rhetorical criticism

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Examination of the devices employed to create a literary unit out of a piece of prose or poetry. Study of biblical books to assess them from this point of view asks how they accomplish their purpose in communication to the reader. Is the purpose achieved? What categories of material are used? What are the occasions which elicit the rhetorical units? In classical rhetoric a speech was divided clearly into three parts, and it has been suggested that Paul wrote Galatians in such a scheme. His letters were to be read aloud and to communicate a message; they were more than mere business letters such as were discovered in the papyri in Egypt by G. A. Deissmann, even though some of the same vocabulary is used.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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