Browsing by Author "Oh, JungHwan"
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- ItemLawsuits in Pauls theological ethics : a historical and literary interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Oh, JungHwan; Punt, Jeremy; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As human society develops, people often face unpleasant affairs in their daily lives. However, when they do not solve matters, they might resort to solving such matters through lawsuits. In the same way, serious problems sometimes appear in the church, so that Christians are forced to rely upon lawsuits. Different opinions can be suggested regarding going to the court to solve problems in Christian communities. Many people use 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 to support that Christians should not have lawsuits against fellow Christians. The question this dissertation investigates is, did Paul really say that Christians should not have lawsuits and should not go to the secular court? In the first century C.E. a situation occurred in the Corinthian community where believers tried to solve trivial matters among themselves in a secular court, rather than within the community (1 Corinthians 6:1-11). In chapter 2, a general understanding of litigation in the first century C.E. is treated in different categories, focusing on the first century Roman society. This chapter sketches the Roman legal context for understanding civil lawsuits that happened in the Corinthian community. Chapter 3 concentrates on the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 as the text in focus in this study, in the light of its historical context. In particular, this chapter investigates various factors pertaining to the nature of lawsuits in Corinth with regard to the historical context. In chapter 4, 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 is examined in a literary analysis and subjected to an exegetical study. These literary devices allow for in depth investigation of the text, and structural and hermeneutical findings regarding Paul’s argument is presented. In chapter 5 the lawsuit is investigated in the light of two theological aspects, namely eschatology and ethics. Paul uses these two important notions to instruct the Corinthian believers regarding their new identity as God’s people and suggest the significant principle how to live as Jesus followers in their lives. In sum, according to 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, Paul argues that lawsuits are not appropriate in the community of the faithful because it is harmful to the unity and the purity of the community. However, Paul’s concern is not for the lawsuits as such, but for how believers should behave and live ethically as Jesus followers before God. Believers as God’s people have to reveal the love of God through their behaviour and in their daily lives.
- ItemOnesimus as slave in the Philemon letter : social and theological implications for Ethos and identity(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2010-12) Oh, JungHwan; Punt, Jeremy; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In general, we tend to see slavery through negative eyes, also in the first century C.E. The reason is that slaves were not treated as human beings, but as things in the first century C.E. Therefore Patterson (1982:38) describes slavery as social death. However, there were communities that treated slaves as human beings, not just as objects. An example is the Christian community in which Philemon’s household was located, and in which a slave called Onesimus lived. Various opinions are suggested concerning Onesimus’ slave identity, but scholars generally agree with the idea that he was indeed a slave. These debates are briefly considered in Chapter 2. Onesimus, who ran away from his owner, met Paul in prison. He then became a Christ-believer through Paul. Onesimus’ actual social status was still that of slave, even when he became a believer. Nevertheless, his spiritual status was that of a freedman in Christ. Then, could Onesimus actually become a freedman in the social sense? My answer is ‘Yes’, based on two different perspectives, viz. a theological and a social perspective. In Chapters 3 and 4, slavery is treated largely in a theological sense. According to a theological perspective, Onesimus could have spiritual freedom from God when he became a believer even though his current social status was defined as a slave. This dissertation introduces Paul’s three other letters which use the term ‘slavery’, namely 1 Cor 7:17-24, Gal 4:21-5:1 and Phil 2:6-11. These three letters show how Paul understands the term ‘slavery’ in his theological thinking. In terms of metaphor, the term ‘slavery’ can have various meanings in biblical contexts. Therefore these three letters provide a good idea towards an understanding of Onesimus’ identity as a freedman in a Christian community, and in particular, in Paul’s theological thinking. In Chapter 5, a more practical examination of slavery was provided. In the social perspective, the possibility of the manumission of Onesimus could be affected by the first century Greco-Roman slavery system. Two factors are focussed upon, namely the household and manumission, to suggest the possibility of a change of Onesimus’ status. Finally, the possibility of the change of Onesimus’ status can be fully assumed in both perspectives. In addition, the manumission of Onesimus could give hope to others who lived in slavery in Roman society. Therefore defining the identity of Onesimus gives us two important conclusions; slaves could live as freed persons in a social sense on the one hand; on the other hand, in a theological sense even slaves could receive spiritual freedom by Christ’s love regardless of their social status. This is because all people are one in Christ and there is no social discrimination between people in the Christian community.