South, James T. Books

Disciplinary Practices in Pauline Texts
1992 0-7734-2348-6
This study contributes to the understanding of early Christianity through a detailed examination of its disciplinary practices as reflected in the letters of Paul. It employs the methods of historical-philological exegesis. Texts included are 1 Cor. 5:1-8, 2 Cor. 2:5-11, Gal. 6:1, Rom. 16:17, Phil. 3:2, 2 Thess. 3:6-15, Eph. 5:3-14, and several texts from the Pastorals, chosen because they are both communal and corrective. The author concludes that discipline was salvific in intent as well as protective of the community; that it could take a variety of forms; that Paul left it to the community to decide the action,except in extreme cases; that it was derived from the Gospel and not from pagan or Jewish models; and that it served the vital functions of social control and boundary maintenance.