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7 - Paul in Stoic Garments

from Part III - Persistence in Hellenistic Judaism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 April 2021

Dru Johnson
Affiliation:
King’s College, New York City
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Summary

The scholarly conclusions regarding Paul’s relationship with Hellenistic philosophy center around the parallels between Paul and contemporary philosophers (e.g., Seneca or Epictetus) or philosophies (e.g., Stoicism, Middle Platonism, Epicureanism, etc.), each with varying theses on Paul’s uncritical consumption of such philosophies or his savvy redeployment of Hellenism. Aside from encyclopedic convictions that often fund such comparisons, differences between Paul and Hellenism are discussed less often. What if his dispositions and diatribes could be related to his view of the prophetic office undergirding Hebraic philosophy as easily as they could to the rhetoric of the cynic or stoic? This chapter will suggest that Paul’s style of philosophy is largely Hebraic. However, because Paul’s epistles are audience-centric in their formation, so, too, the style is often garbed in Hellenistic philosophy. Nevertheless, the Hebraic style of philosophy is what drives his effort.

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Chapter
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Biblical Philosophy
A Hebraic Approach to the Old and New Testaments
, pp. 203 - 224
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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