The Preaching of Paul

There appears to be a distinction in early Christian worship between the Jewish tradition (fixed forms, with a somewhat didactic preaching) and gentile worship (free worship with ecstatic utterances). Paul’s preaching appears rational and exegetical, as do his remarks to the Corinthian community (1 Cor. 12–14). Paul’s sermon preached in Athens (Acts 17:22–31) is a prime example of logic and coherence. It begins with a thesis statement and builds an argument from the premise that moves toward a logical conclusion. This sermon was a model for the more systematic and academic sermons that appeared in the Middle Ages. It also influenced Protestants, who were drawn to its pedagogical approach.

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