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Author: Keith A. This book examines the Lukan Jesus' speech, specifically his use of rhetorical figures of speech, as a means of determining Luke's message and rhetorical strategy of persuasion. Classical rhetoric dominated both Greco-Roman higher education and public discourse in the first-century Mediterranean world. Thus, both authors and audiences in this era were familiar with the rudiments of rhetoric whether or not they had formal rhetorical training. Rhetorical figures of speech would have been easily recognized by an ancient audience, arresting their attention.

Luke used figures of speech on the lips of Jesus as a means of persuading his audience of his role-reversing message that threatened to turn the religious, political, social, and economic systems of the Roman Empire upside-down. More Options Prices excl. Add to Cart. The bulk is forthtelling, or spiritual insight: exhortation, reproof, and instruction. The remainder is foretelling, or spiritual foresight: prediction of immediate and distant events to come.

These prophecies were not intended to satisfy curiosity, but to show that God is in sovereign control over all of history. Most of these predictions have already been fulfilled, because they concerned the judgment of various nations including Israel and Judah. Some anticipated the coming Messiah and were fulfilled in the first advent of our Lord. Others await fulfillment in the events associated with His second advent. There is a great diversity and individuality among the prophets ranging from the sophistication of Isaiah to the simplicity of Amos.

Their personalities, backgrounds, interests, and writing styles vary widely. These writings usually take the form of collected oracles that are not always in chronological order. They utilize poetic parallelism, parables, allegories, and other figurative language as well as covenant lawsuits e. Two examples are the book of Jonah and Amos 4. The book of Revelation is a highly structured work that combines elements of almost all the literary forms in the Bible, including figurative language, parallelism, typology and symbols, epic, narrative, lyric and narrative poetry, and praise.

The three dominant literary types in this book are apocalypse, prophecy, and epistle.


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Apocalyptic literature appears in parts of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah as well as extrabiblical books dating from about B. The book of Revelation combines these features with a genuinely prophetic word for the church, and puts all of this in the form of an epistle Rev. The Revelation is full of contrasting themes: light vs.

Figuring Jesus : the power of rhetorical figures of speech in the Gospel of Luke.

The book abounds with archetypal images universal qualities of human experience. Its richness in symbolism e. Much of its structure revolves around the number seven seven churches, ; seven seals, ; seven trumpets, ; seven signs, ; seven bowls, ; seven final events, Because of the abrupt shifts in the visions and events, it is difficult to arrange them in a clear chronological sequence. The Revelation makes abundant use of Old Testament imagery and ties together many biblical thematic strands into a great portrait of the consummation of all things.

As it concludes the plot of Scripture from eternity to eternity, it shows that history is leading to a purposeful climax under the sovereign rule of the living God. They are highly episodic and do not fit the other literary categories like heroic narrative. Though they are full of biographical material, the gospels are really thematic portraits of the God-man, taken from four different perspectives.


  1. Platelets: Receptors, adhesion, secretion Part A.
  2. The “honor-status reversal” motif in Scripture, part 1?
  3. Figuring Jesus;
  4. Knowing the Scriptures: How to Read and Understand the Bible.
  5. Why are these books listed?.
  6. The gospels combine blocks of sayings, dialogues, and narratives to confront the reader with the unique claims and credentials of Christ. They are four complementary accounts that provide a composite picture of the Savior in such a way that the total is greater than the sum of the parts. In a highly selective manner, each develops major themes in the life of Christ with particular stress on the events of the last week.

    The gospels depict the conflict between belief and unbelief and build to the climax of the crucifixion and resurrection. Another major theme is the work of Jesus in relation to the kingdom of God. He was a master of using analogies in nature and human experience to illustrate His teachings. His application of similes, metaphors, parables, allegories, hyperbole, irony, paradox, proverbs, and questions is striking and illuminating. There are several excellent examples of oratory in the Scriptures. That the Lord Jesus possessed an unsurpassed oratorical ability is clear from His brief sayings to His extended discourses.

    The Sermon on the Mount Matt. Those who were privileged to hear these words were astonished at His teaching Matt. The apostle Paul was also a skillful and effective orator. The book of Acts records the effect of his speeches and teachings on different audiences ; ; ; ; His address before the Areopagus in Acts , although cut short by the audience, illustrates some of the features of classical rhetoric.

    Paul began by using the classic form of the exordium, or introduction, to gain the attention and interest of his hearers. By using an anecdote and quoting from Stoic poets, he sought to win common ground with his sophisticated audience. Beginning in verse 30, Paul moved into the second part of his address, the propositio, or statement of his thesis. But the resurrection of the dead was too much for this Greek audience that viewed the spirit as good but the body as evil.

    Figuring Jesus – The Power of Rhetorical Figures of Speech in the Gospel of Luke | brill

    On one end of the spectrum of letters is the personal, nonliterary letter; on the other end is the formal epistle that is intended for the public and posterity. The epistles of the New Testament are unusual in that they combine elements of both, in varying combinations. Most of them, like 1 and 2 Thessalonians, generally follow the standard form of ancient letters: the name of the writer, the name of the recipient, a greeting, a wish or thanksgiving, the body of the letter, and a final greeting and farewell.

    But Hebrews lacks most of these elements, and 1 John lacks all of them. Nine of the New Testament epistles are addressed to churches or groups of churches they were to be read aloud in congregational meetings , and four 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon are addressed to individuals. All of them arose out of specific occasions. Some are formal in nature e.

    There is also a wide variation in the amount of theological content, though none of the epistles were simply intended to be theological treatises. Formal or informal, they all bear the mark of apostolic authority. The literary quality of the epistles does not surface in their form but in the stylistic richness that they exhibit throughout. There are lyric passages as in Romans ; Ephesians ; 1 Timothy ; and 2 Timothy The epistles also enhance their persuasiveness through passages written in an exalted style see 1 Cor.

    Latest Articles Standing Together In Victory, Pt. Metaphor A metaphor involves a direct or implied comparison of two unlike things.

    Keith A. Reich

    Also see Psalm ; Jeremiah ; Luke ; Revelation Figures of association Metonomy In metonomy, the name of one object or concept is used for another because of an association or similarity between the two. Synecdoche In a synecdoche, a part is used for a whole, or a whole is used for a part. Also see Psalm ; Isaiah ; John ; 1 Peter Figures of humanization Personification Personification is a figure of speech which takes a human characteristic and applies it to an object, quality, or idea.

    Also see Leviticus ,28; Matthew ; Romans ; 1 Corinthians Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism is a figure of speech which takes a human characteristic and applies it to God. Also see Exodus ; Psalm ; Isaiah ; John Apostrophe Apostrophe is a figure of speech in which an exclamation is addressed to an object as if it were a person. Also see 2 Samuel ; Psalm ; Ezekiel ,4,8; 1 Corinthians Figures of illusion Irony Irony is an expression that denotes the opposite of what is meant by the words themselves.

    Hyperbole In hyperbole, the writer or speaker exaggerates to create a strong effect. Also see Numbers ; Deuteronomy ; Psalm ; Matthew Figures of understatement Euphemism A euphemistic figure substitutes an inoffensive or agreeable expression for one that may offend or suggest something distasteful. A euphemism for death. Also see Leviticus ; 2 Kings ; Ecclesiastes ; John Litotes Litotes involves belittling or the use of a negative statement to affirm a truth. Also see Genesis ; Psalm ; Acts ; Romans Figures of emphasis Pleonasm Pleonasm is a figure that uses an excessive number of words for the sake of emphasis.

    Also see Genesis ,24,28; ; Exodus ; 2 Kings ; 1 John Repetition Emphasis is gained by a number of techniques that repeat the same word, phrase, or sentence. Also see Deuteronomy ; Psalm ; ; 1 Corinthians Climax This figure lists a series of actions or qualities and repeats each one.

    follow link Also see Hosea ; Romans ; ; James Figures requiring completion Ellipsis Ellipsis refers to the omission of one or more words that must be supplied by the reader to complete the thought. Also see 1 Chronicles ; Psalm ; Ezekiel ; Hebrews Zeugma In this figure, a word modifies two or more words but strictly refers to only one of them. Also see Exodus ; Deuteronomy ; 2 Kings ; 1 Corinthians Aposiopesis This is a rhetorical figure that breaks off a thought in mid-sentence.

    Also see Psalm ; Luke cf. Extended Figures of Speech Parables Parables are extended figures of comparison that often use short stories to teach a truth or answer a question. Allegories The parables in the gospels range from similitudes to true parables to allegories. Also see Isaiah ; Daniel ; Matthew ,17; Luke Riddles A riddle is a concise and puzzling statement posed as a problem to be solved or explained.

    Fables A fable is a fictitious narrative intended to enforce a useful truth or a moral lesson. Symbols and Types Symbols Symbols are figures of representation in which one thing is used to suggest another. Blood symbolized the life of an animal or human Lev.

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    Types Types are prophetic symbols. Melchizedek was a type of Christ Gen. David was a type of Christ Ps. Also see 1 Corinthians ; ,11; 2 Cor. Narrative Narrative, or story, is the most common literary form in the Bible. Creation and Consummation There are a remarkable number of parallels between the first and last three chapters of the Bible. Epic An epic is a long narrative, often written in an elevated poetic style, that combines many episodes.


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    Law A good portion of the narratives in Exodus 20 through Deuteronomy 31 is written in the form of legislation for the nation of Israel.