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Bibil Identifier bibil:207937
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) “God Is Witness”
Title (English, ) A Classical Rhetorical Idiom in Its Pauline Usage
Author Novenson, Matthew V.
Journal Novum Testamentum. An International Quarterly for New Testament and Related Studies (Volume: 52, Issue: 4)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 355-375 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Five times in the undisputed letters Paul invokes God as guarantor of the truth of a claim with a form of the phrase “God is witness.” Interpreters have long identified these sayings as self-imprecatory oaths after a pattern attested in the Hebrew Bible. In this article, I argue that the Pauline phrase “God is witness” is not a self-imprecatory oath at all, but rather a figure of speech with roots in the rhetoric of classical Greece and a long tradition in postclassical pagan, Jewish, and Christian literature. In this figure of speech, God is not testifying against Paul in case Paul should default on a promise; rather God is testifying for Paul that Paul's character can be trusted.
DOI 10.1163/004810010X12591327956385
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Witness
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Literature : Devices and Figures : Rhetoric
Pericopes Romans 1,9
2 Corinthians 1,23
Philippians 1,8
1 Thessalonians 2,5
1 Thessalonians 2,10
Terms μάρτυς μαρτυς
Last modification 2017-10-27