Fellow Athletes or Fellow Soldiers? συναθλέω in Phil. 1.27 and 4.3

Kurek-Chomycz, Dominika A. Fellow Athletes or Fellow Soldiers? συναθλέω in Phil. 1.27 and 4.3. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. ISSN Print ISSN: 0142-064X Online ISSN: 1745-5294 (Submitted)

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Abstract

There is no agreement between interpreters as to whether the verb sunathleō in Phil. 1.27 and 4.3 presupposes an athletic or a military metaphor. Given that first century athletes were unlikely to compete as a team, the prefix syn- often puzzles proponents of interpreting sunathleō as an athletic term, and is also one of the reasons why some others opt for a military background. While the use of the verb alone does not provide any certainty as to the imagery presupposed, in this article I argue that the presence of the prefix syn- does not preclude athletics as a plausible option. Even though team sports were not part of official athletic contests, based on epigraphic evidence, I suggest that in spite of fierce competition, there may have existed a sense of fellowship between ancient athletes in the Roman period. In addition, it is likely that it was enhanced by the existence of a ‘worldwide’ athletic association.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Lauren Whiston
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 14:12
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2016 14:12
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/689

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