Original Research - Special Collection: Foundation subjects, Old and New Testament Studies

Galatians and the περὶ ἰδεῶν λόγου of Hermogenes: A rhetoric of severity in Galatians 5–6

Andrie du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2739 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2739 | © 2014 Andrie du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2014 | Published: 02 September 2014


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Abstract

Severe style in Galatians 5–6 is investigated from the perspective of the περὶ ἰδεῶν λόγου of Hermogenes. Galatians 5:7–12 is an extreme example of what Hermogenes would categorise as vehemence. At the same time, it signifies a turning point: Harshness against the opposition peaks and is relentlessly sustained, whilst severity against Paul’s Galatian recipients is slackening, but only up to a point. A résumé of the twofold trajectory of severity in Galatians is presented. Hermogenes can significantly help us appreciate the sustained presence, form and functioning of severe language in Galatians; much better than any or a combination of the three classical genres of speech topics. In view of the correspondences between Galatians and Hermogenes, it may even be asked whether Paul was familiar with traditional rhetorical material that in some form eventually also reached Hermogenes.


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