Strasbourg UniversityWhen I received an invitation to be a speaker at the “Saint Paul and Rhetoric” conference hosted by the classics faculty at the University of Strasbourg in France, I found it impossible to say no. Throughout the years, I have continued periodically to write on rhetoric, and this remains a topic of interest to many New Testament scholars.

This conference was organized by Jonathan Thiessen, a doctoral student nearing the end of his degree at Strasbourg. Jonathan did a great job of implementing the conference, but also providing a welcoming atmosphere for all involved.

On the first day, we had four papers. I spoke on “Paul among the Rhetoricians and Epistolographers.” In this paper I weighed whether Paul should be considered a rhetorician or a writer of letters. I continue to find it unconvincing to argue—as have some New Testament scholars—that Paul was a rhetorician in the full sense of…

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