Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, MA: New Testament

First Advisor

P. Richard Choi

Second Advisor

Cedric Vine


The concept of imperialism has come to stay in the study of Paul and his letters. However, does contextual analysis of his selected texts support such claims of him being anti-imperial? Various arguments arise to challenge Paul to have used hidden codes and imperial ideology to counter the imperial propaganda of the Roman empire of his day. However, contextual analysis of Paul and his letters suggest otherwise. His pastoral care duties, coupled with a desire to win his natives, namely, the Jews, to accept Jesus Christ as the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament is key in his letters. Proponents for anti-imperial reading of Paul could only do so by reading into the text outside of its context, making it difficult to embark on anti-imperial approach exegetically. By this assertion, it encourages one to conclude that the Pauline letters are devoid of any hidden codes or counter imperial propaganda appeal to his audience. As such, it must be understood that Paul upheld civil authority (Roman empire) and encouraged his audience to do so.

Subject Area

Paul, the Apostle, Saint--Political and social views; Church and state; Imperialism; Rome--History--Empire, 30 B.C.-284 A.D.; Church history--Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600