Structural unity and thematic coherence : the unity of the Philippians letter in light of the imitation theme (Phil 3)

Son, Ki do (2019-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the structural unity and thematic coherence of Philippians, with the concepts of imitation and unity being of particular interest. The methodology used was qualitative, based on Tolmie (2005)’s “rhetorical approach”. The results of the rhetorical analysis of Philippians 3 showed that the concept of imitation is being used as a rhetorical strategy to persuade and exhort the Philippian believers. Philippians 3 maintains consistency in theme and structure without harming the unity in Philippians. A relationship was also found between the imitation in Philippians 3 and the Christ hymn in Philippians 2. In the rhetorical situation faced by the Philippians, Paul uses two concepts in his letter: mimesis (imitation) and kenosis (emptiness). The prototype of mimesis starts with the hymn. The conclusion of the imitation that Paul is exhorting the Philippians, is Jesus Christ in the hymn. Paul propagates the character of Christ as a model to emulate: self-emptying and self-sacrifice. Paul exhorts the Philippians to take up the character of Christ and persuades the Philippians to imitate Christ. Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians is not abstract. He interpreted kenosis with historical and concrete actions that could be imitated by those who wanted to follow Jesus. The Philippians were urged to not only follow the example of Paul, but also that of Timothy and Epaphroditus, who were models of excellence. Imitating the death of Christ on this cross is foundational to Paul’s life. Paul wanted to teach the Philippians and others in history. Christians today are urged to have the same character as that of Christ – a prototype for imitation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die strukturele eenheid en tematiese samehang van Filippense, met die konsepte van nabootsing en eenheid wat van besondere belang was. Die metodologie wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, was kwalitatief, gebaseer op Tolmie (2005) se “retoriese benadering”. Die resultate van die retoriese analise van Filippense 3 het getoon dat die konsep van nabootsing gebruik is as 'n retoriese strategie om die gelowiges in Filippense te oorreed en aan te moedig. Filippense 3 handhaaf konsekwentheid in tema en struktuur sonder om die eensgesindheid in Filippense te benadeel. 'n Verband is ook gevind tussen die nabootsing in Filippense 3 en die Christus-lied in Filippense 2. In die retoriese situasie wat die Filippense in die gesig staar, gebruik Paulus twee konsepte in sy brief: mimesis (nabootsing) en kenosis (leegheid). Die prototipe van mimesis begin met die lied. Die gevolgtrekking van die nabootsing waartoe Paulus die Filippense aanmoedig, is vervat in Jesus Christus se uitbeelding in die lied. Paulus beklemtoon die karakter van Christus as 'n model om na te volg: selfontlediging en selfopoffering. Paulus moedig die Filippense aan om hierdie karakter van Christus op te neem, en oorreed die Filippense om Christus na te boots. Paulus se vermaning aan die Filippense is nie abstrak nie. Hy interpreteer kenosis met historiese en konkrete aksies wat deur diegene wat Jesus wil volg, nageboots kan word. Die Filippense word aangemoedig om nie net die voorbeeld van Paulus te volg nie, maar ook dié van Timoteus en Epafroditos wat modelle van uitnemendheid was. Om die dood van Christus aan die kruis na te volg, is fundamenteel vir Paulus se lewe. Paulus wou die Filippense en ander in die geskiedenis leer. Christene word vandag aangemoedig om dieselfde karakter as dié van Christus te hê – 'n prototipe vir nabootsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105917
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