Endnotes for Rhetorical Criticism
1Duane F. Watson, Invention, Arrangement, and Style: Rhetorical Criticism of Jude and 2 Peter (SBLDS 104; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 4.
2Duane F. Watson and Alan J. Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: A Comprehensive Bibliography with Notes on History and Method (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 102-3. For a detailed study of Melanchthon's use of rhetorical criticism, see Carl Joachim Classen, Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament (Boston: Brill, 2002), 8-16, 99-177.
3Wilhelm Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism and Its Theory in Culture-Critical Perspective: The Narrative Rhetoric of John 11,"in Text and Interpretation: New Approaches in the Criticism of the New Testament (ed. P. J. Hartin and J. H. Petzer; NTTS 15; Leiden: Brill, 1991), 173.
4Thomas H. Olbricht, "The Flowering of Rhetorical Criticism in America," in The Rhetorical Analysis of Scripture: Essays from the 1995 London Conference (ed. S. E. Porter and T. H. Olbricht; JSNTSup 146; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1997), 80. The Ramian version of "rhetoric" was spartan. "Ramus went beyond Aristotle in his suspicion of rhetoric, limiting its role to ornamentation" (Don H. Compier, What Is Rhetorical Theology?: Textual Practice and Public Discourse [Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1999], 13). In a culture that disliked ornamentation, speakers would have to avoid it if they wanted to be persuasive.
5"The extraordinary influence of Ramus hindered, and to a large extent actually destroyed, the tradition of classical rhetoric" (Chaim Perelman, "The New Rhetoric: A Theory of Practical Reasoning," in The Great Ideas Today, 1970 [trans. E. Griffin-Collart and O. Bird; Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1970], 274). Ramus had a friend named Omer Talon who wrote two books on rhetoric, limiting rhetoric to stylistics (ibid.).
6Folker Siegert, Argumentation bei Paulus: Gezeigt an Röm 9-11 (WUNT 34; Tübingen: Mohr, 1985), 9; my translation of Siegert's translation of the original Latin subtitle.
7Roland Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis: An Introduction to Biblical Rhetoric (JSOTSup 256; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1998), 44. Meynet notes that similar ideas about parallelisms had been published by Christian Schöttgen in 1733 (ibid., 53-54). These were analyses of structure, not of rhetorical effects. Meynet also credits Bengel with the discovery of chiasms or concentric structures (ibid., 60).
8Jack R. Lundbom, Jeremiah: A Study in Ancient Hebrew Rhetoric (2nd ed.; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1997), xx.
9Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 103.
10Thomas H. Olbricht, "An Aristotelian Rhetorical Analysis of 1 Thessalonians," in Greeks, Romans, and Christians: Essays in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990), 221.
11Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 104, and Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis, 65-126, 129-30. Meynet notes that in 1820, Jebb applied Lowth's observations to the NT, and identified chiasms. "It would not be an exaggeration to say that Jebb is the genuine inventor of ‘rhetorical' analysis of the biblical texts" (Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis, 88). As Meynet defines it, rhetorical analysis is primarily stylistics (ibid., 39).
12Lundbom, Jeremiah, xx.
13Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 103-4. Meynet mentions more obscure scholars: Charles Souvay in 1911 and George Gray in 1915; both worked with OT poetics (Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis, 131-36). He says that Bullinger's questionable literary structures "discredited the discipline for a full generation" (ibid., 130, n. 39, quoting from Kenneth E. Bailey, Through Peasant Eyes [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980], xix).
14Watson, Invention, 5. On page 6 he notes an article in 1931, a book in 1942, and isolated articles from 1953, 1958 and 1962. To his list we can add Walter A. Jennrich, "Rhetoric in the New Testament: The Diction in Romans and Hebrews," CTM 20 (1949): 518-31. Dean Anderson notes an article in 1926 and a different article by Jennrich in 1949 (R. Dean Anderson, Jr., Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Paul [rev. ed.; Leuven: Peeters, 1999], 21). Building on Jennrich's CTM article is Wilhelm C. Linss, "Logical Terminology in the Epistle to the Hebrews," CTM 37 (1966): 365-69. Meynet mentions French works by Marcel Jousse in 1925 and Albert Condamin in 1933, several studies on chiasm by Nils Lund in the 1930s and 1940s, and Albert Vanhoye's structural analysis of Hebrews in 1963 (Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis, 136-165).
15Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism," 174.
16Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxi.
17Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 105.
18Lundbom, Jeremiah, xix, xxi-xxii.
19Muilenburg was a teaching instructor in English composition for three years while he studied for his master of arts degree, according to Jared Judd Jackson, "Muilenburg, James (1896-1974)," in Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (ed. Donald K. McKim; Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998), 599. His bachelor's degree was in classical languages (email from firstname.lastname@example.org on 18 Sept. 2002). His master of arts degree was in English history (University of Nebraska--Lincoln, library catalog, n.p. [cited 19 Sept. 2002]. Online: http://iris.unl.edu/ search/ X?SEARCH=muilenburg+thesis&SORT=A&l=&b=&s=&m=&Da=&Db=. After writing a dissertation in early church literature, he studied under Hermann Gunkel and went into OT studies. His first book was a high school textbook on the Bible as literature (Jackson, "Muilenburg," 600).
20Subsequently published as James A. Muilenburg, "Form Criticism and Beyond," JBL 88 (1969) 1-18. "Others...were doing structural work on the biblical text without calling it rhetorical per se" (Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxvii). Watson points out that Amos Wilder had published a book on biblical rhetoric in 1964, Robert Funk one in 1966, and Edwin Judge an important article in 1968. But Muilenburg's address had the most influence. See Watson, Invention, 3.
21Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 1, referring to Hans Dieter Betz, "The Literary Composition and Function of Paul's Letter to the Galatians, NTS 21 (1975): 353-79 and idem, Galatians: A Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Churches in Galatia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979).
22"Compared with rhetorical criticism practiced in the universities, however, the Muilenburg program appears somewhat narrow.... [It is] perceived by many as being little more than an exercise in textual description" (Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxviii). Roth speaks of "the terminological difficulty introduced by Muilenburg into HB interpretation," noting especially the use by others of classical rhetorical systems (W. M. W. Roth, "Rhetorical Criticism, Hebrew Bible," DBI 2:397). Classical rhetoric can be limited to stylistics (as it often was before Muilenburg), but modern scholars who use it usually include more, as discussed below.
23Muilenburg, "Form Criticism," 1-2.
26Roy F. Melugin, "Muilenburg, Form Criticism, and Theological Exegesis," in Encounter With the Text: Form and History in the Hebrew Bible (Semeia Supplement 8, ed. M.J. Buss; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979), 94.
27Muilenburg, "Form Criticism," 7. The correct name is Luis Alonso-Schökel. Muilenburg also mentioned 16 others as being interested in stylistic matters. Muilenburg himself had emphasized literary style in his commentary on Second Isaiah (James Muilenburg, "Introduction" and "Exegesis" for Isaiah 40-66, in The Interpreter's Bible, vol. 5 [ed. G. A. Buttrick; New York: Abingdon, 1956], 381-418, 422-773). Lundbom writes, "Muilenburg names a method he had been using for 45 years or more, and in this sense ‘rhetorical criticism' was not new. The name was new" (Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxvi).
28Muilenburg, "Form Criticism," 8.
29Ibid. This definition has been the foundation for many further discussions of this field.
30Despite Muilenburg's wish, later scholars have categorized his work as stylistics:
"Muilenburg saw rhetorical criticism as a form of literary criticism that dealt with stylistics" (Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 23).
"This shift in study to the unique features in a given text goes to the heart of rhetorical criticism as it was conceived by Muilenburg, for it gives rise to the study of stylistics of composition in Hebrew prose and poetry" (Thomas B. Dozeman, "Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism: OT Rhetorical Criticism," ABD 5:713-15).
"Since Muilenburg's appeal for a renewed interest in stylistics, there have been a spate of studies...." (John S. Kselman, "Design and Structure in Hebrew Poetry," SBL Seminar Papers, 1980 [SBLSP 18; Chico: Scholars Press, 1980], 1).
"Muilenburg's notion of rhetoric was limited to matters of style" (Burton L. Mack, Rhetoric and the New Testament [GBSNT; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990], 13).
"Muilenburg especially focused upon stylistics with additional attention to structure" (Thomas H. Olbricht, "Introduction," in Rhetorical Argumentation in Biblical Texts [ed. A. Ericksson et al.; Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2002], 3.
"Muilenburg's use of the term ‘rhetorical criticism' to refer to stylistic analysis reflected the very reduction that had helped signal rhetoric's eclipse in earlier centuries" (Patricia K. Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism and Intertextuality," in To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application [rev. ed.; ed. S. L. McKenzie and S. R. Haynes; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999], 160).
"The history of rhetoric has shown that the reduction of rhetoric to poetics has been but one of the ways of getting and keeping rhetorics restrained and degenerate. The same tendency reappears today in the Muilenburg legacy of reducing rhetorical criticism to stylistics or literary criticism" (Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism," 179).
31Aristotle, Rhetoric I.1.2, translated by W. Rhys Roberts, n.p. [cited 23 Aug. 2002]. Online: http://classics.mit .edu/Aristotle/rhetoric.1.i.html). Another translation puts it this way: It is "the detection of the persuasive aspects of each matter" (Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric [trans. H. C. Lawson-Tancred; New York: Penguin, 1991], 70. Lauri Thurén offers a broad definition: "Rhetorics seeks to study what is the purpose of any discourse and which means are used to this end" (Rhetorical Strategy of 1 Peter with Special Regard to Ambiguous Expressions [Åbo: Åbo Academy, 1990], 43. Ruth Majercik gives a more generic definition: "Rhetoric is the art of composition by which language is made descriptive, interpretive, or persuasive" ( "Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism," ABD 5:712).
32David M. Howard, "Rhetorical Criticism in Old Testament Studies," BBR 4 (1994) 87.
33George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 3. Lundbom writes, "Rhetorical criticism in the Muilenburg tradition is therefore perceived by many as being little more than an exercise in textual description--perceptive and sensitive description, to be sure, especially when the master was at work--but textual description all the same" (Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxviii). Lundbom notes that Muilenburg went "beyond textual description by showing an interest in discerning the author's intent, development of thought, and meaning. But his agenda is still too limited for rhetorical critics with classical and modern interests. This is due more to the unique circumstances under which OT rhetorical criticism is forced to operate than to narrow scholarly interests on the part of Muilenburg" (ibid., xxx). Those circumstances include the lack of information about speaker, audience and situation except for what we can infer from the text (ibid., xxix)--circumstances that are true for some NT documents as well.
34Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 156.
36Watson and Hauser say that Muilenburg did not intend to restrict rhetorical criticism to stylistics, but they admit that this is the way observers have perceived the results (Rhetorical Criticism, 18 n. 31). They argue that rhetorical criticism should include the impact on the audience, a concern that Muilenburg did not mention.
37His introduction, for example, includes eight pages for a discussion of style, but no section for the overall message, or what the poet wanted people to do in response to his messages. Such things were discussed in various sections of the commentary, but were not gathered into a distinct section for the introduction, as stylistic matters were. Muilenburg began each section of the commentary with an analysis of structure, particularly the number of strophes and the meter, with comments about repetition or other devices.
38Muilenburg, "Isaiah," IB 5:434, 447-48, 451, 460-61, 463, 474. This is just a small sample; stylistic comments can be found on most pages. His literary analysis provides a substantial foundation for further study.
39J. Kenneth Kuntz, "The Contribution of Rhetorical Criticism to Understanding Isaiah 51:1-16," in Art and Meaning: Rhetoric in Biblical Literature. JSOTS 19 (ed. David J. A. Clines et al.; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1982), 140-171. I use Kuntz as an example, but similar things could be said about other scholars using a stylistic-focused rhetorical criticism. For a NT example, see David Alan Black, "Hebrews 1:1-4: A Study in Discourse Analysis" (WTJ 49 (1987): 175-94. He identifies numerous style and rhetorical devices, but says little about how such features help convey the meaning to the original recipients, or how it helps our exegesis.
40He says that the poet's "intense lyricism vividly conveys his assurance of impending salvation" (Kuntz, "Contribution," 165)--but he does not say how the lyrics convey the assurance any better than prose could have. His conclusion is only one paragraph--an abrupt ending with some generalities. This suggests that the details have not been synthesized; they remain as scattered bits of data. Although Kuntz mentions Israel's calling as one of the main purposes of the passage, he does not develop the thought. He seems unconcerned about the purpose of the passage, illustrating an emphasis on style and a neglect of function.
41Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxxii.
42Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 175.
43Wilhelm Wuellner, "Where Is Rhetorical Criticism Taking Us?," CBQ 49 (1987): 462. The word "contextless" describes my feeling that Kuntz's article would be little different if he treated six verses from six different biblical books. It would be some interesting observations about Hebrew poetry style, but with little done to tie the elements together. The word "functionless" is also apt, since little consideration is given to the function of the devices.
Richard Clifford also illustrates the tendency of some rhetorical critics to neglect function. He mentions the Biblisher Kommentar and the Hermeneia series, which have sections for text, form, setting, interpretation, and aim. He then says, "‘Interpretation' and ‘aim' ought to be reserved for the study of how this text uniquely shapes the conventions of the genre and adds its own novum" (Richard J. Clifford, "Rhetorical Criticism in the Exegesis of Hebrew Poetry," in SBL Seminar Papers, 1980 [SBLSP 18; Chico: Scholars Press, 1980], 18). But this definition of "aim" has the wrong focus. The aim of the passage is to convey a message, not to shape a genre. The genre is a tool, not the purpose. It is shaped only to serve a goal. Clifford's definition focuses on technique, not the message.
45Michael V. Fox, "The Rhetoric of Ezekiel's Vision of the Valley of the Bones," HUCA 51 (1980): 2, n. 4.
47Olbricht, "Aristotelian," 219.
48J. Eugene Botha, "Style in the New Testament: The Need for Serious Reconsideration," JSNT 43 (1991): 76.
49Ibid. For a similar comment, see also Stanley E. Porter, "Paul of Tarsus and His Letters," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 578, n. 112.
50Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 41, 71 n. 121.
51Wuellner, "Where Is," 451-2. Further evidence for the overlap between rhetorical and literary criticism can be seen in Trible's comment that Alter's literary analyses "reflected" rhetorical criticism, and that "Rhetoric occupied a significant place in [Meir] Sternberg's poetics.... He gave attention to...persuasive communication" (Phyllis Trible, Rhetorical Criticism: Context, Method, and the Book of Jonah [Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994], 76-77). Roth says that if rhetorical criticism is defined by an interest in literary features, then Alter's two books are also important contributions (Roth, "Rhetorical Criticism," 397).
52Howard, "Rhetorical Criticism," 90. Tull groups them all in the same field when she writes, "Studies of the stylistic, aesthetic features of biblical texts proliferated very rapidly and came to be known variously as literary criticism, narrative criticism, poetics, and, especially among followers of Muilenburg, rhetorical criticism" ("Rhetorical Criticism," 159). Here, she equates Muilenburg-style rhetorical criticism with a study of style and aesthetics. Some rhetorical critics deny that Muilenburg and his followers focused on style to the neglect of function, but when I look at the results, I see primarily style, and so do many other observers.
Dozeman writes that OT rhetorical criticism moved from its origin in form criticism, where it served as a focus on the particularities of a text, to "under the umbrella of literary criticism" ("Rhetoric," 5:714). If it is to be distinct from literary criticism, as I argue below, it should include persuasion as well as stylistics.
53Jeffrey Dean Arthurs, "Biblical Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism: Augmenting the Grammatical/ Historical Approach" (Ph.D. diss., Purdue University, 1992), 9.
54I have quoted several of these observers, and some who say that rhetorical criticism should go beyond stylistics -- beyond the kind of work that Muilenburg did. Childs criticizes Muilenburg's commentary for being too attentive to literary aesthetics to the neglect of the theological message (Brevard Childs, Old Testament Books for Pastor and Teacher [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977], 73. Brueggemann says that rhetorical criticism is "too enamored of style to notice speech as a means and source of power" ("At the Mercy of Babylon: A Subversive Rereading of the Empire," JBL 101 (1991), 19. Trible drew my attention to these quotes (Rhetorical Criticism, 106, 52).
55Dale Patrick and Allen Scult, Rhetoric and Biblical Interpretation (JSOTSup 82; Sheffield: Almond, 1990), 12. They write that later rhetorical critics failed to "encounter texts in their concrete particularity" due to the "limitation of rhetorical criticism in Biblical studies to stylistic analysis" (ibid.).
56C. Clifton Black II, "Keeping up with Recent Studies VXI. Rhetorical Criticism and Biblical Interpretation," ET 100 (1989) 253-54. Black says that this "too narrow" and he praises Kennedy's approach not only for including persuasion but also for its "more painstaking" methodology (254-55).
57Some literary devices may be exclusively aesthetic, but such a conclusion should be reached only after an effort to understand how they might contribute to the argument. Aesthetics may assist persuasion by increasing the readers' respect for the author, their trust in the author's knowledge, or their desire to please the author.
58Yehoshua Gitay, "Rhetorical Criticism," in To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application (ed. S. L. McKenzie and S. R. Haynes; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993), 146.
59Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxiv.
60Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism," 177.
61Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 4. Hauser writes, "Studying stylistic devices used in a text is a necessary factor in complete literary analysis, but hardly a sufficient factor.... Studying stylistics alone would isolate the rhetorical critic from the dynamic life of the text" (ibid., 18, n. 31).
62Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 48-49. See also idem, "The General New Testament Writings," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 588.
63Duane F. Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles Since 1978," CR: BS 5 (1997): 202.
64Benjamin Fiore, "Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism: NT Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism," ABD 5:718.
65Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxiii-xxiv, italics in the original. The audience can also include subsequent audiences. As Patrick and Scult note, we do not always know when a text was written. Nevertheless, "these texts have remained profoundly persuasive for over 2000 years.... The Biblical texts achieved canonical status...because they were persuasive enough to be heard as speaking truths beyond their own time and place" (Rhetoric, 45-46, 25).
66Kennedy, New Testament, 3.
67Kennedy, New Testament, 12.
68Dozeman, "Rhetoric," 5:714. He calls these scholars, perhaps inaccurately, the "Muilenburg School."
69Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 55. It is necessary to focus on the text when the author is not known, when multiple authors and editors may be involved, or when the text is the only window that we have into the author's thinking. In such cases, "the author" is a cipher for "inferred author." The author's intent is equated with the message of the text.
70Paul R. Noble, The Canonical Approach: A Critical Reconstruction of the Hermeneutics of Brevard S. Childs (Leiden: Brill, 1995), 239. Compier makes a similar point: "To use an extreme example, no one claiming to find a discussion of nuclear arms in the Institutes has much hope of persuading most conceivable audiences" (Rhetorical Theology, 31. He concludes, "If we are to make any sense of written statements, then, I know of no way of avoiding the attribution of intentions"--even though he acknowledge it is impossible to be completely certain (ibid., xx). E. D. Hirsch has been a noted defender of authorial intent, but Noble observes that "over the years Hirsch has become increasingly isolated, and in ‘Meaning and Significance Reinterpreted' (Critical Inquiry 2 (1986), 627-30) he substantially modifies his original position" (The Canonical Approach, 190, n. 9).
71Ibid., 369. Arthurs also argues for the validity of seeking authorial intent, but notes four caveats: "(1) No one can know with certainty the full range of what motivates another person, especially (as in the case of biblical literature) when authors do not provide complete statements of their intentions. (2) Authors may be unaware of their own intentions. (3) The achieved product (i.e., the final text) may differ from the author's conscious intent (see John 11:50-51). (4) For many biblical texts, scholars have only hypotheses concerning authorship" (Arthurs, "Biblical Interpretation," 187). He also chooses to focus on "the text as the locus of meaning...assuming that the author's rhetorical intent is embodied in those words" (ibid.).
72Kennedy, New Testament, 159.
73Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism," 178.
74See footnote 28.
75Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 160.
76Literary criticism sometimes comments on how style helps convey meaning. Tull praises Meir Sternberg (a narrative critic) for his "literary virtuosity in [his] intricate assessment of the aims and effects of narrative details" ("Rhetorical Criticism," 162, italics added). However, rhetorical criticism is designed to query the function of style, that is, to connect it to the meaning of the passage.
77Persuasion also involves logic and the audience's attitude toward the speaker. In studying stylistic devices, literary critics are studying some of the means of persuasion, even if they are not studying them as a means of persuasion.
78Howard, "Rhetorical Criticism," 103.
79Ibid., 88. He also notes that "this dimension has been all but lacking in Old Testament ‘rhetorical' criticism." "Muilenburg and most of his followers have not paid attention to the suasive or oral aspects of the biblical literature in the way that rhetoricians focus on these" (ibid., 102). Gitay writes, "Muilenburg's approach is an expression of stylistic-formalist awareness rather than a systematic study of early Hebrew rhetoric, the biblical art of persuasion" ("Rhetorical Criticism," 136).
80Dozeman, "Rhetoric," 5:715. Note that he characterized previous studies as stylistics.
81Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 106. Trible notes: "Though Perelman is often cited with the first name Chaim...Olbrechts-Tyteca remains hidden through the capital letter ‘L,' rather than revealed through the first name Luci [sic]" (Trible, Rhetorical Criticism, 56, n. 3). The correct spelling is Lucie.
82Ibid., 55-56. The new rhetoric of Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca also led to an increased interest in the audience, the sociological situation, and the way that language is used sociologically. However, Thurén notes, "Despite a sound theoretical basis the New Rhetoric pays in practice little attention to the persuasive aspect.... Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca even see persuasion as a fallacy in argumentation (1969:111)" (Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 54, n. 54). Actually, Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca do not call persuasion a fallacy; they note that an ad hominem argument can persuade some people even when it is not suited for everyone. See Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation (trans. John Wilkinson and Purcell Weaver; Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1969), 111. Some potential for misunderstanding arises because their book, as the subtitle indicates, focuses on argumentation, and argumentation is only one of the means of persuasion.
83Philip F. Esler, Galatians (New Testament Readings; London: Routledge, 1998), 58.
84Duane F. Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism," ISBE 4:182.
85Alexandre, Rhetorical Argumentation, 28.
86Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxiv.
87Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 56. n. 62. Just as Thurén equates the author with the implied author (ibid., 55), here he equates the audience with the audience implied by the text. The author may be targeting a certain group within the actual audience, but from the text itself we may be unable to determine whether other people are present.
88Thomas O. Sloan, "Rhetoric in Literature," Encyclopædia Britannica Macropædia (15th ed.) 15:798.
89Herbert A. Wichelns, "Some Differences between Literary Criticism and Rhetorical Criticism," in Historical Studies of Rhetoric and Rhetoricians (ed. R. F. Howes; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1961), 220.
90Herbert Wichelns, "The Literary Criticism of Oratory," in Studies in Rhetoric and Public Speaking, in Honor of James Albert Winans (ed. A. M. Drummond; New York: The Century Co., 1925; repr., New York: Russell & Russell, 1962), 209. Lundbom (who alerted me to this quote) says that "Wichelns was after a speech's persuasive quality.... the key term is really audience, and by audience Wichelns meant the original audience, not the subsequent reader" (ibid.).
91Patrick and Scult, Rhetoric, 8, 12.
92Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 4. This definition does not include the intent of the author, but it is historically rooted by insisting on a comparative analysis of ancient texts and a concern for the original audience.
93"A rhetorical perspective is highly compatible with the g/h [grammatico-historical] method because both are grounded in examination of language, culture, and the speaker-audience relationship" (Arthurs, "Biblical Interpretation," 201).
94"In distinction from methods that bracket historical setting, this form of rhetorical criticism draws attention to the contexts in which texts arose and were read" (Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 161). "Methods that bracket historical setting" could include literary criticism as well as a rhetorical criticism that focuses on stylistics.
95For four excellent reasons that literary and historical approaches should not be separated, see Michael V. Fox, "On Reading Redaction," in idem, The Redaction of the Books of Esther (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991), 144-46.
96Fox, "On Reading," 144-46.
97Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 47.
98Wuellner, "Where Is," 461.
99Kennedy, New Testament, 4. Kennedy also includes the author's intent.
100Duane F. Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism: New Testament," DBI 2:400.
Kennedy also distinguishes literary criticism from rhetorical criticism in that the latter seeks the intent of the biblical writer and the effect on the original audience: "My goal...is the more historical one of reading the Bible as it would be read by an early Christian" (New Testament, 5).
101Yehoshua Gitay, "Rhetorical Criticism and the Prophetic Discourse," in Persuasive Artistry: Studies in New Testament Rhetoric in Honor of George A. Kennedy (ed. Duane F. Watson; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991), 14. Gitay applied Kennedy's approach to OT studies.
102Gitay, "Rhetorical Criticism," in McKenzie and Haynes, 136.
103I am indebted to Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 163, for this observation. She notes the importance of intertextuality, of exploring the interconnections among texts, including the way that previous texts affect the nuances of a word. She credits Mikhail Bakhtin for pointing out that a reader may protest against a text, bring additional insights to it, call other texts to mind, and have additional influences other than the text. The reader is active, not the passive receptor of a monologue (167).
104Fox, "On Reading Redaction," 4-5. Fox illustrates his method with his analysis of Ezekiel 37, suggesting a possible function for the "irrational" claims of the text and how they might serve to win the audience to Ezekiel's view. He concludes by reviewing how the literary devices could serve to persuade the audience (p. 15). His focus is not on literary devices, but on the way in which the text attempts to get an idea across to the audience. Allen notes that Fox "has played down the value of formal structural analysis, in a desire to focus on the persuasive force of discourse and thus to align Old Testament rhetorical criticism with the extra-biblical discipline [i.e., secular rhetorical criticism]" (Leslie C. Allen, "Structure, Tradition and Redaction in Ezekiel's Death Valley Vision," in Among the Prophets: Language, Image and Structure in the Prophetic Writings [ed. P. R. Davies and D. J. Clines; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1993], 128.
105Fox, "On Reading Redaction," 1. Fox noted that the original listeners could not appreciate all the literary details--but Allen rightly notes that "in is present form Ezek. 37.1-14 functions as a literary text, which permits rereading and so appreciation of fine points" (Allen, "Structure," 128). Thus the text has both rhetorical and literary features that are worthy of study.
Kennedy notes that in antiquity, the Bible was more often heard than read, and that it was written and edited with that in mind, thus it retained an oral quality as well as a literary quality (New Testament, 5, 37).
106Lundbom writes, "The charge then sometimes made about there being too much subjectivity in Muilenburg's method is not entirely groundless" (Jeremiah, xxxii). He offers numerous methodological suggestions that can verify or refute the subjective impressions (ibid., xxxiii-xlii). Trible also offers useful practical guidelines (Rhetorical Criticism, 101-6). She notes that "subjectivity characterizes all biblical methods.... Methods do not produce ‘objective' findings" (ibid., 231).
107In making such a judgment, we are admitting that the author had an intent that is at least somewhat discernable.
108Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism," DBI 2:400; also Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 109.
109Wuellner, "Where Is," 451. Watson and Hauser more charitably say that Muilenburg "laid down a rudimentary methodology" (Rhetorical Criticism, 107)
110Trible, Rhetorical Criticism, 52.
111Kennedy, New Testament, 33-38. Wuellner paraphrases these steps in his article ("Where Is," 455-58), as does Black ("Keeping up," 254-55), Fiore ("Rhetoric," 717), and Watson and Hauser (Rhetorical Criticism, 110-111). Roth ("Rhetorical Criticism,"398) has the same steps, citing Wuellner but not Kennedy. Hauser gives a more detailed description of how one goes about these steps (Rhetorical Criticism, 9-14).
112Black, "Keeping up," 255. Kennedy has been instrumental not only in method, but also in championing the interest in persuasion.
113Trible, Rhetorical Criticism, 58-60.
114 Black, "Keeping up," 256.
115Kennedy, New Testament, 33, italics in the original.
116Lundbom, Jeremiah, xxxiv.
117Form criticism tended to divide, and was often more a tool of historical analysis than an effort to understand the text. Muilenburg, however, often argued for the unity of a passage based on consistency of rhetorical style and argument ("Isaiah 40-66," 5:475, 477, 505, 528, 553, 567, 583, 659, and many other places).
Similarly, Allen notes that although Psalm 132 contains earlier material, we cannot reconstruct the argument of that earlier material, for the psalmist has selected only the parts congenial to his purpose. Whatever the original meaning was, it has been put into a new context, and we can study the text only as it is (Leslie C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC21; Dallas: Word, 1983] 207).
118Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 46, n. 3.
119Watson, Invention, 163-88. Patrick and Scult use rhetorical criticism to analyze the contribution of P and J material in Genesis 1-3 (Patrick and Scult, Rhetoric, 103-25). Muilenburg occasionally argues that a passage is a gloss or is in the wrong place (Muilenburg, "Isaiah 40-66," 5:518, 561, 564, 576, etc.).
120Paul Beauchamp, Preface to Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis, 11-12. Trible, on the other hand, argues that rhetorical criticism has a commitment to "final form" and cannot be used to support any transpositions. She argues that Jonah 4:5 would make better sense if it came after 3:4, but then argues against the transposition (Trible, Rhetorical Criticism, 118-119). This is apparently on ideological grounds, for she writes, "Though accepting the logic of the argument for transposition, this interpretation holds fast to the final form of the text. It maintains that 4:5 fits a tendency throughout the story to delay information" (ibid., 206). She claims the delay "strengthens the rhetoric through surprise" (ibid., 222), but she offers no substantiating evidence. She claims that it "requires the reader to reread" (ibid.), even though this might render the message inaccessible to most people. Similarly, she refuses to question whether chapter 2 is a later addition (ibid., 161), even though it would be a useful exercise to compare the rhetorical effectiveness of the book with the psalm, and the book without it. Such a comparison could highlight what the chapter actually contributes to the book. This ideological commitment is apparently Trible's own, not a necessary part of rhetorical criticism itself, and it may even be counterproductive, for if a rhetorical critic argues for unity, others may suspect that the conclusion has been determined by the ideology, not the analysis.
121Kennedy, New Testament, 34-35.
122Ibid., 36. By saying that this occurs in "many rhetorical situations," but by italicizing rhetorical problem, Kennedy sends mixed signals on whether this is a distinct step or an acknowledgement of the complexity of the situation. Wuellner includes the rhetorical problem as part of the situation (Wuellner, "Where Is," 455-56).
123"The disputed rhetorical environment surrounding many biblical texts, especially in the Hebrew scriptures, is difficult for us to perceive because we no longer have access to many of the voices to which these texts were responding" (Tull, "Rhetorical Criticism," 168).
124Kennedy, New Testament, 37. Kennedy did not number his steps. In describing Kennedy's steps, both Black and Wuellner list "invention and style" as a separate step, perhaps because Kennedy italicized devices of style, as he did for various steps (Black, "Keeping up," 255, and Wuellner, "Where Is," 457). But Kennedy described the analysis of style as part of the analysis of arrangement, not a step to be done after the analysis of arrangement. Whether style is numbered as a distinct step or not, it is something that should be considered.
125Thurén faults Kennedy for not giving enough attention to audience interaction with the message (Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 68), but Kennedy's last step would include this.
126Kennedy, New Testament, 33.
127Watson, Invention, 8-28, or Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 110-11. Watson apparently derives his third step from the fact that Kennedy italicized stasis theory and species of rhetoric in the paragraph after italicizing rhetorical problem (Kennedy, New Testament, 36). But these italics are not necessarily distinct steps.
Anderson summarizes Kennedy's steps, but also notes that "the division into five seems to differ with each attempt" (Ancient Rhetorical, 28, citing Wuellner and Watson in particular). Wuellner seems to include the rhetorical problem with the rhetorical situation (step 2); his third step is to identify the arrangement, or the strategy of the response, and the fourth step is identification of stylistic techniques (Wuellner, "Where Is," 456-7)
128"When studying a literary object rhetorical criticism first tries to determine what kind of situation the author appears to have in mind, i.e. which are, according to his assumption, the audience's attitudes, values, and needs in the specific situation that invites him to give a speech or produce a text. The central objective of rhetorical criticism is to understand what the author seems to want to do in relation to these attitudes and values, what is his goal. All these questions are included in the rhetorical situation.... The rhetorical situation consists of the picture of the audience which the author seems to presuppose" (Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 43, 70).
130"The two main concerns of rhetorical criticism...are the identification of the rhetorical situation and the techniques used in order to meet the challenge thereof" (ibid., 68).
132Ibid., 72. Thurén here includes the determination of genre as part of the way in which we can ascertain what the rhetorical situation was. Contra Watson, this is the way that I believe Kennedy should be understood.
138The rhetorical unit is often decided in advance, but may be modified after further analysis, particularly if one is studying a portion of a larger text.
139 In other words, what problem is the author addressing? However, I have avoided the word "problem" because Kennedy uses it for factors in the setting that make persuasion difficult, not for the question the author is trying to address.
140As I will argue below, there is little value in labeling the text as one of the three classical species. At best, the label cannot be assigned until after the function and arrangement have been analyzed. Unlike Watson, I do not include any role for stasis. Kennedy writes, "Stasis theory is exceedingly complex, and discussion of it probably should not be undertaken by a student before extensive reading in the rhetorical sources" (Kennedy, New Testament, 36). Anderson goes further when he writes, "The intricate details of στασισ_doctrine and its use to pinpoint the precise issue at stake is [sic] of little relevance to Paul's letters. Discussion of στασισ_doctrine in the treatises is invariably specifically related to the kind of complex (legal) questions arising in the courts. In this respect, the lists of specific τoπoι_which are provided for the various στασεισ_are also of little help. Such τoπoι_are directly related to judicial disputes and have little in common with the kinds of subjects dealt with in the letters of Paul [or other NT documents]" (Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 103).
141Vernon K. Robbins, Exploring the Texture of Texts: A Guide to Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1996), 3.
145Robbins calls his approach socio-rhetorical rather than rhetorical, signaling his interest in sociology and acknowledging the role that rhetoric plays in social systems. When I observe that his methodology is not sufficient for rhetorical criticism, I am simply acknowledging that I have a different goal and priority than Robbins does.
146Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 47.
147Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 111, italics added. Bruce Malina divides rhetorical critics into two camps on this question: "The label ‘rhetorical criticism' in biblical studies covers two entirely and radically distinct types of behavior. The one is historical criticism, deriving from historically oriented scholars who use ancient rhetoric as a comparative matrix for understanding New Testament writings (e.g. Wuellner, Betz). The other is literary criticism of a contemporary sort, deriving from scholars steeped in modern literary criticism and applying that criticism to the New Testament" (Bruce J. Malina, "Rhetorical Criticism and Social-Scientific Criticism: Why Won't Romanticism Leave Us Alone?" in Rhetoric, Scripture and Theology: Essays from the 1994 Pretoria Conference [ed. S. E. Porter and T. H. Olbricht; JSNTSup 131; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996], 84.
148Black, "Keeping up," 255. Watson notes several other scholars who have used classical rhetoric to analyze NT documents: F. Church, W. Wuellner, C. Robbins, W. Kurz, and K. Donfried (Watson, Invention, 6-7).
149Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism," 2:400. See Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 120, 124 for a discussion of whether Paul would have studied rhetoric.
150Meynet asserts that the NT writings "do not obey the rules of Graeco-Roman rhetoric, but the specific laws of Hebraic rhetoric" (Rhetorical Analysis, 21-22), and he consequently concentrates on chiastic structures, sometimes forcing the text into a dubious mold. Here is one example of his overemphasis on chiasms: "The reader will have no doubt noticed that the figure of the Our Father strangely mirrors the shape of the seven-branched candelabra" (ibid., 27), as if this were significant in some unexplained way. My criticism of an exclusively Semitic rhetoric is similar to my criticism of an exclusively Greco-Roman rhetoric: both artificially limit the investigation by the dubious assumption of a single rhetorical influence.
151Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 112. I document this point further because some critics still ignore it:
"Rhetorical handbooks, particularly the later ones, will list the rules for each genre and the sorts of things each example should contain. When it actually comes to literary composition however, these outlines and rules are often disregarded" (Richard A. Burridge, "Biography," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 372).
"The writers of manuals on rhetoric, though aware of the great variety of speeches required by the realities of life, nevertheless did venture to construe a standard structure, at the same time allowing for flexibility in its application.... The handbooks of rhetoric recommend to a speaker to use his own judgment to assess a situation and an audience and to decide what to say and how to put it" (Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 26, 46).
Olbricht notes that Aristotle's Rhetoric "is not a precise compendium of rules... Aristotle argued that rhetoric is an art... We can never expect assured or consensus results" ("Aristotelian Analysis," 222-23). "Quintilian, as well as the rest of the ancient rhetoricians, held that rules are always situational. Based on their perspective it seems dangerous to be adamant in rhetorical criticism as to the rules that pertain to a specific text"(Thomas H. Olbricht, "Delivery and Memory," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 165).
"For ancient Greek and Roman theorists rhetoric was a very flexible art. Thus, to perceive rhetoric as a fixed system is non-historical. Such a view may be partly due to the ancient authors' presentation of rhetoric, but e.g. Quintilian explicitly rejects it. Instead, he claims that an orator must be very flexible when adapting rhetorical rules to different situations" Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 51.
Übelacker, citing Quintilian, argues that the guidelines given in the ancient rhetorical manuals could be handled freely. "Die Rhetorik war ja kein einheitliches System" (Walter G. Übelacker, Der Hebräerbrief als Appell. I. Untersuchungen zu exordium, narratio, und postscriptum (Hebr 1-2 und 13,22-25) [ConBNT 21; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell: 1989], 65).
Wilhelm Wuellner also notes "the frequent discrepancy between the theorists and the practicioners" ("Arrangement," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 57).
152Black, "Keeping up," 257, 255.
153Watson and Hauser, Rhetorical Criticism, 112.
155Kennedy, New Testament, 10-11.
156Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 31.
157Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 5.
158"Nicht ratsam ist es daher u. E., nur gewisse antike Rhetorikhandbücher zum Maßstab zu erheben, an dem z. B. Paulus zu messen sei" (Übelacker, Hebräerbrief, 65).
159Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 103. Watson writes that rhetorical criticism by classical canons "was a fine beginning for the revival of the art of rhetorical criticism of the New Testament.... However, it is well understood that the field of New Testament needs to move beyond it in order fully to utilize all that rhetorical criticism has to offer interpretation. Kennedy's methodology can and should be enhanced by comparison of the rhetoric of the New Testament with more than the systematized conventions enumerated in rhetorical handbooks. Comparison should be made with actual speeches and written works of a highly rhetorical nature. These works illustrate the peculiarities of rhetoric necessitated by the contingencies of public rhetorical practice and the rhetorical situations addressed. This alerts the interpreter to features peculiar to the New Testament and allows literature that shares these peculiar rhetorical features to illuminate interpretation" (Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 177-78).
160Melanchthon invented the didacticum genus rather than categorize Galatians as judicial, deliberative, or epideictic (Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 11). Kennedy acknowledges that "the basic divisions of a speech recognized by the handbooks apply best to judicial oratory"(George Kennedy, The Art of Persuasion in Greece, [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963], 11)--implying that other speech types have more deviations from the "recommended" patterns. Further complicating the use of classical patterns is that "Rhetors were expected to hide the standard outline when crafting a speech, and to produce a composition that would appear to unfold naturally"(Mack, Rhetoric, 32, italics added). "The best orator disguises his knowledge of the theory...he alters accepted patterns and adjusts them to the particular case and his special intention"(Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 27). Thus a well-crafted speech might not fit any outline very well.
161Esler is correct when he says, "Given the pervasive influences of rhetoric in the Graeco-Roman world someone writing a letter in a context similar to one of the three standard rhetorical occasions would tend to adopt, at least in a broad sense, features appropriate to the occasion" (Galatians, 61). But problems arise when someone assumes that a NT letter must fall within one of those three occasions, when most letters address several needs.
162"Manuals on letter-writing...differ substantially from handbooks on rhetoric in content and structure.... A letter is a letter and cannot be expected to have the structure of a speech, though in parts it may be compatible" (Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 6, 17). After his analysis of Titus, Classen concludes, "the author has structured this letter in a very carefully considered manner; in doing so he has followed not the precepts of any handbook, but the requirements of the subject matter" (ibid., 66).
163Stanley K. Stowers, Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity (LEC 5; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986). David E. Aune writes, "Early Christian letters tend to resist rigid classification, either in terms of the three main types of oratory or in terms of the many categories listed by the epistolary theorists"(The New Testament in Its Literary Environment [LEC 8; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1987], 203. Reed, although acknowledging that "letter writing was at least partially influenced by rhetorical conventions," says: "The epistolary theorists say nothing about arranging letters according to this standard rhetorical convention.... There is no inherent one-to-one correspondence between the epistolary opening, body, and closing and the exordium, narratio, confirmatio, and peroratio. In fact, epistolary conventions used in actual letters seem to resist a dispositio classification" (Jeffrey T. Reed, "The Epistle," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 179-181).
164 Stanley E. Porter, "Paul of Tarsus and His Letters," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. idem.; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 567. Letters sometimes use rhetorical theory, but sometimes they do not. If the epistolary situation matched one of the three ‘typical' rhetorical situations, similar methods would be likely. Cicero (a prolific letter-writer) even advises his students to practice rhetoric by writing: "Writing is said to be the best and most excellent modeler and teacher of oratory" (De Oratore 1.33). And Quintilian said that "in writing [are] the foundations of eloquence (10.3.3.). I am indebted to Compier, Rhetorical Theology, 9 for these two references.
165Esler, Galatians, 59. However, he adds: "It is certainly worthwhile to investigate whether, as a functional matter, the letter is primarily apologetic, being concerned with Paul's status, especially as an apostle, or primarily deliberative, as interested in persuading his audience to, or dissuading them from, some course of action of viewpoint" (ibid.).
166Robert Jewett, The Thessalonian Correspondence: Pauline Rhetoric and Millennarian Piety (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), 64.
167Olbricht, "Flowering," 102.
168"There is a distinctive rhetoric of religion. It can be found in many cultures, East and West, and at the heart of it lies authoritative proclamation, not rational persuasion. Those who accept religious teachings generally do so because of their perception of certain qualities in the person who utters them and because of their intuitive response to the message. Absolute demands, deliberate rejection of worldly reason, sometimes paradoxes or even obscurity, become a persuasive factor in the enunciation of a new religious message" (Kennedy, New Testament, 6). Despite the use of such techniques, however, religious rhetoric may at times present reasons and use logic.
169Ibid., 30-31, 33. Watson and Hauser question this latter sentence in particular (Rhetorical Criticism, 111), and so does Black ("Keeping up," 257). I would say that if a genre can be identified, it is very helpful, but it is not always possible to identify, and therefore not essential to ascertaining how a text is attempting to persuade an audience. Note also that Kennedy, trained in the classics, does not expect everything to be poured into a classical mold.
170Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 104.
171Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 52-53.
172Olbricht, "Introduction," 3. Nor do they identify chiasm as a technique. R. Dean Anderson Jr. does not list chiasm in his Glossary of Greek Rhetorical Terms (Leuven: Peeters, 2000). Rowe gives an example of chiasm from Hippolytus, but it is in parts of speech rather than in words (Galen O. Rowe, "Style," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 137).
173Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 32. Aristotle's work "had relatively little direct influence on the classical tradition" because it was lost for many years (George A. Kennedy, "Historical Survey of Rhetoric," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 23.
174Lauri Thurén, "Is There Biblical Argumentation?" in Rhetorical Argumentation in Biblical Texts (ed. A. Eriksson, T. H. Olbricht, and W. Übelacker; Emory Studies in Early Christianity 8; Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2002), 81.
175Wuellner, "Rhetorical Criticism," 172.
176Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 47-48. More useful for NT rhetoric is Demetrius, de Elocutione, and the Rhetorica ad Herennium (ibid., 55, 96). Kennedy calls Rhetorica ad Herennium "the most convenient introduction to classical rhetorical theory" (Kennedy, "Historical Survey," 24).
177Stephen Edelston Toulmin, The Uses of Argument (Cambridge: University Press, 1958), popularized and updated in Stephen Toulmin, Richard Rieke and Allan Janik, An Introduction to Reasoning (2nd ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1984). Frans H. van Eemeren critiques Perelman and Toulmin in his "Argumentation Theory: An Overview of Approaches and Research Themes," pp. 9-26 in Rhetorical Argumentation in Biblical Texts (ed. A. Eriksson, T. H. Olbricht, and W. Übelacker; Emory Studies in Early Christianity 8; Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2002).
178Anderson, Ancient Rhetorical, 23. This might be true for those who use modern rhetoric, but would not be true for those who restrict themselves to classical models.
179"Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca suggest that a new approach to rhetoric is needed because traditional rhetoric emphasizes matters of style at the expense of matters of rationality" (Sonja K. Foss, Karen A. Foss, and Robert Trapp, Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric (3rd ed.; Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland, 2002), 85.
180 Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1.2. This three-part formula came from Plato, Gorgias .
181 Alan C. Mitchell, "The Use ofπρεπειv and Rhetorical Propriety in Hebrews 2:10," CBQ 54 (1992): 687, italics added.
182Thurén tries to limit "persuasion" to volitional matters, and uses "argumentation" for cognitive matters (Lauri Thurén, Argument and Theology in 1 Peter: The Origins of Christian Paraenesis [JSNTSup 114; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1995], 50). But this goes against the common use of the words--it is quite acceptable to say in English that I want to persuade people that love is more important than mercy. There may or may not be a volitional consequence of that comparison. Since it is sometimes difficult to discern if there is a volitional implication for a cognitive statement, it is not essential nor helpful to limit the word persuasion to volition. Aristotle included epideictic speeches, which do not involve volition or action, in his study of the art of persuasion.
Argument and persuasion can be distinguished in this way: An argument is an attempt to persuade; the word persuasion implies some success. Further, argumentation is only one of several methods of attempting persuasion; others include emotion, threat, and reward. Euripides gives a good illustration of the persuasive force of reward: "With mortals, gold outweighs a thousand arguments" (Euripides, Medea and Other Plays [trans. Philip Vellacott; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963], 46, line 966).
183Compier, Rhetorical Theology, 10.
184This informal description is based on Toulmin's work. Good summaries of his theory are in Foss, Contemporary Perspectives, 117-53 and van Eemeren et al., Fundamentals, 129-60. Mack summarizes arguments as stating a position, giving a reason, and lining up proofs (Rhetoric, 38). Speakers do not always use any specified order.
185Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, 185-410. These are descriptive of what speakers actually use; they are not prescriptive. For each type of argumentation, Siegert gives an example from the Septuagint (Argumentation, 23-84).
186Compier, Rhetorical Theology, xx. "The argumentation process begins with premises the audience accepts"(Foss, Foss, and Trapp, Contemporary Perspectives, 90).
187 "The audience itself helps to produce the evidence by which it is persuaded" (Alexandre, Rhetorical Argumentation, 43).
188 Ibid., 28-29.
189Thurén, Rhetorical Strategy, 85, 56.
190 Van Eemeren gives this principle for analyzing the author: "The goal should be...to determine (1) to which proposition in the context and situation concerned the speaker or writer can be held committed to that not only (2) makes the underlying argument of the argumentation valid, but also (3) adds something informative to the explicit argumentation" (van Eemeren, "Argumentation Theory," 20). Van Eemeren wants argumentation to be more logical than it often is, but his principle is correct: If we can make the argument logically valid by supplying a certain premise, then we give the author and audience the benefit of the doubt by attributing that premise to them, unless we have reason otherwise.
191Wuellner says that stylistics can help us keep the nonrational in mind ("Where Is," 461).
192"By providing knowledge of how a text was composed in order to be persuasive in its own period, rhetorical criticism enables the interpreter to understand better how a text functioned in its historical context and...to express the message of a text so that it can be persuasive to its contemporary audience" (Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism," 4:182).
193On chapter 1, see Black, "Hebrews 1:1-14."
On chapter 2, see Mitchell, "The Use of
On chapter 4, see David A. DeSilva, "Entering God's Rest: Eschatology and the Socio-Rhetorical Strategy of Hebrews," TJ2 21 (2000): 25-43.
On chapter 6, see David R. Worley, "Fleeing to Two Immutable Things, God's Oath-Taking and Oath-Witnessing: The Use of Litigant Oath in Hebrews 6:12-20," RQ 36 (1994): 223-36.
On chapter 7, see Timothy W. Seid, "The Rhetorical From of the Melchizedek/Christ Comparison in Hebrews 7" (Ph.D. diss., Brown University, 1996) and idem, "Synkrisis in Hebrews 7: The Rhetorical Structure and Strategy," pp. 322-47 in The Rhetorical Interpretation of Scripture: Essays from the 1996 Malibu Conference (ed. S. E. Porter and D. L. Stamps; JSNTSup 180; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999).
On chapters 8-10, see Harold W. Attridge, "The Uses of Antithesis in Hebrews 8-10," HTR 79 (1986): 1-9.
On chapter 10, see Karen Jobes, "The function of paronomasia in Hebrews 10:5-7," TJ 13 (1992): 181-91, and idem, "Rhetorical Achievement in the Hebrews 10 ‘Misquote' of Psalm 40," Bib 72 (1991): 387-96.
On chapter 11, see Alan D. Bulley, "Death and Rhetoric in the Hebrews ‘Hymn to Faith'," SR 25 (1996): 409-23, Michael R. Cosby, The Rhetorical Composition and Function of Hebrews 11: In Light of Example Lists in Antiquity (Macon: Mercer, 1988), idem, "The Rhetorical Composition of Hebrews 11," JBL 107 (1988): 257-73, and Merland Ray Miller, "What is the Literary Form of Hebrews 11?," JETS 29 (1986): 411-17.
194Daniel E. Buck, "The Rhetorical Arrangement and Function of OT [sic] Citations in the Book of Hebrews: Uncovering Their Role in the Paraenetic Discourse of Access" (Ph.D. Diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 2002).
Ronald Eugene Davis, "The Function of Old Testament Texts in the Structure of Hebrews: A Rhetorical Analysis" (Ph.D. diss.; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1994).
David A. DeSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle ‘to the Hebrews' (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).
Paolo Garuti, Alle origini dell'omiletica Cristiana. La lettera agli Ebrei: Note di analisi retorica (SBFAn 38; Jerusalem: Franciscan, 1995). As Watson writes, "We can only hope that an English translation of this important work in Italian will be made" (Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 186).
George H. Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis (Leiden: Brill, 1994; repr. Grand Rapids: Baker: 1998).
Craig R. Koester, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 36; New York: Doubleday, 2001).
Keijo Nissilä, Das Hohepriestermotiv im Hebräerbrief: Eine Exegetische Untersuchung (Schriften der finnischen exegetischen Gesellschaft; Helsinki: Oy Liiton Kirjapaino, 1979).
Übelacker, Der Hebräerbrief.
195"Placing Hebrews within the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition has had a long history in Europe which often goes unnoted, but set the agenda for modern study. Von Soden (1899:11) proposed that Hebrews was judicial rhetoric.... Spicq (1952: I, 38) proposed that Hebrews was a homily organized on the basis of the rhetorical arrangement outlined in Aristotle" (Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 182). Guthrie likewise notes that Hemmingsen, von Soden, Haering, and Windisch "perceive the book of Hebrews as structured according to patterns in ancient Greek oratory" (Guthrie, Structure, 30). Rhetorical terms can also be seen in Harold W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989).
196Harold W. Attridge, "Paraenesis in a Homily (???o? pa?a???se??): The Possible Location of, and Socialization in, the ‘Epistle to the Hebrews'," Semeia 50 (1990): 211-26.
C. Clifton Black II, "The Rhetorical Form of the Hellenistic Jewish and Early Christian Sermon: A Response to Lawrence Wills," HTR 81 (1988): 1-18.
C. F. Evans, The Theology of Rhetoric: The Epistle to the Hebrews (London: Dr. Williams's Trust, 1988).
Seán Freyne, "Reading Hebrews and Revelation Intertextually," pp. 83-93 in Intertextuality in Biblical Writings: Essays in Honour of Bas van Iersel (ed. Sipke Draisma; Kampen: Kok, 1989).
Craig R. Koester, "Hebrews, Rhetoric, and the Future of Humanity," CBQ 64 (2002): 103-23.
Barnabas Lindars, "The Rhetorical Structure of Hebrews," NTS 35 (1989): 382-406.
Linss, "Logical Terminology."
Frank J. Matera, "Moral Exhortation: The Relation between Moral Exhortation and Doctrinal Exposition in the Letter to the Hebrews," TJT 10 (1994): 169-82.
Thomas H. Olbricht, "Hebrews as Amplification," pp. 375-87 in Rhetoric and the New Testament (ed. S. E. Porter and T. H. Olbricht; JSNTSup 90; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993).
Victor C. Pfitzner, "The Rhetoric of Hebrews: Paradigm for Preaching," Lutheran Theological Journal 27 (1993): 3-12.
Steven K. Stanley, "The Structure of Hebrews from Three Perspectives," TynB 45 (1994): 245-71.
James Swetnam, "On the Literary Genre of the ‘Epistle' to the Hebrews," NovT 11 (1969): 261-69.
John R. Walters, "The Rhetorical Arrangement of Hebrews," ATJ 51/2 (1996): 59-70.
Lawrence Wills, "The Form of the Sermon in Hellenistic Judaism and Early Christianity," HTR 77 (1984): 177-99.
197Aristotle, Rhetoric 1.3. A concise summary is in Kennedy, New Testament, 19-20.
198Watson, Invention, Arrangement, 19. Kennedy gives this definition: "Epideictic is perhaps best regarded as including any discourse, oral or written, that does not aim at a specific action or decision but seeks to enhance knowledge, understanding, or belief" (New Testament, 45).
199Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 182. William Lane writes, "no one today would follow von Soden in identifying Hebrews with forensic rhetoric" (Hebrews 1-8 [WBC 47A; Dallas: Word, 1991], lxxvii.
200Victor C. Pfitzner, Hebrews (ANTC; Nashville: Abingdon, 1997), 21.
201Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 195.
202Aune, New Testament, 212.
203Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 182-83
204Lindars, "Rhetorical Structure," 383.
205Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews," 183.
207Lauri Thurén, "The General New Testament Writings," in Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 [ed. S. E. Porter; Leiden: Brill, 1997], 590. Buck says that Thurén "applies the elements of deliberative rhetoric to the body of the letter...while viewing the framework as epideictic" (Buck, "Rhetorical Arrangement," 80, n. 94).
208Olbricht, "Hebrews," 378.
209Marie E. Isaacs, Reading Hebrews and James: A Literary and Theological Commentary (Reading the New Testament Series; Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2002), 16.
210Anon., Rhet. Her. 3.8.15 (Caplan, LCL).
211Watson, Invention, 10, 24 n. 225, citing Rhet. ad Alex. 5.1427b.31ff and Quint., Inst. 3.4.11, 16.
212Kennedy, New Testament, 45.
214Black, "Rhetorical Form," 5, n. 17.
215"The classifications were heuristic, not definitive" (Mack, Rhetoric, 35).
216"The debate as to whether Hebrews represents deliberative or epideictic rhetoric shows, this author cannot so easily be pigeon-holed" (Robert P. Gordon, Hebrews [Readings; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000], 22). What Porter says about Philippians is true for Hebrews as well: "The wide diversity among those who treat the entire letter throws into serious question any claim that ancient rhetorical analysis can arrive at an objective estimation of structure.... This should make any interpreter cautious about claims made for rhetorical analysis" ("Paul," 555, 61).
217Lane, Hebrews 1-8, lxxix.
218Guthrie, Structure, 32. Koester reports that Garuti also argues against classifying Hebrews in a classical genre (Koester, "Hebrews, Rhetoric," 104, n. 6).
219Olbricht, "Aristotelian Analysis," 225-26.
220Kennedy, New Testament, 33.
221The structures suggested for each genre were suggestions, not formulas that must be followed. Hence ascertaining a genre is at best a vague hint about structure. Buck argues that since the author showed considerable freedom in the way he quoted the OT, he could be similarly creative with any use of Greco-Roman rhetorical patterns (Buck, "Rhetorical Arrangement," 95, n. 135).
222Classen, Rhetorical Criticism, 23.
223Malina, "Rhetorical Criticism," 97.
224Watson, "Rhetorical Criticism of Hebrews,"187, 201.