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Exploring the Texture of Texts

Socio-rhetorical criticism has established itself as one of the promising new methods of biblical study today. Vernon K. Robbins here provides an accessible introduction to socio-rhetorical criticism, illustrating the method by guiding the reader through the study of specific New Testament texts and stories.

An opening chapter outlines this new approach and its focus on values, convictions, and beliefs both in the texts we read and in the world in which we live. Then follow chapters on getting inside a text (inner texture), that is, studying the internal aspects of words and meanings in the text: entering the interactive world of the test (intertexture, ), that is relating the text being interpreted to a wide range of phenomena that lie outside the text: living with the text in the world (social and cultural texture), that is, examining the social and cultural locations in the world that the language of the text evokes: and shared interests in commentary and in the text (ideological texture), that is, looking at the way the text itself and interpreters of the text position themselves in relation to other individuals and groups.

Texts studied include the rich man and Jesus in Mark 10:17-22 (inner texture): the Pentecost event in Acts 2 (intertexture): the woman who anointed Jesus in Luke 7:36-50 and John 9 (social and cultural texture): the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 and "women keep silent" in 1 Corinthians 14: 26-40 (ideological texture).

Vernon K. Robbins is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion, Emory University, and the author of Ancient Quotes and Anecdotes: From Crib to Crypt and The Rhetoric of Pronouncement.
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About the Author

Vernon K. Robbins is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion, Emory University, and the author of Ancient Quotes and Anecdotes: From Crib to Crypt and The Rhetoric of Pronouncement.


"Exploring the Texture of Texts successfully introduces the results of Robbins' pioneering scholarship and intellectual activity through more than a decade.This is the manual students of socio-rhetorical criticism have been waiting for!" Bernard Combrink, Department of New Testament, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa--Sanford Lakoff "This is a marvelous book. Students will use it to find their way through the many different approaches to early Christian texts currently being pursued. Teachers will use it as the primary text for the standard course in New Testament criticism ("exegesis"). Scholars of Christian origins will use it to render utterly honest readings of their texts as social data for redescription. And the guild of New Testament studies will learn the steps for dancing at last in public on the stage of cultural critique. Bravo Vernon! You have written a book that shows why rhetorical savvy must call the tune for the next time around. Let the music begin." Burton L. Mack, School of Theology at Claremont--Sanford Lakoff ."..strongly recommended for all interpreters of the Bible as essential 'continuing education' in the art and science of interpretation." David A. deSilva, reviewing for Ashland Theological Seminary--Sanford Lakoff "Ashland Theological Journal " ." excellent guide for reading the Christian Scriptures, particularly the Gospels... I recommend this as an excellent text to use alongside a more comprehensive introduction to the Christian Scriptures. It will stir the student's minds." Robert Doran, Amherst College, for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly--Sanford Lakoff "Catholic Biblical Quarterly " ."..students and teachers will find that each chapter, together with its study guide, challenges them to experiment with a variety of approaches to interpretation, all of which should enrich their appreciation of the text." David G.--Sanford Lakoff "Review of Biblical Literature " "This delightful book provides a comprehensive but accessible introduction to the practice of sociorhetorical criticism developed by excellent orientation for students at the beginning of their NT studies. Even scholars working in a different hermeneutical tradition will find this a useful introduction to important developments in NT research." Johan C.--Sanford Lakoff "Religious Studies Review "

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