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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Rhetorical criticism has emerged since the mid-1970s as an important form of criticism of the New Testament. This chapter offers a critical summary and assessment of such research. There are several different types of rhetorical criticism, but the major form practiced in New Testament studies is based upon utilizing the categories of ancient rhetoric as an interpretive tool. The chapter criticizes this approach for failing to assess accurately the ancient context of the New Testament. Then a number of positive ways that rhetoric in various forms—analysis of style, the New Rhetoric, discourse analysis, text linguistics, and socio-rhetorical criticism—can be used in New Testament studies are proposed.

Keywords: rhetorical criticism, ancient rhetoric, style, linguistics, discourse analysis, new rhetoric

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