Paul and the Imperial Gospel at Thessaloniki

J. R. Harrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The traditional explanations proposed for the pronounced eschatology of 1 Thessalonians are fundamentally flawed. This article argues that in romanized Thessaloniki, the presence of an aggressive imperial eschatology and the widespread circulation of Augustan apotheosis traditions competed with the early Christian proclamation of the risen and returning heavenly κύριος. In response, Paul injected heavily loaded Roman political terms into his presentation of Christ, transformed their ideological content to his theological and social advantage, and thereby overturned the absolutist claims of the imperial cult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-96
Number of pages26
JournalJournal for the Study of the New Testament
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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