The contention of this article is that the Pauline letter closings are carefully constructed units, shaped and adapted in such way that they relate directly to—sometimes, in fact, even summarize—the major concerns and themes taken up in the bodies of their respective letters. Consequently, the letter closings aid in important ways our understanding of Paul's purpose, arguments and exhortation. The article begins by evaluating the reasons why the Pauline letter closings have been ignored in the past and offers in response suggestive comments about their potential significance. This claimed significance of the Pauline letter closings is then established by examining one of the closing conventions (the peace benediction) as it occurs in two of Paul's letters (1 Thess 5:23–24; Gal 6:16).

You do not currently have access to this content.