Figuring Jesus: The Power of Rhetorical Figures of Speech in by Keith A. Reich

By Keith A. Reich

This booklet examines the Lukan Jesus' speech, in particular his use of rhetorical figures of speech, as a method of opting for Luke's message and rhetorical technique of persuasion. Classical rhetoric ruled either Greco-Roman larger schooling and public discourse within the first-century Mediterranean global. therefore, either authors and audiences during this period have been conversant in the rudiments of rhetoric whether they had formal rhetorical education. Rhetorical figures of speech could were simply famous by way of an old viewers, arresting their awareness. Luke used figures of speech at the lips of Jesus as a method of persuading his viewers of his role-reversing message that threatened to show the non secular, political, social, and monetary platforms of the Roman Empire upside-down.

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73 30 chapter one lips of Jesus as a means of argumentation and persuasion. If the fijigures in chapter two make the gospel message easy to listen to, the fijigures in chapter three demonstrate how Luke pulls his audience into the message of the gospel. He does this primarily in two ways. The fijirst is by using fijigures of speech as a means of portraying Jesus as one who is victorious in argument against his narrative interlocutors. Luke portrays Jesus as a Socrates like character who is able to overcome hostile adversaries through clever use of fijigures of speech.

18 This is the example given by Theon for the practice of inflection within a fable. The noun, lion, is inflected in two cases, genitive and nominative, as well as once as a subject accusative pronoun referring to the lion. , from direct discourse to indirect. Within parables polyptoton is one way to determine the main character or subject, thus clarifying the point of the parable. In Theon’s preliminary exercises he teaches his students to expand upon chreia19 and fables20 by using grammatical inflection.

C. A. Alexander, “Acts and Intellectual Biography,” In The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting: Vol. I: Ancient Literary Setting, (eds. Bruce W. Winter, and Andrew D. Clarke, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1993), 31–63. Alexander notes the similarity of the prefaces to both Greek technical treatises and what she calls intellectual biography. 56 Clare K. Rothschild, Luke-Acts and the Rhetoric of History: An Investigation of Early Christian Historiography, (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 67–68.

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