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The Diatribe and Paul's Letter to the Romans
Stanley Kent Stowers
Publication Date
December 2006


“Once New Testament scholars were at home in the Graeco-Roman world; now they are well versed in Jewish techniques of scriptural exegesis, but largely innocent as regards Hellenistic rhetoric. Stowers adds useful weight to the work of scholars like A. J. Malherbe, his supervisor, and H. D. Betz in redressing the balance. He shows that, though recently the very existence of a ‘diatribe’ genre has been question, Bultmann was on the right lines, but needs correction as to the definition and social context of the diatribe. … The discussion is careful and thorough. Stowers does not overcall his hand, recognizing that Paul’s use of the style is integrated with his appeal to the Jewish scriptures and with the epistolary form.”
—J. P. M. Sweet, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

“In this doctoral dissertation from Yale, Stowers gives us a first-class work of scholarship, meticulously documented, and certainly advancing our knowledge of Paul’s letter to the Romans.”
—Vincent P. Branick, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“Stowers has carefully surveyed the primary and secondary literature on the diatribe, and he has compiled a lengthy list of the diatribal passages which parallel various texts in Romans. His discussion of the dialogical element is much more substantial than was Bultmann’s discussion of this element. His claim that the diatribe reflects a scholastic setting is an important claim that demands the careful consideration of the scholarly community.”
—Robert L. Mowery, Journal of Biblical Literature