Ancient rhetoric and the New Testament : the influence of elementary Greek composition /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Parsons, Mikeal C. (Mikeal Carl), 1957- author.
Imprint:Waco, Texas : Baylor University Press, [2018]
Description:x, 326 pages ; 24 cm
Subject:Bible. -- New Testament -- Language, style.
Bible. -- New Testament.
Greek language, Biblical.
Greek language, Biblical.
Format: Print Book
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Other authors / contributors:Martin, Michael W. (Professor of New Testament), author.
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:For the ancient Greeks and Romans, eloquence was essential to public life and identity, perpetuating class status and power. The three-tiered study of rhetoric was thus designed to produce sons worthy of and equipped for public service. Rhetorical competency enabled the elite to occupy their proper place in society. The oracular and literary techniques represented in Greco-Roman education proved to be equally central to the formation of the New Testament. Detailed comparisons of the sophisticated rhetorical conventions, as cataloged in the ancient rhetorical handbooks (e.g., Quintilian), reveal to what degree and frequency the New Testament was shaped by ancient rhetoric's invention, argument, and style. But Ancient Rhetoric and the New Testament breaks new ground. Instead of focusing on more advanced rhetorical lessons that elite students received in their school rooms, Michael Martin and Mikeal Parsons examine the influence of the progymnasmata--the preliminary compositional exercises that bridge the gap between grammar and rhetoric proper--and their influence on the New Testament. Martin and Parsons use Theon's (50-100 CE) compendium as a baseline to measure the way primary exercises shed light on the form and style of the New Testament's composition. Each chapter examines a specific rhetorical exercise and its unique hortatory or instructional function, and offers examples from ancient literature before exploring the use of these techniques in the New Testament. --
Other form:Online version: Parsons, Mikeal C. (Mikeal Carl), 1957- author. Ancient rhetoric and the New Testament Waco, Texas : Baylor University Press, [2018] 9781481308816
Review by Choice Review

Solomon's words "to the making of many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12) ring as true as ever, but one can only be thankful that the present book has seen the light of day. Parsons (Baylor Univ.) and Martin (Lubbock Christian Univ.) have done the academic community a great service with this thorough examination of ancient rhetoric and the New Testament. First-rate scholarship, the book is copiously researched and garnished lavishly with citations. After a brief historical introduction, the authors provide a fine exposition of ancient rhetoric. They demonstrate that the writers of the New Testament either consciously or unconsciously often wrote in the style that was part and parcel of the larger elite literary milieu. The authors do not intend the book to be exhaustive, and they focus mainly on Alexandrian sophist Aelius Theon's progymnasmata (exercises on rhetoric), the date of which coincides almost exactly with the date of composition of the New Testament. New Testament scholars will welcome this book with open arms. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --William J. Pankey, William Rainey Harper College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review