Original Research

Paul’s method of influence in 1 Thessalonians

M. Bruce Button
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 2 | a2113 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i2.2113 | © 2016 M. Bruce Button | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 March 2016 | Published: 19 August 2016

About the author(s)

M. Bruce Button, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Although the field of leadership in the New Testament and in the Pauline Letters has receiveda great deal of attention, there are still many issues over which scholars disagree. It is proposedin this article that the ongoing use of insights from social-scientific models can help to clarifysome of these issues. Those models should not be used in such a way as to impose themselveson the biblical text or the historical data, but to clarify concepts, create analytical categoriesand sensitise the New Testament scholar to new questions which can be asked of the text in itshistorical context. The article seeks insights from the power/interaction model of French andRaven, and analyses 1 Thessalonians in terms of some categories and concepts coming fromthe model. It is found that the primary way in which Paul sought to influence the Thessaloniancommunity was by preaching the gospel and living a life that conformed to its values. Thegospel as the good news of God’s salvation in Christ is God’s means of creating faith in andtransforming the lives of those whom he calls.

Keywords

leadership and influence in Paul; First Thessalonians; power/interaction model of French and Raven; gospel and faith

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