Original Research

Vilifikasie: ’n Nuwe kyk op die bedreiging in Kolossense

Jaco Boonzaaier
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 59, No 4 | a695 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v59i4.695 | © 2003 Jaco Boonzaaier | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2003 | Published: 27 October 2003

About the author(s)

Jaco Boonzaaier, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Vilification: A new approach to the threat in Colossians

An overview of research reveals that the quest to identify the opponents in Colossians appears to be a dominant research theme. However, despite this fact, there is still no general consensus about the identity of the opponents, nor about the intensity of the threat they posed. The nett result is a situation where speculation about possible and probable opponents abounds. The article proposes an approach in terms of which the rather vague references to the opponents are to be understood as part of the rhetorical strategy of vilification, a well known strategy whereby an author trivialized the opponents of a viewpoint in order to emphasize his message. The article describes essential characteristics of vilifications and traces occurrences thereof in the letter. It concludes that a study of the letter can be conducted without the prerequisite study of the opponents and their ways. This provides the freedom to re-identify with the message of the text in a new and fresh way.


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