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Peace and Peacemaking in Paul and the Greco-Roman World

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Edward M. Keazirian

Peace and Peacemaking in Paul and the Greco-Roman World compares the Apostle Paul’s understanding of peace with various conceptions of peace in the Greco-Roman thought world of the first century. In contrast to similar studies that focus on the question of pacifism in the ancient world, the author seeks to clarify how the Greeks defined peace and then to show how their conception of war and peace established the ethos that ultimately defined them as a people.
From their earliest days, the city-states that eventually became Greece were constantly ravaged by war. Their myth, legend, religion, education, philosophy, and science created and perpetuated the idea that conflict was essential for existence. This idea passed to Rome as well so that by the first century, the Greco-Roman world consistently viewed peace as brief periods of tranquility in an existence where war and conflict were the norm.
Paul, however, insists that peace must be the norm within the churches. Peace originates in God and is graciously given to those who are justified and reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. God removes the enmity caused by sin and provides the indwelling Spirit to empower believers to think and behave in ways that promote and maintain peace.
Three social dynamics (shame-honor, patron-client, and friendship-enmity) are at work in Paul’s approach to conflict resolution and peacemaking within the churches. Rather than giving specific procedures for resolving conflict, Paul reinforces the believers’ new identity in Christ and the implications of God’s grace, love, and peace for their thoughts, words, and behavior toward one another. Paul uses these three social dynamics to encourage believers in the right direction, but their ultimate motivation and empowerment must arise from their common relationship with God in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Selected Bibliography 189

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Chapter Two Selected Bibliography Alexander, Loveday. “Hellenistic Letter-Forms and the Structure of Philippians.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 37 (1989): 87–101. Allen, Susan Heuck. Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Amador, J. David Hester. Academic Constraints in Rhetorical Criticism of the New Tes- tament: An Introduction to a Rhetoric of Power. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Supplement Series 174. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999. Archer, R. L. “The Epistolary Form in the New Testament.” Expository Times 63 (1951): 296–98. Arnold, Edward Vernon. Roman Stoicism: Being Lectures on the History of the Stoic Philosophy with Special Reference to Its Development within the Roman Empire. Cambridge: University Press, 1911. Reprint, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1971. Aune, David E. The New Testament in Its Literary Environment. Library of Early Christi- anity 8, edited by Wayne A. Meeks. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987. ———, ed. Greco-Roman Literature and the New Testament: Selected Forms and Gen- res. Society of Biblical Literature Sources for Biblical Study 21, edited by Bernard Bran- don Scott. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. Bahr, Gordon J. “The Subscriptions in the Pauline Letters.” Journal of Biblical Literature 87 (1968): 27–41. Bailey, James L. and Lyle D. Vander Broek. Literary Forms in the New Testament: A Hand- book. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992. Bakirtzis, Charalambos and Helmut Koester, eds. Philippi at the Time of Paul and after His Death. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity...

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