Mark Erickson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Oschwald

Scripture References in this Resource

James 2:18; Matthew 25:21; Mark 15:25; 1 Corinthians 10:31


The contention of this thesis, then, is: The Apostle Paul's apparent use of ancient Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions in 2 Corinthians gives evidence of its compositional integrity and adequately accounts for the apparent partitions which, to some scholars, reveal the existence of multiple documents.

Our goal is not to assert that rhetorical criticism proves that 2 Corinthians is a single letter. It is rather to show that, given the textual evidence within the document, rhetorical criticism offers a plausible, even preferable, interpretation of the data in 2 Corinthians than prevailing composite theories.

Nor is our goal to defend the inerrancy, inspiration or authority of either 2 Corinthians or of Scripture as a whole. Indeed, we would contend that even if we were to conclude that the evidence in fact indicates 2 Corinthians is comprised of two or more letters or letter fragments, the message would still be fully trustworthy, inspired and authoritative. This thesis, then, is about whether the identification and interpretation of 2 Corinthians as macro-rhetoric supports a theory of compositional integrity over against the argument that the canonical document is a collection of edited letters.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.