Dissertation on Pauline Emotions

Since 1) most dissertations are little read, 2) my blog is little read, 3) I like jotting down exegetical thoughts, 4) I have views I want to promote, and 5) I value interaction, I’m going to share a few exegetical tidbits that occur to me while I write my dissertation. I’m currently past the proposal stage and on to the prospectus, the foundation-laying first chapter.

Here’s my working hypothesis / attack-plan:

  • I am working on the topic of emotions in Paul (both in Paul the man and in his written corpus)…
  • …because I want to find out what Paul (and, ultimately, God) views and what Paul models as the ideal emotional life for the believer…
  • …so I can influence the way Bible teachers and those they shepherd view, experience, and promote emotions.

My thesis question, then, is this: How did Paul view and model the ideal emotional life of the believer?
By reading this post you agree to the terms and conditions: namely, you will not steal my topic!

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. James on June 23, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Neat topic – I’d definitely like to read the abstract when you get done.

    Just off the cuff, when I think of emotions and Paul, the first thing to mind is joy in Philippians (rather obvious, I know). Romans 9-11 conveys some pretty powerful emotion with reference to his desire to see Jews saved. The passage in II Cor. 4 speaks about not despairing under negative pressure. I Thess. 2 uses tender terms to talk about Paul’s relationship with those believers.

    To me, Phil. 4 and its emphasis on contentment in all circumstances strikes me as the capstone of Pauline emotion.

  2. AJGIBSON on June 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    What a great topic, Mark! Sounds very edifying. I look forward to your posts.

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