Why is it more difficult to interpret Paul’s letters than it seems? Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1187 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Why is it more difficult to interpret Paul’s letters than it seems?

Paul’s letters are more difficult to interpret than they seem because they are occasional documents. They were written for a specific reason to a specific group with specific instruction for their situation. These letters contain valuable instruction for us, but only when we have an understanding of what the occasion was that these letters were written.

How does the fact that letters are occasional documents (as opposed to literary texts, which may be non-occasional) influence the reading of letters?

These letters are one side of a “conversation.” We must realize that we don’t have “all” of the information pertaining to the occasion or circumstances they were written for or to. The Fee and Stuart explain it as being similar to hearing one side of a phone conversation. We only hear one side of the conversation, we don’t hear the specific questions or the information on the other end of the phone.
Another important aspect of these letters is that they contain “task theology,” not “stated theology.” The epistles are not treatises.1 They are examples of how the writer’s of the Biblical letters apply their theological principles, beliefs convictions and standards but they are not explanations of the theology itself. The epistles, as explained by Fee and Stuart, are full of theology, but it is applied theology. (p 58)

Why do Fee and Stuart stress the importance of reading the whole epistle multiple times?

Fee ad Stuart stress the importance of reading the epistles multiple times and as a whole for a couple of reasons. One is to see the “big view” or the epistle in whole view. This allows for the reader to begin to see things like the “tone” tha...

... middle of paper ...

... Christians view the Old Testament narratives as intended to teach a “moral lesson.” The third reason listed that often the Old Testament narratives contain implicit teachings or affirmations of other explicit teachings found elsewhere in the Bible. (pp 92-93).

In various places of the text Fee and Stuart have spoken in the negative of attempts to “get around” various teachings to have them keep from contradicting their doctrinal beliefs or stances. Similarly, the Old Testament narratives can be used, poorly I may add, to support or enforce variable desires that a Christian would like to place on others. Fee and Stuart offered the example of the building of the temple as “proof” that God wants a church to build a new building; or the use of 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 as a politically rally cry to Christians as a promise explicitly to them, for their direct situation.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Strategies to Interpret the Difficult Poem "Do Got Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas - Analyzing the poem Do Got Go Gentle into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas, was multifaceted. This well known poem leaves the reader a complex message within six stanzas, each getting closer to death. For example, the poem can be split into three parts ending in a personal message. The first stanza of the poem is considered the introduction. The next four stanzas give examples on how the speaker is feeling. The last stanza, the personal message, is directed towards the speaker’s father. Literary strategies allow the reader to interpret and give meaning to a poem that can be difficult to interpret....   [tags: Do Got Go Gentle into That Good Night, Dylan Thoma] 869 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City Essay - More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time) William Julius Wilson creates a thrilling new systematic framework to three politically tense social problems: “the plight of low-skilled black males, the persistence of the inner-city ghetto, and the fragmentation of the African American family” (Wilson, 36). Though the conversation of racial inequality is classically divided. Wilson challenges the relationship between institutional and cultural factors as reasons of the racial forces, which are inseparably linked, but public policy can only change the racial status quo by reforming the institutions that support it....   [tags: African American status quo]
:: 1 Works Cited
1316 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Not Just For Kicks: Expressing Difficult Content Using Comics Essay - A common description of comic books comes from their appearance in cartoons and comic strips, where a teacher catches a child reading a comic book tucked between the pages of their schoolwork. Prevailing attitudes formed off of this kind of perception render the idea of the comic form as a diversion, lacking serious content, and perhaps immature. However, the comic form uses many techniques to explore subject matter that is difficult to deal with in traditional educational ways. This paper will look to examine how immersion and symbolism within the comic form can be an effective tool to reproduce these otherwise difficult situations, concepts, and ideas by using examples of texts from our cl...   [tags: Communication]
:: 4 Works Cited
1933 words
(5.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Smelling: It's More Than Meets the Olfactory Epithelium - Smelling: It's More Than Meets the Olfactory Epithelium The ability to take a chemical sample of the environment and interpret that sample has long been a skill of earth dwelling life forms. We don't tend to think of the sense of smell as a mechanism that analyzes physical specimens. It is sort of a repulsive notion, considering some of the undesirable substances we are forced to smell every day. But, just as we cannot feel a book without touching it, we cannot smell an orange without guiding some orange molecules up our noses....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]
:: 7 Works Cited
1540 words
(4.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Science: Answering Difficult Questions Through Association Essay - How can science improve our understanding of cultural behaviors. By using scientific reasoning, we define and identify unique personal and social behaviors illustrating the different branches of sciences and conducting studies that critically analyze demographics. Individual and social behaviors are explained by examining the origins, development, organizations and institutions. Using Minnesota as our model, our results will beget the answers. The scientific study of the origins, development, organizations, institutions and social behavior is known as Sociology....   [tags: science, cultural behavior, philosophy]
:: 9 Works Cited
980 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The American Dream: More Difficult Now than Ever Essay - Many people have their own American Dream which has become their driving force and center of their life. However, not everyone can achieve their American Dream; it depends on many factors, such as income inequality, unstable social-welfare system, and different races. Based on the situation, Paul Krugman, the economic teacher at Princeton and the winner of Economics of the Nobel Prize in 2008, Tamara Draut, the director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, and The Economist, a London-based weekly publication that is read by business, political and financial decision makers, all of them state a common point that it is harder and harder for people to achieve the American Dream now....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream] 1100 words
(3.1 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on The Indian Woman in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters - The status of women in India has not enhanced much even after six decades of Indian Independence. Repression and enslavement still compel her to lead a regulated life. However, education has come to the aid of women to move forward and they have endeavored to liberate themselves from the domination of men. In this context it is interesting to note that the last decade of the twentieth century witnessed a world of change in the literature produced in India in the English language....   [tags: Difficult Daughters Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1850 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Poetry Difficulty Essay - Poetry Difficulty Poetry unlike fiction is solely based on the author’s personal take on a certain subject. The tone, diction, syntax, and mood of a poem are all determined by the author of the poem. For some readers, to interpret a poem or explain the plot can be a difficult task. Other forms of literature such, as fiction is much easier to understand and discuss. One reason fiction is easier to understand and discuss is that it has a plot, setting, a cast of characters, and a theme. Most fiction books follow the same common outline when it comes to structure....   [tags: essays research papers] 359 words
(1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on More Than Just The Disease - By close reference to “More Than Just The Disease”, show what feelings you have for Neil in the course of the story. What lessons do you suppose he has learned by the end of it. In the story, “More than Just the Disease”, Neil who was away from home for a holiday with the Middleton family experienced and learned much. The best part was how Neil managed to take the first step of overcoming his shyness, not to “suffer from more than just the disease”. At the start of the story, we come face to face with the dominance of Neil’s mother....   [tags: essays research papers] 860 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Difficulty in Quitting Smoking Essay - The Difficulty in Quitting Smoking Smoking is terrible. Statistically speaking, smoking is the most dangerous thing that we can choose to do with our own health. Yet so many people still smoke. The author will confess that he too is a smoker, but as a smoker, I feel shame about it under certain circumstances. It is a personal choice in my life, yet there is nothing but social pressure to conform and quit. Smokers make up 23% of the Canadian population, most likely more as a smokers was defined as someone who smokes pack a day (Statistics Canada, 2000)....   [tags: Papers] 1347 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]