The Bible and Culture
A One-Stop Shop for All Things Biblical and Christian
Follow Patheos Evangelical:
In a recent listing of the top 100 NT commentaries, six volumes from my socio-rhetorical series were listed. Also my Paul’s Narrative Thought World was listed as one of the top twenty theological volumes.
It’s a pretty good list. Missing in action is your Christology of Jesus, Blomberg’s Jesus and the Gospels, Hays’ The Faith of Jesus Christ and his Echoes of Scripture, and the best evangelical Matthew commentary ever written, Grant Osborne’s ZECNT offering.
There are also a few that I wouldn’t have added, like Fee’s subpar commentary on 1,2 Thessalonians and Green’s idiosyncratic Luke commentary, which I hope the NICNT editors replace someday, maybe with your combined volume with A.J Levine? Also, I prefer Keener’s IVPNT offering to his socio-rhetorical volume. He gets to the point quicker. Brevity is the soul of wit.
Was your Romans commentary mentioned? it is a work of some distinction, being that there are so few solid commentaries on Romans from an Arminian perspective (Grant Osborne is an exception).
Wow that’s amazing considering you aren’t really using Socio-Rhetorical criticism as it was first named and subsequently described by Vernon K. Robbins. Or as Duane Watson notes about your first two, “although these are excellent commentaries, they do not move beyond traditional historical-critical methods of interpretation with an emphasis in social history.” Congratulations anyways!
How interesting. Recently a friend pointed me in Frank’s direction and this list is sure a good one. I’m particularly thrilled by the NT Wright and curious about Bonhoeffer as I read his works so long ago.
Wow, BW16. You have the manners (and name) of an android. Was that posted by a spambot? Didn’t make much sense to me. Congratulations, Dr. Witherington! I dont see the list in the post. Am I missing something on my iPhone?
Yes the list is a small link at the bottom of the post.
BW16 actually Vernon did not invent the term socio-rhetorical criticism. That was Richard Longenecker. Nor does Vernon have a corner on the market in regard to deciding what the term means.
I find that very interesting because I was always taught that Vernon Robbins first employed ‘socio-rhetorical’ analysis in his 1975 article ‘The We-Passages in Acts and Ancient Sea Voyages’, BR 20, pp5-18. When and how did Longenecker invent it?
I also think D.A Carson’s The God Who is There and Tim Keller’s The Case for God will go down as 21st century Christian classics that people will be reading 100 years from now if the Lord tarries
Unfortunately, you were taught wrong BW16. Dick Longenecker used the term in the early 70s, having been influenced by reading Betz on Galatians, and preparing his own Galatians commentary.
Can’t seem to find anything in print to verify this… and my extensive research all seems to point to Robbins as the initiator. Even if Longenecker invented it, it looks as if Robbins bet him to the starting line! What an amazing counter-history of scholarship!
Actually no, Vernon didn’t beat anyone to the starting line. Rhetorical analysis of the NT has been done since the time of the early church, and if we ask the question about social historical analysis of the NT, it began long before the social-scientific analysis of the NT. In the modern era it began with folk like Edwin Judge in the 1960s, before Vernon was even thinking in socio-rhetorical terms. The Context group is also a considerably later development as well. And of course, Vernon has never written a single commentary on any book of the Bible as of yet. Don’t get me wrong, Vernon is a creative guy and he has helped the discussion along with various new ideas and angles of incidence into the text, but we need to not create a myth of origins that focuses on his work.
P.S. the list maker wrote me and said he goofed! The Romans commentary was supposed to be included and now is.
Glad that Romans made it.
Follow Patheos on
Copyright 2008-2014, Patheos. All rights reserved.