Perspective Criticism: Point of View and Evaluative Guidance in Biblical Narrative

Perspective Criticism: Point of View and Evaluative Guidance in Biblical Narrative

by Gary Yamasaki


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Perspective Criticism sets out a new and illuminating biblical methodology designed to help the reader of biblical narratives in which there is a character engaged in action but no explicit indication from the storyteller on how the action is to be evaluated. Gary Yamasaki argues that in these cases we are receiving cryptic guidance from the author through the narrative technique of point-of-view. In such cases the methodology of Perspective Criticism may be applied to reveal this abstruse guidance. Gary Yamasaki provides a series of frames of analysis within the theory of Perspective Criticism which may be applied to biblical stories: the spatial, psychological, informational, temporal, phraseological, and ideological perspectives. Because the majority of the point-of-view devices found in biblical narratives are also used in cinematic storytelling, the book includes accessible analyses of film scenes, providing pop-culture illustrations of the workings of the point-of-view perspective. Gary Yamasaki concludes by applying his method to two case studies: the New Testament story of Gamaliel, and the Old Testament story of Gideon. In his work Yamasaki creates a valuable foundation for the deeper understanding of biblical narrative, a gift to anyone who has struggled with the concealed messages that should be divined in biblical point-of-view narratives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620325834
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Pages: 172
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Gary Yamasaki is Professor of Biblical Studies at Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, BC. He is the author of Watching a Biblical Narrative: Point of View in Biblical Exegesis (2007), and is the founder of the Perspective Criticism Website (

Table of Contents

1 Point-of-View Crafting: An Untapped Source of Evaluative Guidance
2 Spatial Plane of Point of View
3 Psychological Plane of Point of View
4 Informational Plane of Point of View
5 Temporal Plane of Point of View
6 Phraseological Plane of Point of View
7 Ideological Plane of Point of View
8 When the Planes Concur . . . and When They Do Not
9 A Perspective-Critical Analysis of the Butch Cassidy Clip
10 New Testament Case Study: Gamaliel (Acts
11 Old Testament Case Study: Gideon (Judges 6:36–40)
Scripture Index
Movie Index

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