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Preaching the New Testament as Rhetoric: The Promise of Rhetorical Criticism for Expository Preaching

MacBride, Tim (2014) Preaching the New Testament as Rhetoric: The Promise of Rhetorical Criticism for Expository Preaching. Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon. 274pp. ISBN 9781625649959


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This doctoral thesis presented to the Australian College of Theology argues for an expanded definition of the task of biblical exposition: it is not merely to discern the original meaning of the text and then to apply that meaning to a contemporary audience, but also to discern the original rhetorical function of the text in order to preach a contemporary sermon with an analogous rhetorical function. In other words, the sermon is not only to exegete and apply what the text says, but also what it does.
It is proposed that the discipline of rhetorical criticism, in which much work has been done over the past few decades, provides a means by which this might be achieved in the field of New Testament preaching. Although the term “rhetorical criticism” represents a diversity of methodologies, the presuppositions and aims of biblical exposition fit most naturally with rhetorical critical approaches that use the analytical terms and methods of the New Testament writers’ contemporaries, rather than more recent or universal analyses of rhetoric.
Limiting the scope of the present investigation to the Pauline corpus, the bulk of the thesis systematically works through the various aspects of rhetorical criticism. This includes questions of rhetorical species, rhetorical arrangement, and the three different kinds of proof (ethos, pathos, and logos). In each of these areas, scholarship in the field is carefully examined to provide an up-to-date understanding of the subject. The focus at each point, however, is on how this approach can inform the task of bringing to life the rhetorical function of an ancient text in a contemporary sermon. The principles for preaching thus derived are applied to a variety of Pauline texts throughout the discussion, culminating in a workshop which looks at how a sermon series on 1 Corinthians 1–4 might be designed.

Item Type: Books / Monographs
Repository Version: Proofs
Keywords: Preaching, Homiletics, New Testament, Rhetorical Criticism
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: B - New Testament
D - Pastoral Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: Morling College
Depositing User: Dr Tim MacBride
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 04:41
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 02:32
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2012

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