Jae Kyung Cho



Download Full Text (1.4 MB)


The present dissertation is a study of the rhetorical approach to 1 Thessalonians, particularly funeral oration. Though many scholars have interpreted 1 Thessalonians in light of thematic perspective, mirror reading, and epistolary approach, this dissertation asserts that Paul employs elements of epideictic funerary oratory to persuade his audience in writing 1 Thessalonians. Moreover, the dissertation shows that Paul’s use of funerary language with some twists in meaning and purpose illustrates that Paul employs topoi and the purpose of funeral oration in 1 Thessalonians.

Encountering the growing persecution, sufferings, and even death of members, the believers of Thessalonica needed encouragement and Paul as a rhetorical strategist needed rhetorical strategies to answer these problems, that is, Greco-Roman funeral oration.

The dissertation includes various components to support the thesis: the history of interpretation; the philosophy and theology of death; extant funeral oratory in Athens, Romans, and Jewish orations; funeral orations in rhetorical handbooks; and the comparison and parallel between 1 Thessalonians and funeral oration. The goal is to prove the fact that Paul employs elements of funeral oratory to persuade his audience in writing 1 Thessalonians. Consequently, the dissertation proves it by showing how funeral orations shed light on the whole of 1 Thessalonians in the exordium (1:2-3), the narratio (1:4-3:10), the consolation and exhortation (4:1-5:15), and peroratio with prayer (5:16-28).



Publication Date



Bible, New, Testament, First, Thessalonians, funeral, rhertoric


Biblical Studies | Other Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Call Number

BS2725.52 .C46 2013

The rhetorical approach to 1 Thessalonians in light of funeral oration