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Rhetoric at the Boundaries
The Art and Theology of New Testament Chain-Link Transitions

By Bruce W. Longenecker

Rhetoric at the Boundaries
Hardback, 300 pages $44.95
Published: 10th November 2005
ISBN: 9781932792249
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, New Testament

In Rhetoric at the Boundaries Bruce W. Longenecker explores the way in which New Testament authors used an ancient rhetorical device to effect smooth transitions, both large and small. His study demonstrates how recognition of this rhetorical technique proves decisive for New Testament interpretation. Longenecker accomplishes this by examining the evidence for chain-link interlocks in a variety of ancient sources, including the Hebrew scriptures, Jewish and Roman authors of the Graeco-Roman world, and the Graeco-Roman rhetoricians. He then applies the results of the survey to fifteen problematic passages of the New Testament. In each case, Longenecker establishes the presence of chain-link interlock and highlights the structural, literary, and theological significance of the rhetorical device for New Testament interpretation.

1 Introduction
2 The Rhetoricians' Recommendations
3 Chain-Link Interlock among Other Ancient Rhetorical Devices
4 The Anatomy of Chain-Link Interlock
5 Ancient Examples of Chain-Link Interlock
6 Chain-Link Interlock and the Logic of Romans
7 Chain-Link Interlock and the Structure of the Apocalypse
8 Chain-Link Interlock and the Theology of the Fourth Gospel
9 Chain-Link Interlock and the Narrative of Acts
10 Chain-Link Interlock and the Interpretation of Acts
11 Conclusions
Works Cited
Index of Biblical and Ancient Sources
Index of Authors

Longenecker has produced a stunning study which zeroes in on a surprisingly neglected literary and rhetorical phenomenon in the Bible—the chain-link or interlock construction (A-b/a-B).  Longenecker traces the chain-link through non-Biblical literature to the Old and New Testaments, distinguishing it from other literary and rhetorical linkage techniques.  His careful and convincing formalist investigation of the chain-link constructions will surely prove itself an indispensable resource for the exegesis of Biblical texts.  A must-read for all serious biblical scholars.

David E. Aune, Professor of New Testament, University of Notre Dame

Bruce Longenecker has identified a gap in our understanding of the structure of ancient texts: the chain-link transition.  He carefully defines the form, function, and character of this transition within the Graeco-Roman rhetorical tradition, ancient texts, and the New Testament.  This accomplishment would be splendid enough, but he also discusses the theological, structural, and historical significance of chain-link interlock. Longenecker provides a fresh and welcomed contribution to New Testament studies.

—Duane F. Watson, Professor of New Testament Studies, Malone College

Bruce W. Longenecker is Professor of Early Christianity and W. W. Melton Chair of Religion at Baylor University. He is the author or editor of numerous books including The Lost Letters of Pergamum (2003), Luke, Paul and the Graeco-Roman World (2002), Narrative Dynamics in Paul (2002), The Triumph of Abraham's God (1998), 2 Esdras (1995), and Eschatology and the Covenant (1991).

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 300 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL006100, REL006220
 Baylor University Press

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