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Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation:
An Exegetical Investigation of the Language and Composition of 1 Corinthians
by Margaret M. Mitchell
List Price: Paperback 

Sigler Price: Paperback $40.00 

Cloth - 380 pp
ISBN 0-664-21992-6
Westminster/John Knox Press


What, overall, is the genre, function, and composition of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians?  Margaret Mitchell thoroughly documents her argument that 1 Corinthians was a single letter persuading the Corinthian Christian community to become unified.  She analyzes the letter as deliberative rhetoric that pleaded for a course of action in the future and uses rhetorical criticism within a historical context to find enlightening parallels for many of the successive parts of the letters.

Editorial Review

This is an excellent book: carefully argued and meticulously documented.  Margret Mitchell had brought needed refinement to the methodology of rhetorical criticism, using nor only the statements of the ancient rhetorical handbooks but also evidence from actual speeches and letters from antiquity.  The result is a highly persuasive analysis of Paul's rhetorical strategy in 1 Corinthians which provides fresh exegetical insights on nearly every page and which may prove to be the definitive argument for the unity of the letter.

Jouette M. Bassler
Professor of New Testament
Perkins School of Theology
Southern Methodist University, Dallas

This is an important study in "historical rhetorical criticism" because it applies techniques in ancient speeches and handbooks to a long-debated area, the themes and unity of 1 Corinthians.  The author provides a clear and up-to-date picture of how rhetorical criticism works with regard to a longer document.  She argues persuasively for a "deliberate letter" by Paul that applies language of the political world to a factionalized church so as to work reconciliation.

John Reumann
Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of New Testament Studies
Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

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