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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The emerging interest in speech act theory among biblical scholars and theologians over the last several decades has produced a new set of obstacles. A hurdle is getting familiar with the technical vocabulary of speech act theory and its different taxonomies and developments since John Austin in the 1950s. This chapter traces how biblical scholars and theologians have employed speech act theory the past forty years. The contemporary speech act theorist Searle has made a substantial contribution to the field, but biblical scholars and theologians have yet to utilize his philosophies of language and mind to their full potential. Next, whereas speech act theorists are concerned with the actions performed by a speaker or writer, some biblical scholars suggest that it is the language performing the action.

Keywords:biblical scholars; John Austin; scriptural acts; Searle; speech act theory; theologians

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