The ethics of the enactment and reception of cruciform love : a comparative lexical, conceptual, exegetical/theological study of Colossians 3:1-17 and the patterns of thought which have influenced it in their grammatical/historical context
This thesis aims to compare the words and governing ethical pattern of thought in the catalogue of virtues and vice in Colossians 3:5, 8, 12-17 to Greco-Roman and Jewish texts that are antecedent to, or contemporaneous with the writings of the apostle Paul and the Epistle to the Colossians. In carrying out this study, I will interact with and critique the arguments of scholars who have proposed that Paul and the author of Colossians are operating from a Stoic, Cynic or Aristotelian governing ethical pattern of thought. I will demonstrate that such positions are called into question in light of the lack of both central Greco-Roman ethical terms, and the lack of essential ethical concepts in both the generally agreed upon genuine Pauline epistles and in the Epistle to the Colossians in particular. Lastly, I will combine the results of the comparative studies of Colossians and the Greco-Roman and Jewish sources with an exegesis of Colossians in order to propose that: (i) the ethical terms of Colossians - while incidentally and peripherally influenced by the various Hellenistic ethical schools of thought - are most directly influenced by words found in the texts of the Jewish traditions, (ii) several of the ethical terms used by the author of Colossians are largely absent from and certainly uncommon in the Greco-Roman sources surveyed but widely attested in the Jewish sources, and that (iii) the author of Colossians presents his ethical material through an inherited binary format derived from the Jewish Two Ways tradition that is driven by a governing pattern of thought which focuses on Christlike transformation through the enactment and reception of cruciform love.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2020-02-19
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 19th February 2020
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