Suffering as Qualification for Ministry

Original scientific paper

Suffering as Qualification for Ministry

Nathan Maroney ; Southeastern Seminary

Full text: english pdf 167 Kb

page 7-20


The realities of Christ and the Gospel were for Paul powerful interpretive tools. In his letters, Paul uses these realities as lenses to interpret his suffering. This article examines elements of Paul’s thought where suffering is interpreted as positive for ministry. First, in Ephesians and Philemon, we discuss the term “Prisoner for Christ,” and the ways Paul sees this as a title of honor that qualifies him with authority. Second, in the Corinthians correspondence, we examine the way Paul connects apostleship and suffering, listing his sufferings as qualifications. Third, in 2 Corinthians 1, we look at how Paul sees suffering as contributing to empathy in ministry. Finally, we trace echoes of similar thoughts elsewhere in the New Testament.


Paul; New Testament; suffering; ministry; empathy

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