Influence: On Rhetoric and Biblical Interpretation


The influence of the Bible in human history is staggering. Biblical texts have inspired grand social advancements, intellectual inquiries, and aesthetic achievements. Yet, the Bible has also given rise to hatred, violence, and oppression – often with deadly consequences. How does the Bible exert such extraordinary influence? The short answer is rhetoric. In Influence: On Rhetoric and Biblical Interpretation, Michal Beth Dinkler demonstrates that, contrary to popular opinion, rhetoric is not inherently “empty” or disingenuous. Rhetoric refers to the art of persuasion. Dinkler argues that the Bible is by nature rhetorical, and that understanding the art of persuasion is therefore vital for navigating biblical literature and its interpretation. Influence invites readers to think critically about biblical rhetoric and the rhetoric of biblical interpretation, and offers a clear and compelling guide for how to do so.

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Michal Beth Dinkler, Th.D. (2012), Harvard Divinity School, is Associate Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School. The author of several works on biblical rhetoric, her most recent monograph is Literary Criticism and the New Testament (YUP, 2019).
"It is the measure fo a good book that it stimulates good questions and prompts vigorous discussion. This book by D. is such a book, and is to be commended."
Ben Witherington III, in Theologischen Literaturzeitung 147 (2022).

Influence: Rhetoric and Biblical Interpretation
Michal Beth Dinkler

 1 Rhetoric: What It Is (and Isn’t) and How It Has Been Studied
 2 Approaches to Biblical Rhetoric
 3 Reading the Rhetorics of First Peter
 Conclusion  Acknowledgments
 Works Cited
Anyone interested in the Bible’s staggering influence throughout human history and today.
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