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Paul's Seven Explanations of the Suffering of the Righteous


Barry D. Smith

Paul must have puzzled over the reason that both he and the churches that he founded suffered, especially as in the Jewish scriptures a causal connection is often made between suffering and sin. This book maintains that there are seven discrete explanations of the suffering of the righteous in Paul's letters: these explanations are elucidated against a Jewish religious-historical background, which adds immeasurably to an understanding of Paul's theology of suffering. According to Paul, the suffering of the righteous is explainable as resulting from persecution, as remedial, as salvation-historically necessary, as probationary, as the effect of the sin of the first man, as pedagogical, and as participation in the suffering of Christ.