PAUL’S “EVANGELICAL APOLOGIA” IN 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7: NEW CREATION, CORINTHIA, AND THE ‘NEW FACE’ OF CHRISTIANITY

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PAUL’S “EVANGELICAL APOLOGIA” IN 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7: NEW CREATION, CORINTHIA, AND THE ‘NEW FACE’ OF CHRISTIANITY

ABSTRACT This study argues that the purpose of 2 Corinthians is to confront the struggle between two opposed worldviews, indicated by Paul as κατὰ σάρκα and kainh kt…sij. In 2 Corinthians, Paul contrasts the way of knowing and evaluating the world and the people in it. While the dominant Greco-Roman culture valued the external attributes of people, including wealth, power, prestige, and success, the way of Christ Paul proclaims is centered on the self-giving action of the cross. The community of Christ is called to be a “new creation community” and live out the counter-cultural values of compassion, humility, and service. Previous scholarly treatments of 2 Corinthians 5:11-20 and 2 Corinthians as a whole have focused on: (1) the supposed apologetic nature of the epistle, proposing that Paul is actively defending himself and his ministry before the critiques of his opponents; (2) the identification of the rhetorical genre of 2 Corinthians as forensic, the genre of defense; (3) the identification of the outside opponents, the so-called “super-apostles” of 2 Corinthians 10-13 as the primary catalyst for the conflict in Corinth that precedes the writing of 2 Corinthians. Through the employment of George A. Kennedy’s rhetorically informed methodology, this study will demonstrate the inadequacies of the previous treatments. Chapter One will explore the historical and sociological background of Corinth, from which comes the community of Jesus’ followers founded by Paul. Chapter Two will explore in detail the rhetorical species and status of 2 Corinthians, demonstrating Paul’s intentional use of deliberative rhetoric as a tool for community well-being and unity. Paul’s choice of this rhetorical genre is intentional and pivotal to understanding his purpose in sending the epistle and the message it contains. Chapter Three will explore Paul’s argumentation in 2 Corinthians, focusing primarily on the first 7 chapters. It is important to see how Paul confronts and critiques the κατὰ σάρκα cultural norms by which the Corinthians are evaluating both themselves and Paul and how Paul deftly contrasts that worldview with the one centered in the king kt…sij in Christ. Finally, Chapter Four will explore the section in 2 Corinthians 5:11-20, demonstrating how this represents the theological climax of Paul’s message to the Corinthian community.

PAUL’S “EVANGELICAL APOLOGIA” IN 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7: NEW CREATION, CORINTHIA, AND THE ‘NEW FACE’ OF CHRISTIANITY. GET MORE  BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGY PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS

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