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. . . continued . . .
Because I don’t have much time today, but because I want to stay on track with this wrap-up study, I’m going to offer here only a few words and questions (not intended as an exhaustive list) that I/we find to merit further inquiry. The following words seem to be especially significant:
- adelphon, agapeton
- heart and bowels opposite love (consider the implications of 1) Philemon’s having refreshed Paul’s heart, and 2) Onesimus’s now being now Paul’s heart
- the historical (Greek) textual variant—“in you” vs. “in us” v. 6
And now, a few questions, in addition to the ones posed in previous blogposts:
- Who is said to be a “beloved brother”?
- Do you think this is more an individual or community letter? Of whom does Paul expect something?
- How does Paul’s captivity affect relate to purpose of letter? (And, as a side note, where do you think Paul was held or imprisoned at this time? Quite a few scholars do not assume this was one of the Roman imprisonments at the time of this writing.)
- What is the relationship of Philemon’s faith and the Request Paul makes?
- Would implicit elements of this letter have been as implicit to the first reader(s)?
To be continued . . . in two more installments, I think! . . .