Chapter One: Introduction to Worship in the Pauline Communities
C H A P T E R O N E Introduction to Worship in the Pauline Communities The intent and purpose of this book is to examine the subject of Christian wor- ship within the Pauline letters and its relation to the risen Jesus. This book is also interested in the question of whether the risen Jesus was a recipient of worship in the Pauline faith communities. Paul’s letters are the earliest written documents in the New Testament.1 They are therefore the first written documents dealing with the subject of Christian worship and the risen Jesus.2 There is a need as this work seeks to show, to investigate further the subject of worship and its dynamics within Paul and his communities. 1.1. The Research Problem While there have been scholarly works on the theme of early Christian worship,3 they have often approached this area of study from a broad and general perspec- tive by viewing it through the lenses of the entire text of the NT.4 This meth- odology typically blends various passages of the NT that deal with worship and merges them to create a unified whole. This practice tends to ignore the unique- ness of the various texts that emphasize different themes and social settings (including worship) to their respective audiences. I will argue in this study that little consideration has been given to the topic of worship within Paul’s letters.5 2 | WORSHIP AND THE RISEN JESUS IN THE PAULINE LETTERS While some work exists, I feel...
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