Re: Rhetorical and Discourse Analysis of Hebrews

Date: Tue Mar 09 1999 - 14:11:55 EST

John Contabile inquires:
I am in the process of exegeting the book of Hebrews along with a couple of
friends. We have discovered that we need to do some outside reading
concerning the rhetorical style used by the writers of the New Testament -
especially the author of Hebrews. If anyone could recommend a good book or
two it would be greatly appreciated. I heard that Burton Mack's "Rhetoric
and the New Testament" was good, but it is out of print and I cannot find
it. Also, if anyone can pass on some advice regarding the discourse
analysis of Hebrews we would appreciate it. We have found that perhaps we
have bitten off more than we can chew!

Hundreds of pages have been written in recent years about the use of
rhetoric by NT writers, of which the Hermeneia commentary on Galatians
by Hans Dieter Betz stands out as a giant, revealing vastly more
knowledge of the Hellenic and Hellenistic cultures and writers than
any other work.

But on Hebrews, I hope you will not overlook the really ground-breaking
(and then ignored for 60-70 years) commentary on Hebrews involving
rhetorical analysis by H. von Soden, in the _Handkommentar zum n.T._
series, published 1890 [3rd edition 1899] (not easy to find).

And I was tremendously helped in my early years by an article in ZNW xviii
(1918), pp. 145-163, by von Haering (who also discusses von Soden's work).

Trust us old guys to keep mentioning the older guys.

Edward Hobbs

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