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Summary of Rhetorical Analysis of Pauline Epistles

Jerome Murphy-O'Conner has summarized what modern scholars have done to "reveal" the rhetorical nature of Pauline letters as follows: Part A to F are the most commonly accepted parts while other parts are nuances developed by different scholars. From this brief overview, we can see the diverse results from Rhetorical Analysis done by different scholars. Thus the objectivity of this method is doubtful.

1 Thessalonians

Part

 

R. Jewett 1986

F. W. Hughes 1986

G. A. Kennedy 1984

A

Exordium

1:1-5

1:1-10

1:2-10

 

Refutatio

--------

--------

2:1-8

B

Narratio

1:6-3:13

2:1-3:10

2:9-3:13

 

Partitio

--------

3:11-13

--------

C

Propositio

--------

--------

--------

D

Confirmatio

4:1-5:22

4:1-5:5

4:1-5:22

E

Peroratio

5:23-28

5:4-11

5:23-28

F

Exhortatio

--------

5:12-22

--------

 

Conclusio

--------

5:23-28

--------

 

Epistolary postscript

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2 Thessalonians

Part

 

R. Jewett 1986

F. W. Hughes 1989

G. Holland 1986

A

Exordium

1:1-12

1:1-12

1:3-4

 

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

B

Narratio

--------

--------

1:5-12

 

Partitio

2:1-2

2:1-2

--------

C

Propositio

--------

--------

--------

D

Confirmatio

2:3-3:5

2:3-15

2:1-17

E

Peroratio

3:16-18

2:16-17

3:14-15

F

Exhortatio

3:6-15 (a)

3:1-15

3:1-13 (a)

 

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

 

Epistolary postscript

--------

3:16-18

3:16-18

(a) R. Jewett and G. Holland put Exhortatio before Peroratio, while F. W. Hughes puts it after Peroratio.

Galatians

Part

 

H. D. Betz 1979

R. G. Hall 1987

J. Smit 1989

G. A. Kennedy 1984

F. Vouga 1988

B. L. Mack 1990

M. Bachmann1991

A

Exordium

1:6-11

1:1-5

1:6-12

1:6-10

1:6-11

1:6-10

1:6-10

 

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

B

Narratio

1:12-2:14

--------

1:13-2:21

--------

1:12-2:14

1:11-2:14

1:11-2:14

 

Partitio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

2:14b

C

Propositio

2:15-21

1:6-9

--------

--------

2:14-21

2:14-3:5

--------

D

Confirmatio

3:1-4:31

1:10-6:10

3:1-4:11

1:11-5:1

3:1-4:31

3:6-4:7

2:15-6:17

 

Digressio

3:19-25

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

E

Peroratio

--------

6:11-18

4:12-5:12

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

F

Exhortatio

5:1-6:10

--------

--------

5:2-6:10

5:1-6:10

4:8-20

--------

 

Amplificatio

--------

--------

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

Epistolary postscript

6:11-18

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

Eschatokoll

--------

--------

--------

--------

--------

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6:18

 

Romans

Part

 

W. Wuellner 1976

G. A. Kennedy 1984

R. Jewett 1986
Sheila E. McGinn adapted from Jewett

A

Exordium

1:1-15

1:1-15

1:1-12

1:1-12 (Proem or expositio)

 

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

B

Narratio

--------

--------

1:13-15

1:13-15

 

Partitio

--------

--------

--------

1:16-17

C

Propositio

--------

1:16-17

1:16-17

--------

 

Probatio

--------

--------

--------

1:18-11:36

 

Transitus

1:16-17

--------

--------

--------

D

Confirmatio

1:18-15:13

1:18-11:36

1:18-15:13 (b)

--------

E

Peroratio

15:14-16:23

15:14-23

15:14-16:23

15:14-15:33

F

Exhortatio

--------

12:1-15:13

--------

12:1-15:13

 

Conclusio

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

Epistolary postscript

--------

--------

--------

16:1-27 Epistolary Conclusion

  1. Robert Jewett have changed this to probatio and putting Confirmatio as a sub-unit under this. Since this is not a common convention and the proposal is not a wholly new one too, here I follow his previous divisions. New division is seen in Jewett, Robert. ¡§Following the argument of Romans,¡¨ The Romans Debate. Revised and expanded edition. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991, pp.272-276.

Other Pauline Epistles

Book

 

1 Corinthians

Philippians

Colossians

Philemon

Part

 
  1. Mitchell

1991

D. F. Watson 1988

J.-N. Aletti 1993

F. F. Church 1978

 

Epistolary Prescript

1:1-3

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--------

--------

A

Exordium

1:4-9

1:3-26

1:3-23

4-7

 

Refutatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

B

Narratio

1:11-17

1:27-30

--------

--------

 

Partitio

--------

--------

1:21-23

--------

C

Propositio

1:10

-------

--------

--------

D

Confirmatio

1:18-15:57

2:1-3:21

1:24-4:1

8-16

E

Peroratio

15:58

4:1-20

4:2-6

17-22

F

Exhortatio

--------

--------

--------

--------

 

Conclusio

16:1-24 Epistolary Conclusion

--------

--------

--------

 

Epistolary postscript

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--------

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Other References: on Rhetoical approaches:

Paul E. Koptak, Rhetorical Identification In Paul's Autobiographical Narrative.