Discerning the Word of the Lord

Discerning the Word of the Lord : The Word of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 4:15

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In 1 Thessalonians 4:15, the Apostle Paul appeals to a "word of the Lord" to provide authority for his eschatological encouragement. This appeal has left a perplexing problem related to the nature and function of the specific authority to which the phrase refers. Two theories have predominated in the history of interpretation: either 1) it refers to a directly received prophetic revelation, whether to Paul or to another Christian prophet; or 2) it refers to a teaching of Jesus received as tradition, whether preserved in the Gospel tradition or otherwise unknown.This book investigates this problem from three angles: epistemological analysis, examining Paul's authorities for his knowledge, particularly in his eschatology; linguistic analysis, including both grammatical and lexical study of the phrase; and contextual analysis, setting the statement within its historical and literary contexts.
These approaches converge to suggest a fresh solution to the problem: while Paul does appear to employ traditional Christian eschatological teaching in his response to the Thessalonian crisis (4:16-17a), the phrase does not refer to this tradition, but rather refers to the proclaimed gospel message about Jesus centred on his death and resurrection which forms the theological foundation of Paul's response (cf. 4:14).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 14mm | 482g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0567455653
  • 9780567455659

Table of contents

Chapter One: Introduction: The Problem of the?v [lambda]?[gamma]? [kappa][nu][rho]?o[nu]; Chapter Two: Solutions to the Problem of the?v [lambda]?[gamma]? [kappa][nu][rho]?o[nu]; Chapter Three: An Epistemological Analysis (1): Prophetic Revelation and Jesus Tradition; Chapter Four: An Epistemological Analysis (2): Scripture and the Christ Events; Chapter Five: A Linguistic Analysis: Paul's Language of Divine Utterance; Chapter Six: A Contextual Analysis: 1 Thessalonians 4:15 in Context; Chapter Seven: Conclusion: A Fresh Solution to the Problem of the?v [lambda]?[gamma]? [kappa][nu][rho]?o[nu].
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Review quote

Pahl's work deserves close study, and he has re-opened important questions.--Sanford Lakoff
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About Michael W. Pahl

Michael W. Pahl is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Prairie Bible College, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.
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