What's in the Word: Rethinking the Socio-rhetorical Character of the New Testament
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What's in the Word: Rethinking the Socio-rhetorical Character of the New Testament

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  11 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Explains how the recognition of the oral and socio-rhetorical character of the New Testament and its environment necessitates a change in how the New Testament literature is read. This title challenges the previously assured results of historical criticism and demonstrates how the socio-rhetorical study shifts the paradigm.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Baylor University Press (first published August 1st 2009)
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Josue Manriquez
In the final chapter of this book, Witherington states, "the world in which the NT was written was a rhetorically saturated environment and an oral culture, beyond cavil." As such, in this book Witherington has tried to show "that it is necessary to study the NT in light of Greco-Roman rhetoric, because numerous NT writers, all literate persons, were also rhetorically skilled persons. They wrote knowing and using rhetorical conventions." Thus, "if one wants to get at the intended meaning of the...more
Robert
I was intrigued by Witherington's assertion that a key element to interpreting the NT literature is (what he calls) the socio-rhetorical context. Though I'm not at all schooled in rhetoric, his arguments make a lot of sense.

However, I found the book a bit of a chore to read. Witherington's writing has always left me with an impression of arrogance and stereotypical scholarly snottiness, and this book didn't do much to change that impression. It was written on a much more technical/academic level...more
Jared
It was an interesting book. The author took a few different controversial topics and applied his method for understanding the NT. Once again he is showing why his socio-rhetoroic model is the best for understanding the NT. He covers a few controversial Bible words, and difficult passages of scripture as well. In general he is readable, but he uses some strange words as well. There is a spot where he kind of makes a fool of himself (I think he was trying to be funny, but it does not work for this...more
David
This book has some very good points that stress the need to keep in mind the oral nature of the culture in which the NT documents were composed.
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Ben Witherington III (PhD, University of Durham) is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and is on the doctoral faculty at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including The Jesus Quest, The Paul Quest, and The New York Times bestseller The Brother of Jesus. He has app...more
More about Ben Witherington III...
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