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Index Of Scripture And Other Ancient Texts

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Chapter Summary

One way to think about the New Testament (NT) writings is that they consist of speech acts performed by various writers in the first century CE. Philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, and J. L. Austin have proposed different theories of language. In a series of William James lectures at Harvard in 1955, later compiled and first published posthumously as How to Do Things with Words in 1962, Austin explored how a speaker employs language, which gave rise to speech act theory. Originally, speech act theory was a branch of the philosophy of language. An understanding of Searle's technical distinctions of mind—intentionality, 'background,' and 'network'—can shed light on what the NT writers tried to accomplish with their speech acts.

Keywords:Hebrews; J. L. Austin; New Testament (NT); Searle

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