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Chapter Two: Instructional Speech Compositions in Ancient Wisdom Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the instructional speech in its various permutations across a range of ancient wisdom texts with a view to define its characteristic contours. Though analysis involves constant dialectical movement back and forth between Q and the corpus of literature selected for comparison, having a chapter devoted to comparative genre research serve as frontispiece highlights the privileged status genre analysis should enjoy in exploration of (Q) redaction history. The approach, posits a close relationship between genre criticism and redaction criticism, represents a crucial shift with respect to Kloppenborg's methodology. Instructional speeches are obviously the products of scribes, who, drawing from a fairly small inventory of conventional techniques, put together speeches with persuasive power. It is unlikely any of the compositions analyzed in the chapter grew to full flower through gradual aggregation of single units; rather, they are the result of deliberate compositional and rhetorical initiatives.

Keywords: ancient wisdom literature; comparative genre research; instructional speech compositions; Kloppenborg's methodology



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