Elmer Cox

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. Brian C. Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. Rudulf J. Siebert

Third Advisor

Dr. Julia Robinson Harmon

Fourth Advisor

Dr. E. Thomas Lawson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This paper concerns Paul, the man traditionally seen as the writer of most of the New Testament, and the development of his ideas. It is my contention that in order to understand what he meant when he made all those 'definitive' doctrinal pronouncements about people and their relationship to the 'Messiah' Jesus and to one another, one needs to understand the way he thought. That thinking is rooted in his understanding of humanity and also in his cognitive development. Further, I argue that although Paul's view of body and personhood was related to the views of various cultures around him, his own view was developed out of his own brain, his own encounter with God and his own personal experiences. In this study, therefore, I examine the ideas about personhood that surrounded Paul (in Greek and Hellenistic culture and in Judaism, both Orthodox and Hellenic) and I look at what he did with those ideas in developing his own theology and anthropology. The main focus is on his views of body, his views of the relationship of body to soul, and finally on how women fit into his category of ideas.

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