SRC Paul's Letter to the Philippians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
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Interprets Paul's letter in light of its rhetorical content and cultural context. Paul's short, affectionate letter to the Philippians has been much belabored of late by biblical scholars keen to analyze it in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions. Yet Ben Witherington argues that Philippians shouldn't be read as a letter at all but, rather, as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory - an extension of Paul's oral speech, dictated to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients. With this in mind, Witherington analyzes Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul's purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his audience - denizens of a society of limited literacy yet saturated in highly skilled oral rhetoric - would have heard and received Paul's message.