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The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis (Supplements to Novum Testamentum) [Hardcover]

By George H. Guthrie (Author)
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Item Number 197390  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   161
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.68" Width: 6.4" Height: 0.95"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1997
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004098666  
EAN  9789004098664  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
One of the focal issues surrounding contemporary studies of Hebrews concerns the book's elusive structure. This volume presents an examination of previous proposals and a fresh attempt at unlocking Hebrews' organizational principles. The first part of the volume critically assesses past efforts at outlining Hebrews. Following a history of investigation, the various approaches to the structure of Hebrews are categorized and evaluated for both strengths and weaknesses. Methodologies considered include thematic analysis, literary analysis, rhetorical analysis, and linguistic analysis. Part two of the volume offers a texts-linguistic analysis of Hebrews, utilizing both modern linguistic theory and insight into ancient oratorical conventions. This book presents advances in text-linguistic analysis and a compelling proposal concerning the structure of Hebrews.

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More About George H. Guthrie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! George H. Guthrie serves as the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He holds PhD and MDiv degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a ThM from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. At Union University he led in the establishment of and serves as senior fellow in the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, which is committed to promoting sound Bible reading, study, and interpretation in local churches.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Learned Study of Hebrews' Structure  Sep 1, 2004
Guthrie begins his discussion on the text of Hebrews by reviewing past scholarly attempts to discern the structure of the Christian epistle. He convincingly demonstrates that scholars have found it rather difficult to determine the precise textual structure of Hebrews. It is no wonder that he humbly approaches his task.

Since Patristic times, attempts have been made to discern the structure and the recurring theme (i.e. the leitmotiv) of the letter to the Hebrews. Currently, text-linguists are also trying to apply their knowledge of discourse principles to this Bible book. Guthrie's work shows that these efforts can produce valuable fruitage.

After examining the numerous theories posited vis-a'-vis the form or structure of Hebrews, Guthrie proceeds to explain his own approach to structuring it. Highlighting the author's use of INCLUSIO and "hook-words," Guthrie provides an enlightening study on the rhetorical devices employed in Hebrews and the main point the writer was trying to make. He concludes the
book on a very somber and humble note, observing that "the problems caused by the complex stucture of Hebrews are not easily answered; they may never be answered with a consensus of New Testament scholarship" (146). He reasons, nevertheless, "I enjoy the music of Mozart. I do not read a note of music and certainly do not understand how the great composer brings all the various
themes together in such powerful performances; but I do not have to in order to recognize them as powerful. I can be moved even in my ignorance" (147).

Comparing the writer of Hebrews to a highly skilled virtuoso, Guthrie elevatingly states that while he does not understand or fully fathom all of the rhetorical devices the writer of Hebrews utilizes in his discourse to the first century Christians living in Jerusalem and Judea, that fact notwithstanding,
he argues that he can still appreciate the hortatory and expository messages loftily conveyed in the book written by a "Mozart" of oratory (147). What insightful remarks!

In closing, I would say that Guthrie is a pleasure to read: I thoroughly enjoyed his book. After one peruses "The Structure of Hebrews," he or she not only comes away with an increased knowledge of this beautifully written Bible book--one also comes away with an increased literary education. Guthrie's thorough knowledge of discourse analysis, rhetoric, and rabbinic practices are truly astounding. Furthermore, his approach to the whole problem of the arrangement of Hebrews is both balanced and reasonable. He employs charts to help the novice understand
difficult concepts and his explanation of cohesion shifts and hook-words are simultaneously lucid and instructive. Guthrie remains focused on the task at hand and very seldom diverges to make theological points. His goal is grasping the structure of Hebrews: from that goal he will not be deterred.

The only drawback to this book is that it is primarily written for specialists who have a working knowledge of Greek and rhetoric, as well as some knowledge of Hebrew and the rabbinic writings. The neophyte could quickly find himself or herself lost in the sea of technical terminology employed by Guthrie. If you like struggling with difficult subjects, however, then the book will be well worth the read.

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