oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - A comparative analysis of the Song of Moses and Paul's speech to the Athenians

Volume 16, Issue 09
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



This essay undertakes a comparative analysis of the Song of Moses and Paul's speech to the Athenians. One incentive for doing so is the opportunity to address the issue of whether Paul overly diluted his proclamation of the gospel to accommodate the proclivities of his pagan (gentile) audience. A second motivation for considering the relationship between these two portions of scripture is that this topic has received only a cursory consideration in the secondary academic literature. This study concludes that at a literary, conceptual, and linguistic level, Paul connected his message to the Athenians with the theological perspective of the Song of Moses (and more broadly with that of the Tanakh). Another determination is that the apostle did not weaken his declaration of the good news to oblige the tendencies of his listeners. Rather, Paul examined the most exemplary archetypes of secular philosophical thought in his day, compared their dogmas to the truths of scripture, and declared how God's Word is infinitely superior.

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