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Rhetorical Handbooks In Service Of Biblical Exegesis: Eustathius Of Antioch Takes Origen Back To School

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Chapter Summary

David E. Aune's masterful handbook, The Westminster Dictionary of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric, serves as a training and reference manual for New Testament interpreters for the next generations. The ancient rhetorical handbooks, such as those composed by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, have an important part to play in that task, but the actual mode of their employment in New Testament exegesis is not without problems. This chapter discusses and analyses a case-where an early Christian exegete actually cites a rhetorical handbook to support his own exegesis of a biblical text, and rebukes his opponent for breaking the rules of elementary literary education. The subject of the inquiry is a remarkable exegetical contretemps between Eustathius of Antioch and Origen of Alexandria on 1 Samuel/1 Kingdoms 28.

Keywords: Alexandria; Antioch; biblical exegesis; David E. Aune; Eustathius; New Testament; Origen; rhetorical handbook

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