Monday, February 05, 2018


Morning Prayer.

“4:1 In the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 4:2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.”
Paul, writing to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1, 2)

It strikes me that Paul (a Jew who had Roman citizenship; writing to Timothy, who had a Jewish mother and a Greek father*) is here employing Aristotle’s modes of persuasion, with verse 1 providing the ‘kairos’ (time-and-place context) and verse 2 commending ‘ethos’ (convince—by your character), ‘pathos’ (rebuke—appealing to emotion), and ‘logos’ (encourage—through the presentation of reason).

I wonder whether we tend to see encouraging as an appeal to emotion, and rebuke as an appeal to reason; and whether we misunderstand both?

*I am assuming them to be the historical Paul and Timothy, but the logic applies even if these are pseudonyms.

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