IV: The Literary Genre and Function
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Chapter IV: The Literary Genre and Function The detailed analysis of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, presented in chapters 2 and 3, has already laid the foundation for the attempt to answer the question of the literary genre and function of both letters under consideration. But that on the one hand he was able to make masterly use of a wealth of rhetorical possibilities,2 while on the other he exhibited a tendency toward highly original combimore is involved in the discussion of this question than a summary of what has already been said. The high literary quality of Paul's letters1 resulted from the fact 2 At present there is nevertheless no agreement in the evaluation of the literary quality of the Pauline letters. The differingjudgments of earlier scholarship still stand in unmediated opposition to one another, though they should have been revised long ago. Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Die Griechische Literatur des Altertums (Die Kultur der Gegenwart Teil 1, Abteilung 8; Berlin and Leipzig: Teubner, 1905, 21907, '1912) 232-33; and Martin Dibelius in his Geschichte der urchristlichen Literatur (Leipzig: Teubner, 1926; Munich: Kaiser, 2 1975) 95-100, appraised them rather highly. But the influential, opposed theses of Franz Overbeck ("Uber die Anflinge der patristischen Literatur," Historische Zeitschrift48 (1882]417-72; rep. Basel: Schwabe, n.d.) and the standard works which were influenced by Paul Wendland, Die urchristlichen Literaturformen (HNT 1.1 ; Tobingen: Mohr, Siebeck, 2-51912) 34243 , and Eduard Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa (2 vols.; Leipzig: Teubner, 1898; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 5 1958) 2.451-510 have prevailed despite the fact that their problematic is temporally limited. This is still true of Philipp Vielhauer's Geschichte, which attempts to embark on new paths (see my review in SEA 43 [1978]128-32, as well as my remarks in Galatians, 14-15. There is also no unanimity in scholarship with respect to the rhetoric of Paul, although one is more than ever inclined today to admit that the apostle made use of small rhetorical forms. This concession is the result of important works from the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, among which the following especially deserve to be mentioned: Johannes Weiss, "Beitrage zur paulinischen Rhetorik," Theologische Studien, Bernhard Weiss zu seinem 70. Geburtstag dargebracht (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1897) 165-247, and the dissertation of his student Rudolf Bultmann, Der Stil der paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Gottingen: Huth, 191 0). But Paul's use of rhetoric is not limited to the diatribe and other small forms (see on this work Stanley K. Stowers, The Diatribe and Paul's Letter to the Romans (SBLDS 57; Chico, CA; Scholars, 1981]). Reference should also be made to older works in which valuable material may be found collected, and whose utilization is to be hoped for: Karl Ludwig Bauer, Rhetoricae Paullinae, vel, Quid oratorium sit in oratione Paulli (2 vols.; Halae: Impensis Orphanotrophei, 1782); Hermanjohan Royaards, Disputatio inauguralis De altera Pauli ad Corinthios epistola, et observanda in ilia apostoli indole et oratione (Trajecti ad Rhenum: Altheer, 1818) esp. 99-152; Christian Gottlob Wilke, Die neutestamentliche Rhetorik, ein Seitenstilck zur Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms (Dresden and Leipzig: Arnold, 1843). That these older works have been largely forgotten today has many causes, hardly one of which can be justified scientifically. The harsh attack of Eduard Norden in his work Die antike Kunstprosa 2.474-75, 493ff, on Georg Heinrici had a disastrous effect. In his study Das zweite Sendschreiben des Apostels Paulus an die Korinthier (Berlin: Hertz, 1887), Heinrici made full use of citations of parallels from classical literature. Norden's emotional and heavily biased attack was refuted by Heinrici in the appendix to his commentary ("Zum Hellenismus des Paulus," Der zweite Brief an die Korinther (KEK 6; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2 1900]436-58) and met with little approval in general, a fact which Norden was obliged to recognize (see the Nachtriige to the second volume of his work Die antike Kunstprosa, 3-4; further Paul Schmiedel, "Paulinische Briefe 1," ThR 4 [1901] 507-10; Adolf Deissmann, "Die Sprache der griechischen Bibel (Septuaginta, Neues Testament und Verwandtes]," ThR 5 [1902] 65-69; idem, Light from the Ancient East (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978]34 ). In point of fact, the problems still stand today at the point that had been reached at the beginning of the century; strictly speaking, they remain at the point attained by Gregory of Nyssa (see his exegesis of 1 Cor 15:28...