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Paul, Apostle of Weakness

Astheneia and its Cognates in the Pauline Literature


David A. Black

The most unique and highly developed concept of weakness in the New Testament is to be found in the writings of the apostle Paul. Essentially, Paul's conception of weakness stands in a dynamic relationship with his Christology. He is defensive of his own infirmities only because a misunderstanding of weakness has led to error concerning the nature and acquisition of divine strength. Paul is strong, but only because he is «in Christ». Otherwise he freely admits to being an apostle of weakness, and in so doing has set forth a powerful rationale for Christians of all ages to glory in their weaknesses, not merely endure them.
Contents: The Weak in Thessalonica - Weakness Language in Galatians - The Pauline Perspective on Weakness - Weakness as a Sign of Humanity - Weakness as the Showplace of God's Might - Paul's Relevance for Today.