A Text-Centred Rhetorical Analysis of 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20

Keywords: Text-centred rhetorical analysis, 1 Thessalonians, Pauline Literature, Apostolic parousia, Narratio


This article analyses 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20 from a rhetorical perspective. Instead of the typical approach used to analyse the letter in terms of ancient rhetorical theory, this article explains that Paul’s rhetorical strategy is best observed by a close reading of the text itself; it is called a text‑centred rhetorical analysis that follows a minimum theoretical approach. Accordingly, the overall rhetorical strategy is identified, followed by an outline of the dominant and supportive arguments, including the supportive strategies, and completed by identifying the rhetorical techniques. Moreover, this article highlights how Paul effectively adapts the ancient letter style to achieve his rhetorical objectives. It remains critical to understand the urgency of the missionaries not only to convey their loving concern but to exhort them to endure faithfully to the immanent parousia.


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Author Biography

HJ Prinsloo, University of the Free State
Affiliation: Research Fellow, Department: Old and New Testament Studies, Faculty: Theology and Religion, University: UFS