Philodemus And Paul On Rhetorical Delivery (ύπóκρισις)

in Philodemus and the New Testament World
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From their particular ideological perspectives Philodemus and Paul provide critiques of a contemporary preoccupation of orators with “rhetorical delivery” (ύπóκρισις) that had consumed the public orators and audiences of their day. Philodemus had witnessed its “formal” introduction into the syllabus on rhetoric only to see it become its most important element. Paul, standing as he did in the early days of the Second Sophistic, saw the penchant for it in public declamations obscuring content for performance and hence denounced its use for Christian proclamation and teaching as 1 and 2 Corinthians demonstrates. His rhetorically able opponents denigrated him for his lack of this essential component in his public presentations. For both Epicureanism and Christianity rhetorical delivery would not effect the personal transformation which they sought in the life of their hearers although there was the predisposition of some for it.

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