St. Paul And Dr. Martin Luther King

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Using Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and St. Paul's 1 Corinthians 1-16 as a reference, I found that their letters were intended either to inform some clergymen or the public in their day. In the second paragraph of the "Letter", King becomes quite clear about why he is there and justifies it by alluding to biblical figures such as St. Paul, who is the same type of intellect as King and justifying his own actions on their terms. A few paragraphs later, King has stopped trying to use rhetorical devices and is only stating facts about the injustices in Birmingham. The main points of the letter are the injustices that King is trying to get rid of.

He next explains that he completely supports obeying just laws. It is not only the legal thing to do but also the moral thing to do.

Also, anyone has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. To insure that he is making his points, he moves from an abstract to a concrete style of writing. Lastly, he starts to use the words they, the clergymen, used toward him against them. He was at first saddened by being labeled an extremist. Then he was content with being compared extremists such as Jesus, Amos, Luther, Bunyan, and Paul.

According to one of today's modern versions of our Bible, the extremist St. Paul was witness to division and disorder in the (pre-Roman) Corinth community, which was very similar to what King witnessed. Dr. King was witness to the African American people of his day, including himself, suffering from unfair prejudice and hatred. They not only were witness to similar events, their writing style resembles each other.

In conclusion, these written works display testimony, which is to witness...

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