The Rhetoric of the Gospel: Theological Artistry in the Gospels and Acts

The Rhetoric of the Gospel: Theological Artistry in the Gospels and Acts

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by C. Clifton Black
     
 

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While most books on biblical rhetoric focus primarily on the epistles, this volume from prominent scholar C. Clifton Black considers the variety of rhetorical critical approaches now being applied to the Gospels (including Luke-Acts). This updated edition takes into account recent research since the first volume was published in 2001 and features two brand new

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Overview

While most books on biblical rhetoric focus primarily on the epistles, this volume from prominent scholar C. Clifton Black considers the variety of rhetorical critical approaches now being applied to the Gospels (including Luke-Acts). This updated edition takes into account recent research since the first volume was published in 2001 and features two brand new chapters. Black provides an overview of the different forms of rhetorical criticism, with examples from the Gospel of John; studies of characterization in Matthew and Luke; an analysis of classical rhetorical criteria found in Mark and Luke-Acts; and an analysis of the rhetoric of the parables with implications for contemporary preaching.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Professor Black is a conscientious reader, a judicious scholar, and a gifted writer; and this methodologically sophisticated and well-informed collection of his essays on the gospels and Acts has much to teach all of us. This is rhetorical criticism at its finest."
--Dale C. Allison, Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

"Clifton Black has spent his academic life loving scripture. In this book Black marvels as the creative artistry of these early Christian preachers who produced literature that changed the world. Something about the truth of Jesus Christ called for an unprecedented outburst of literary artistry. We could have no better guide through the art that is scripture than Clifton Black."
--William H. Willimon, United Methodist Bishop and Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School

"Is it possible for a volume on ancient rhetoric and the gospel to be scholarly, wise, pertinent, and witty all at once? When it's in the hands of Clifton Black, the answer is clearly yes. This welcome revised and expanded edition of Black's excellent Rhetoric of the Gospel is a magnificent resource for the student and the preacher alike. The chapter where Black brings the old lawyer and rhetorician Quintilian into the homiletics classroom, just to name but one of many delicious morsels in this volume, crackles with intellectual electricity, humor, and insight."
--Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"Here is a book for all who appreciate the power of language. Written for those charged to communicate the faith of the New Testament witnesses, it is also to be commended to those who may be suspicious of either rhetoric or the Bible. With understated grace, Clifton Black's updated 2001 collection of essays instructs and charms, and embodies what it is getting at."
--M. Eugene Boring, I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of New Testament Emeritus, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University

"Black explores the rhetoric of the New Testament in an original and insightful way. He does not limit his treatment to the standard handbooks nor does he confine his insights to the most obvious places in the New Testament. He guides readers through a wide range of ancient theory--including the Characters of Theophrastus and Longinus' On the Sublime--and shows their relevance in unexpected places, such as the Lukan parables, the last supper discourses of the Fourth Gospel, and a mysterious narrative in Acts. With an eye to his audience, he finally focuses on the parabolic rhetoric appropriate to preaching, using the ancient masters Augustine and Quintillian. Any Christian orator, a.k.a. preacher, will find this work enormously helpful."
--Harold Attridge, Sterling Professor of Divinity, Yale Divinity School

"This book is a delight. Clifton Black shares his unique capacities for wit and clarity in coherent theological appreciations of New Testament narratives, read through the eyes of classical rhetoric. His final chapters on preaching may shock--and educate."
--Francis J. Moloney, SDB, Senior Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780664238223
Publisher:
Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date:
08/12/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Here is a book for all who appreciate the power of language. Written for those charged to communicate the faith of the New Testament witnesses, it is also to be commended to those who may be suspicious of either rhetoric or the Bible. With understated grace, Clifton Black's updated 2001 collection of essays instructs and charms, and embodies what it is getting at."
--M. Eugene Boring, I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of New Testament Emeritus, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University

"Is it possible for a volume on ancient rhetoric and the gospel to be scholarly, wise, pertinent, and witty all at once? When it's in the hands of Clifton Black, the answer is clearly yes. This welcome revised and expanded edition of Black's excellent Rhetoric of the Gospel is a magnificent resource for the student and the preacher alike. The chapter where Black brings the old lawyer and rhetorician Quintilian into the homiletics classroom, just to name but one of many delicious morsels in this volume, crackles with intellectual electricity, humor, and insight."
--Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"This book is a delight. Clifton Black shares his unique capacities for wit and clarity in coherent theological appreciations of New Testament narratives, read through the eyes of classical rhetoric. His final chapters on preaching may shock--and educate."
--Francis J. Moloney, SDB, Senior Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

"Professor Black is a conscientious reader, a judicious scholar, and a gifted writer; and this methodologically sophisticated and well-informed collection of his essays on the gospels and Acts has much to teach all of us. This is rhetorical criticism at its finest."
--Dale C. Allison, Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

"Black explores the rhetoric of the New Testament in an original and insightful way. He does not limit his treatment to the standard handbooks nor does he confine his insights to the most obvious places in the New Testament. He guides readers through a wide range of ancient theory--including the Characters of Theophrastus and Longinus' On the Sublime--and shows their relevance in unexpected places, such as the Lukan parables, the last supper discourses of the Fourth Gospel, and a mysterious narrative in Acts. With an eye to his audience, he finally focuses on the parabolic rhetoric appropriate to preaching, using the ancient masters Augustine and Quintillian. Any Christian orator, a.k.a. preacher, will find this work enormously helpful."
--Harold Attridge, Sterling Professor of Divinity, Yale Divinity School

"Clifton Black has spent his academic life loving scripture. In this book Black marvels as the creative artistry of these early Christian preachers who produced literature that changed the world. Something about the truth of Jesus Christ called for an unprecedented outburst of literary artistry. We could have no better guide through the art that is scripture than Clifton Black."
--William H. Willimon, United Methodist Bishop and Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School

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Meet the Author

C. Clifton Black is Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a member of the editorial advisory board for WJK's highly esteemed New Testament Library series and the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles, including Mark (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries) and Anatomy of the New Testament (seventh edition).

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The Rhetoric of the Gospel: Theological Artistry in the Gospels and Acts 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
dgregoryburns More than 1 year ago
In recent years there has been a plethora of “new” methods for studying Scripture, and particularly the New Testament. These methods  have beguiled biblical scholars, rhetorical analysis has been just one but has been one of the most popular.  “The Rhetoric of the Gospel” is a collection of previously published essays by Princeton Seminary professor  C. Clifton Black.  Black is a great guide through the  rhetorical maze.   He effectively illustrates rhetorical features in New Testament narratives. Two essays focus on formalist literary techniques. The first investigates the protagonists in Matthew's gospel.  The "flat" characters—including Jesus—consistently devoted to doing God's will. The second essay looks at a single, minor character in the book of Acts, the "feckless" John Mark, who appears briefly in a handful of scattered references.   In the last essay of the book Black ranges from Hebrew prophets (Jonah) to church fathers (Augustine) isn support of the cause of "parabolic preaching." One of the things I most appreciated while reading “The Rhetoric of the Gospel” was Black’s practical approach  for looking at the redemptive aims of New Testament rhetoric. Not a book for your run of the mill reader.  It is clear the book is intended for an academic audience.  However, while there were little things here and there which I may have disagreed with the author on, over  all this a solid book.