Christ as the Telos of Life 978-3-16-153327-3 - Mohr Siebeck

Bradley Arnold

Christ as the Telos of Life

Moral Philosophy, Athletic Imagery, and the Aim of Philippians

[Christus als Telos des Lebens. Moralphilosophie, athletische Symbolik und das Ziel des Philipperbriefs.]

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Published in English.
Bradley Arnold examines Paul's argument in his letter to the Philippians. He looks particularly at how this argument is structured similarly to the pattern of thinking in ancient moral philosophy, utilizes athletic imagery within this argumentative framework, and employs a rhetorical practice known as vivid description.
Bradley Arnold examines the argumentative logic and central aim in Paul's letter to the Philippians. A historical context is mapped out that is useful for these purposes, examining the broad structure of thought in ancient moral philosophy (namely, Aristotle, Epicureanism, and Stoicism), ancient athletics, and vivid description. The author then uses these areas to elucidate the nature of Paul's argument in Philippians. In an exegetical analysis of the entire letter he demonstrates that Paul's argument is structured similarly to the pattern of thinking in ancient moral philosophy and that within this framework Paul utilizes athletics at key places to conceptualize the nature of Christian existence. He argues that Paul sums up his perspective on life with the image of the runner in Phil 3:13–14, which functions as a vivid description. This imagery plays a central role in Paul's rhetorical aim in this letter, presenting in nuce his persuasive appeal for the Philippians to pursue Christ as the τέλος of life.

Bradley Arnold Born 1978; 2009 M.Div., George W. Truett Theological Seminary (Baylor University, USA); 2013 PhD, University of Exeter, UK.


The following reviews are known:

In: Biblische Zeitschrift — 60 (2016), S. 296–299 (Uta Poplutz)
In: Recherches de Science Religieuse — 104 (2016), S. 303–305 (J.-N. Aletti)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (3/2017) (Julien M. Ogereau)
In: The Christian Librarian — 58 (2015), S. 136–137 (Heather Hicks)
In: Jahrbuch f.Liturgik u.Hymnologie — 2017, S. 116 (Helmut Schwier)
In: Filologia Neotestamentaria — 32 (2019), S. 169–172 (Christoph Stenschke)
In: Theologische Revue — 115 (2019), S. 174 (Christoph Stenschke)