'The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant In Us'

'The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant In Us' : A Narrative Dynamics Investigation of Paul's Sufferings in 2 Corinthians

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This study investigates why Paul makes the theme of suffering so central to his argument in 2 Corinthians. It is pursued through an exegetical analysis of passages where Paul's suffering is described, namely 1:3-11; 2:14-116; 4:7-12; 6:1-10 and 11:23-12:10.

By employing a narrative approach, this study argues that Paul's apostolic suffering is grounded in the story of Jesus. There are several implications arising from this approach. First, Paul understands his suffering as necessary and integral to his apostolic mission. Second, Paul claims that his suffering has positive missiological benefits, resulting in giving birth to the Christ-believing community in Corinth. Third, for Paul, the story of Jesus does not end at the event of the cross, and so he extends the invitation to the Corinthians to participate in the story of Jesus. Fourth, Paul's understanding of his suffering also finds its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures as seen in the allusion to and citations of Isaiah and Jeremiah/1 Kingdoms. Finally, Paul expresses his deep concern for the Corinthians in this letter.

In essence, Paul sees his own suffering as a reflection of his embodying the ongoing story of Jesus - a story of suffering and death leading to life - and calls the Corinthians also to this cruciform pattern of living. Taking all the above implications together, it is suggested that 2 Corinthians should be read as primarily parenaetic in nature and that Paul's apology for his apostleship only plays a secondary role.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0567690091
  • 9780567690098

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Epistolary Function of the Thanksgiving Period in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Chapter 3: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Chapter 4: 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Chapter 5: 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Chapter 6: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Chapter 7: 2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10
Chapter 8: Conclusion
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Review quote

"A rewarding study of 2 Corinthians....Significantly, the adoption of a narrative dynamics approach does not displace meticulous attention to traditional historical spadework, resulting in a well-rounded study that ought to feature prominently in future discussion of the passages in question." - Journal for the Study of the New Testament "This investigation of the centrality of the theme of suffering in Paul's argument in 2 Corinthians contends that Paul's apostolic suffering is grounded in the story of Jesus. After a 27-page introduction and a chapter on the epistolary function of the thanksgiving period in 2 Cor 1:3-11, it examines from a narrative perspective key passages relevant to the theme: the story of Jesus in Paul's epistolary thanksgiving (1:3-11); the story of Jesus and Paul's apostolic ministry (2:14-16); the story of Jesus and Paul's ministry of suffering as treasure in an earthen vessel (4:7-12); the story of Jesus and Paul's self-commendation through suffering in the ministry of reconciliation (6:1-10); and the story of Jesus and Paul's boasting in his sufferings and weaknesses (11:23-12:10). Lim concludes that Paul's interpretation of his suffering in 2 Corinthians is his specific exposition of the nature of his apostleship and his ministerial lifestyle that is transformed by and embedded in the story of Jesus." -New Testament Abstracts, Vol. 54 'The thesis adopts a broadly narrative approach (but is free of jargon from literary theory), showing how the 'story' of Paul's sufferings is rooted in the'story'of Christ's, and applies ot the 'story' of the community.The hortatory character of the epistle is confirmed by this link between Paul's sufferings and his apostolic mission. Here the work of R B Hays on Galations and others no Romans is taken further by an application to 2 Corinthians, and itprovides a good lens for readnig the text.' - Robert Morgan, Linarce College, Oxford -- Robert Morgan * Theological Book Review *
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About Kar Yong Lim

Dr Kar Yong Lim is a Lecturer in New Testament Studies at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia (Malaysia Theological Seminary), Seremban, Malaysia.
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