project substantiate a reading of 1 Thessalonians as source for Paul’s presentation of the gospel as a divine communication in continuity with the LXX prophetic tradition. Paul constructs a community narrative in 1 Thessalonians 1-3 central to which is the arrival of, resistance to and endurance of the gospel as a word of God / word of the Lord among the Thessalonian believers. The gospel as a word of the Lord proclaims and performs the eschatological hope of Gentile inclusion at the parousia. The gospel as a word of God emphasizes the divine origin and agency of the message, entrusted to and embodied by true apostles of the gospel of God. The prophetic tradition, in which a divine emissary embodies the word, is expressed in the cruciform embodiment of the gospel by Paul, Silvanus and Timothy. 1 Thessalonians provides a narrative source for Paul’s genuinely shared mission during the foundation of Gentile congregations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available