Definition of paraenesis in English:


(also parenesis)

nounPlural paraeneses

  • An address or communication strongly urging someone to do something.

    • ‘He suggests that Romans is directly geared to its addressees since any kind of parenesis is necessarily that.’
    • ‘Here's the effort of New Testament scholar Charles Talbert to get the whole of John's plot or story into one long sentence: "John tells of one who came as revealing, empowering presence; who picked / produced a new community and provided them and others during his public ministry with warrants for a different kind of worship; who privately predicted what their future would be like, offering promise, parenesis, and prayer for that time; and who ultimately made provision for their future community life, worship, and ministry before he returned to whence he had come".’
    • ‘These prophecies are often reduced to the status of propaganda only, downplaying their religious value as interpretations of history, parenesis, and actualization of past authoritative utterances.’
    • ‘The Finnish scholar finds inconsistencies between doctrine and paraenesis in St. Paul.’
    • ‘Greco-Roman paraenesis was expressed both in discourses and in letters.’
    urging, encouragement, persuasion, pressure, pressurization, pushing, insistence
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: late Latin, from Greek parainesis, from parainein ‘exhort’, from para- ‘beside’ + ainein ‘speak of, praise’.