Fwd: Rhetorical and Discourse Analysis of Hebrews

From: CWestf5155@aol.com
Date: Tue Mar 09 1999 - 15:18:37 EST


From: CWestf5155@aol.com
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To: jcontabile@earthlink.net
Cc: b-greek@franklinn.oit.unc.edu
Subject: Re: Rhetorical and Discourse Analysis of Hebrews
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 13:39:11 EST
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I agree with Ray in his recommendation of George H. Guthrie's <<The Structure
of Hebrews: A Text Linguistic Analysis>> (Lieden: Brill, 1994). I'm kind of
caught between saying that I benefited greatly from his input, but that I
don't find his methodology or conclusions convincing. I think that a far
better approach is modeled by Linda L. Neeley, 'A Discourse Analysis of
Hebrews', in <<Occasional Papers in Translation ad Textlinguistics>> vol. 3-4
(1987), pp. 1-146. But this is very hard to find; I suggest that you contact
SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) if you would like to get a copy.
However, her approach is probably more technical than Guthrie's and I still
don't think that it tells the whole 'story'.

For a summary of the issues on Hebrews structure up to 1986, check out David
A. Black's 'The problem of the Literary Structure of Hebrews: An Evaluation
and a Proposal', <<Grace Theological Journal>> 81, (1986) pp. 163-177. I
enjoyed his analysis quite a bit.

The giant in the field of the structure of Hebrews is A. Vanhoye--but his
analysis is based on literary criticism in which he takes the feature of
repitition and does some strange and (to some) wonderful things. At any rate,
he has a very nice summary of the mountains of work that he has done in <<The
Structure and Message of the Epistle to the Hebrews>> (Rome: Pontifical
Biblical Institute, 1989).

I happen to be doing my research on this very subject, and have reviewed and
evaluated these approaches. I might elaborate privately, if the above info
hasn't already worn you out. My approach is based on systemic linguistics. As
the good book says, "I have much to say on this subject and it is hard to
explain!"--not because you are dull of hearing, but because of time

Cindy Westfall
PhD Student, Roehampton

In a message dated 3/8/99 3:51:20 PM Mountain Standard Time,
jcontabile@earthlink.net writes:

> 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!

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