Arguing with Scripture: The Rhetoric of Scripture in the Letters of Paul

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Drawing on recent discussions of quotations in the fields of rhetorics, linguistics, and literary studies, Stanley argues that Paul's explicit appeals to Jewish Scriptures must be analyzed as rhetorical devices that seek to influence the thoughts, feelings, and actions of a first-century audience. This approach requires a different set of questions and methods than scholars have typically used in their studies of Paul's quotations. Among the key questions explored in this book are why Paul quoted words of Scripture to support some of his arguments and not others; how quotations help to advance the developing arguments of Paul's letters; and how a mostly illiterate first-century audience from a variety of social and religious backgrounds might have viewed these sudden intrusions of material from a Jewish religious text. Answering these questions requires paying careful attention to the affective and poetic dimensions as well as the intellectual aspects of the original audience's encounter with the holy Scriptures of Israel. The primary evaluative question in this approach is 'How well do Paul's quotations cohere with his own rhetorical aims and the needs and capacities of his first-century audience?'