Rhetorical questions (henceforth RQs) often express a premise in a logical argument. Although the use of RQs in arguments has been widely noted, the modes of reasoning underlying the arguments have not received sufficient attention. The present study investigates argumentative RQs in the prose dialogue in Genesis through Kings in the light of pragmatic argumentation theory. Two logical forms, modus tollens and denying the antecedent, are identified as accounting for the majority of arguments expressed by RQs. The first type is generally intended to deductively establish its conclusion, while the second, formally invalid form is used presumptively to challenge the addressee to justify his position. There is also a presumptive variety of the modus tollens argument, which is based on a subjective premise. Both modus tollens and denying the antecedent have similar linguistic representations and can be effective means of refusing directives.
Previous studies argue that the Elder composed the letter to recommend Demetrius to Gaius, and that Third John therefore falls into the “letter of recommendation” genre. After assessing the differences between common letters of recommendation and Third John, this study examines the rhetoric of Third John in an attempt to show that it is not a letter of recommendation, but rather an epideictic rhetorical attempt to restore the Elder’s honor (discredited by Diotrephes) in Gaius’ eyes and persuade him to detach himself from Diotrephes’ reprehensible behavior by extending hospitality to the Elder’s envoys.
Focusing on its rhetorical structure, this article argues that the Song of Deborah in Judg 5 may have been composed not so much primarily to celebrate a victory, but to serve as a polemic against Israelite non-participation in military campaigns
against foreign enemies. Possible implications of such a reading on the song’s relationship with the prose account in Judg 4 and its date of composition are also explored.
Especially since the publication of H. D. Betz’s commentary in 1979 much attention has been given to rhetorical analysis of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Discussion has focused on the species of Galatians’ rhetoric, i.e., whether it is forensic, deliberative or epideictic; little attention has been given to its style. This paper is an attempt to supply that lack. It begins by describing stylistic ornamentation of Galatians with respect to vocabulary and syntax and proceeds to discuss the presence of plain, middle and grand styles in Galatians. Finally it considers the implications of stylistic analysis for interpretation of Galatians.
I will rely on insights from Halliday’s register theory to explain the Markan Jesus’ use of a functional variety of language I call procedural register. The identification of procedural register in the main section of the Olivet Discourse (vv. 5b-23) will be shown to reveal the rhetorical design of the discourse within a first temporal horizon, of direct relevance for the audience and addressing the disciples’ question (v. 4). The absence of procedural register in vv. 24-27 indicates the opening of a second horizon in the speech, lacking immediate impact for the audience and no longer addressing the disciples’ question.
Several considerations suggest that the sailors’ lot casting in Jonah 1 is unusual and meant to be both surprising and literarily delightful. The most important of these is the correspondence between the sailors and the Ninevites within the book’s rhetorical structure. This correspondence suggests that the sailors’ lot casting is a particularly Israelite practice with the sailors themselves appearing as adepts in Israelite ritual activity. That depiction corresponds to the Ninevites’ ability to know precisely how to repent in chapter 3. In both cases, the foreigners are portrayed in particularly pious ways in contrast to the reluctant prophet.
This paper proposes a new interpretation of Eph 4,12 based on a rhetorical analysis of the thought in the section (4,7-16). This structural approach has favored the interpretative clues provided by the text itself and has clarified the meaning of a NT hapax legomenon (katartismo/v). The prepositional sequence in Eph 4,12 expresses agreement (pro/v + accusative), purpose (eiv) and result (eiv), in this order. Such an interpretation, in accordance with the train of thought of the whole section, stresses a relationship of agreement between Christ’s gift and the ministry of the Word for building up his body.
The common reading of plhro/w in Col 1,25 has emphasized the apostolic task of preaching the gospel everywhere. We agree with other scholars that such a completion has not only spatial meaning but also a qualitative one. Yet, our research goes further: what kind of quality is this? The rhetorical devices of «accumulation» and «reversal» combined in 1,24-29 point to an ethical purpose. In this sense, «bringing to completion the word of God» means preaching the word, but also making everyone mature in Christ. The phrase includes both the diffusion of the gospel and the achievement of its ethical purpose.
After having shown that Gal 5,13-25 forms a rhetorical and semantic unit, the article examines Gal 5,17, a crux interpretum, and proves that the most plausible reading is this one: 'For the flesh desires against the Spirit — but the Spirit desires against the flesh, for those [powers] fight each other — to prevent you from doing those things you would', and draws its soteriological consequences.