An apologetic function and an exemplary function in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Data do documento2014
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The autobiographical statements in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 has two debates about Paul’s intention and purpose: Did Paul defend himself from some kind of accusations or present himself as a model to be imitated?
The apologetic interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 2: 1-12, namely, that Paul defends himself from some kinds of accusations, had widely been agreement. However, recently some scholars who usually make use of insights from rhetorical analysis argue an exemplary function of Paul’s autobiographical statements in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 that the texts present Paul as a model to be imitated.
Jeffrey A.D. Weima, who is a well-known proponent of an apology for the apologetic function of 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 with an epistolary approach, argues that Paul defended himself from some kinds of accusations in the passage. Furthermore, he has a negative opinion about the applying the rhetoric approach to the interpreting Paul’s letters.
However, the recognition of the epistolary and rhetorical structures of letter is important to understand Paul’s letters, and the autobiographical statements in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 have both an exemplary function and an apologetic function. In other words, Paul presents himself as a model to be imitated in the face of suffering, and defends himself against the some kinds of accusations.