The Place of Paideia in Hebrews' Moral Thought 978-3-16-156003-3 - Mohr Siebeck

Phillip A. Davis, Jr.

The Place of Paideia in Hebrews' Moral Thought

[Der Platz der Paideia im moralischen Denken des Hebräerbriefs.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-156003-3
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Published in English.
Hebrews 12:1–17 depicts the audience's sufferings as God's discipline. But is this discipline a punishment for sin or positive, formative training? Phillip A. Davis, Jr. examines this question in light of Hebrews' ethics, ancient corporal punishment practices, and the passage's use of Proverbs 3:11–12.
In Hebrews 12:1–17 the author seeks to encourage the readers by interpreting their sufferings as paideia from God. Scholars have typically interpreted this paideia either as corrective reproof or formative training, but by examining the passage in light of Hebrews' ethics, the ancient practice of corporal punishment, and the author's quotation of Proverbs 3:11–12, Phillip A. Davis, Jr. shows this dichotomy to be untenable. The main problem Hebrews addresses is the danger of sinning, not apostasy per se. Yet because Hebrews rejects second repentance, paideia cannot be corrective. At the same time, ancient education had as its goal moral formation, which always involved the pain of physical punishments. The author draws on this commonplace to suggest that the pain of the audience's sufferings should be taken as a concomitant part of their formation in the righteousness the »epistle« demands of them.

Phillip A. Davis, Jr. Born 1985; 2006 Bachelor of Business Administration, Texas A&M University; 2009 MA in New Testament, Biola University; 2013–14 research assistant at the University of Münster; since 2015 research associate at the University of Bonn; 2018 Dr. theol., University of Münster.


The following reviews are known:

In: Revue de l'histoire et de Philosophie Réligieuses — 99 (2019), pp. 583–584 (Christian Grappe)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 144 (2019), S. 591–593 (Wilfried Eisele)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 63 (2019), S. 361
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 41.5 (2019), S. 90 (Bradley J. Bitner)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (5/2020) (Brian C. Small)