1st Edition

The Bible as Rhetoric Studies in Biblical Persuasion and Credibility

Edited By M Warner Copyright 1990
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    First Published in 1990, The Bible as Rhetoric explores the ways in which the persuasive strategies employed in the biblical texts relate (both positively and negatively) to their preoccupations with religious and historical truth. The book contains pioneering interdisciplinary papers that clarify what is at issue in the apparently competing claims that the Bible should be read ‘as literature’ and ‘as scripture’.

    Uniquely, the volume brings together philosophers, literary critics, biblical scholars, theologians, and historians of ideas who combine the best biblical and historical scholarship with a range of contemporary approaches to the study of texts, from the deconstructive and the feminist through the Wittgensteinian to those of the heirs of the tradition of practical criticism. The volume is of importance both to those interested in the applications of contemporary literary theory and to all those concerned with the relation between religious and secular readings of the Bible.

    Notes on the Contributors Biblical Translations Introduction Martin Warner Prologue 1. The Bible and the rhetorical sublime Lynn Poland Part I: Old Testament and Apocrypha 2. History and rhetoric in the prophets John Barton 3. Deconstructing the Book of Job David Clines 4. Biblical story and the heroine Margarita Stocker Part II: New Testament 5. History, truth, and narrative Stewart Sutherland 6. ‘Tales artfully spun’ Roger Trigg 7. ‘In the sermon which I have just completed, wherever I said Aristotle, I meant Saint Paul’ David Jasper 8. The Fourth Gospel’s art of rational persuasion Martin Warner 9. The World could not contain the books Michael Edwards 10. ‘Truth’ and ‘rhetoric’ in the Pauline Epistles George Kennedy Epilogue 11. The language of ecstasy and the ecstasy of language Cyril Barrett Bibliography Index of Biblical References General Index


    Martin Warner teaches philosophy at the University of Warwick and was the founding Programme Director of the Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature.

    Reviews of the original publication:

    “In this interdisciplinary collection, philosophers, literary critiques, biblical scholars, theologians, and historians of ideas explore from their various perspectives ‘the ways in which the persuasive (and related literary)  procedures of the biblical writers cut across or reinforce their concern with truth’…. The essays share a conviction that rhetorical criticism helps clarify the complex interrelated issues that arise when the Christian Bible is read as literature and as scripture. They do not represent a shared theological stance nor a common philosophical position towards truth claims.”

    -Phyllis H.  Kaminski, Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts; Detroit, Mich. Vol. 34, Iss. 3, (Summer 1992)