This volume of important essays from recent Society of Biblical Literature annual meetings covers two related and vital topics: linguistic pedagogy and linguistic analysis. The essays on pedagogy discuss current trends and perspectives on how to approach the teaching of a dead language in the vibrancy of the electronic age. Experienced teacher-scholars give insights into how they draw upon linguistic theory and marshal technology to help reinforce pedagogical technique.
A second set of essays is concerned with the linguistic issue of “prominence,” asking, How are texts able to show that certain portions are more important than others? The essays, both theoretical and practical, grapple with the linguistic equivalent of underlining, to show how prominence helps authors make their point. The book of Hebrews, where identifying major themes and ideas has proved problematic, is offered as an extended example.
The volume is rounded off with a collection of papers applying the insights of modern linguistics, particularly sociolinguistics and discourse analysis, to reading the New Testament in new and provocative ways that transcend traditional exegesis.
Stanley E. Porter is President and Dean, and Professor of New Testament, at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario. Matthew Brook O’Donnell is Director of Research and Development for OpenText.org and Adjunct Professor at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario.
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