Malherbe, Paul and the Thessalonians

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Abraham J. Malherbe, Paul and the Thessalonians: The Philosophic Tradition of Pastoral Care. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.

Referenced in: Pastoral Theology

LifeandLeadership.com Summary

Some of the richest imagery Paul used of his pastoral role is found in 1 Thessalonians, particularly in chapter 2. This brief volume by Malherbe describes these images well, particularly in showing their connection to the type of relationship ancient philosophers enjoyed with their students.

From the Publisher

This book deals with Paul’s practice rather than his theology. It especially traces the way in which Paul established a church in the important city of Thessalonica, the capital city of the Roman province of Macedonia, maintained contact with it in order to ensure its continuing nurture, and instructed its members on how to care for one another. Rather than simply organize a church, Paul founded, shaped, and nurtured a community. In so doing, he was sensitive to the needs of individuals within the community who had committed themselves to new beliefs and a new way of life. Paul was, in fact, engaged in pastoral care, although he does not describe the enterprise in that manner.

About the Author

Abraham J. Malherbe is Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale University. Malherbe has written extensively on the literary and social dimensions of ancient literature and Greco-Roman philosophy. Some of his many books include Moral Exhortation: A Greco-Roman Sourcebook, Paul & the Popular Philosophers, Ancient Epistolary Theorists, and The Letters to the Thessalonians.

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