Luke-Acts & Rhetoric of History
An Investigation of Early Christian Historiography
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen
zum Neuen Testament 2. No. 175

By Clare K. Rothschild
August 2004
Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 3161482034
387 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$117.50 Paper Original

In the wake of overwhelming scholarly interest, over the past fifty years, in Lukan theology, the author describes how Luke-Acts merits consideration on the grounds of ancient historiography. In a close exegetical analysis, she describes the author of Luke-Acts arguing a 'case' (rhetoric) for his version of the events of Christian origins (history). As old as Homer, yet capturing many modern approaches as well, certain conventions of historiography can be broadly subsumed under the category of rhetoric.

This present work is, in large part, a study of those conventions, precise definitions of which have long proved elusive to scholars of Graeco-Roman historiography. Like ancient philosophy, ancient history is, after all, a literary art of exposing, not arguing truth. According to Quintilian, history is written ad narrandum non ad probandum. Diodorus Siculus testifies to this similarity in his description of history as philosophy by example. Arguing by means of proofs is, at least in theory, contrary to exposing truth and as such the duty of other professions, such as politics, drama and law. By definition, historiography, like philosophy, eschews rhetoric.

Critical investigation of the purpose of the Acts. Investigations of Acts as history. Methods of authentication in Hellinistic & early Roman period historiography. Historical recurrence as rhetoric. Predictions in historiography. Divine guidance as rhetoric. Eyewitnesses & epitomizing as historical rhetoric. Conclusions. Bibliography. References. Modern authors. Subjects.


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