Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Rhetoric of Paul

Convincing Early Christians: The Rhetoric of Paul

Uses of emotion in Paul are usually less extensive, but his descriptions of his hardships at times function to evoke pity or love. His descriptions of those he considers dangerous intend the opposite; they evoke revulsion or at least make them so unattractive (perhaps untrustworthy or selfish) that his readers will not want to associate with them. So arguments that rely on emotion play an important role in his letters. This is not a reason to dismiss them. Rhetoricians of the time regularly noted that arguments from emotion are often the most persuasive.

See Also: Paul: Apostle and Fellow Traveler (Abingdon Press, 2014)

By Jerry L. Sumney
Professor of Biblical Studies
Lexington Theological Seminary
August 2015