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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24735

Title: Ancient Rhetoric and the Synoptic Problem
Authors: Damm, Alexander Lorne
Advisor: Kloppenborg, John S.
Department: Religion, Study of
Keywords: Religion
New Testament
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2010
Abstract: Only recently have studies of the synoptic problem begun to ground their assessments of literary dependence in ancient conventions. In an effort to appreciate more fully the evangelists’ modus operandi, our study examines their appeal to Greco-Roman rhetoric, the “science of speaking well.” Focusing on a rhetorical form called the chreia (xrei/a), we examine rhetorical techniques and reasons for chreia adaptation, particularly reasons why authors changed this form in theory and in the practice of the Hellenistic authors Plutarch and Josephus. With these reasons in mind, we assess literary dependence among the synoptic gospels, focusing on one chreia in the Triple Tradition (Matt. 9:14-17/Mark 2:18-22/Luke 5:33-39) and another in the Double Tradition (Matt. 12:22-37/Mark 3:20-35/Luke 11:14-36). Our study illustrates that hypotheses of Markan priority, like the Farrer Hypothesis and Two-Document Hypothesis, are more rhetorically plausible than hypotheses of Matthean priority. While Matthew and Luke’s adaptations of Mark reflect the rhetorical reasoning that we should expect, Mark’s reasoning is often problematic, for Mark repeatedly works against the fundamental rhetorical principles of clarity and propriety.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24735
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department and Centre for the Study of Religion - Doctoral theses

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