Rhetoric and Galatians
Assessing an Approach to Paul's Epistle
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This monograph challenges the accepted notion that Galatians is either a sample of classical rhetoric or should be interpreted in light of Graeco-Roman rhetorical handbooks. It demonstrates that the handbooks of Aristotle, Cicero, et al. discuss a form of oratory which was limited with respect to subject, venue and style of communication, and that Galatians falls outside such boundaries. The inapplicability of ancient canons of rhetoric is reinforced by a detailed comparison of Galatians with the handbooks, a survey of patristic attitudes towards Paul's communicative technique, and interaction with twentieth-century discussions of the nature of New Testament Greek. Dr Kern concludes that rhetorical handbooks were never a tool of literary criticism and that they cannot assist the search for a distinctly Pauline rhetoric. Thus this study has implications not only for Galatians, but also for other New Testament epistles.
"A thorough study of the rhetorical handbooks is followed by an application of the findings to Galatians." Interpretation "...Kern presents a thoughtful critique of ancient rhetorical methodology as applied to Paul's letters." Review of Biblical Literature "Scholars in several fields will find Rhetoric and Galatians a valuable resource, with its detailed but very readable definitions and discussions of current scholarship. Kern's study provides an up-to-date map of the territory, an innovative arrangment of the questions that should be addressed, and sound proposals for the directions of further inquiry." --Rhetorical Review