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This monograph employs Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to examine how the Apocalypse of John motivates its hearers to respond to John’s prophetic apocalyptic exhortation. John’s visions of salvation and judgment provide the positive and negative grounds for motivational argumentation.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0419-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jan 22,2015
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 287
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0419-8
$154.00

John did not write the Apocalypse in order to provide a detailed time-table of events that would unfold thousands of years in the future. Instead, John wrote to affect and move his hearers at the end of the first century—to motivate them to reject idolatrous compromise with the surrounding cultural and political institutions and overcome through repentance, worship, witness, perseverance, and obedience. How does the Apocalypse of John accomplish this motivation and persuade its hearers to adopt a course of action that would put their present lives, income, and security in jeopardy? This monograph employs Stephen Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to study John’s explicit and implicit motivational argumentation and to argue that the two primary grounds for John’s argumentation are soteriological. Hearers are motivated positively by the promise of future salvation and negatively by warnings of future judgment.

In addition to this main claim, this monograph will (1) argue that the Apocalypse of John is a thoroughly rhetorical text; (2) highlight the centrality of logos, or logical argumentation, in John’s argumentation; (3) demonstrate the general applicability of Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to biblical texts; (4) argue that one’s systematic theology of motivation or salvation must be grounded in a comprehensive analysis of the actual motivational argumentation within a text; and (5) explore some of the theological questions raised by the use of soteriology as motivation.

Alexander E. Stewart is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands.

John did not write the Apocalypse in order to provide a detailed time-table of events that would unfold thousands of years in the future. Instead, John wrote to affect and move his hearers at the end of the first century—to motivate them to reject idolatrous compromise with the surrounding cultural and political institutions and overcome through repentance, worship, witness, perseverance, and obedience. How does the Apocalypse of John accomplish this motivation and persuade its hearers to adopt a course of action that would put their present lives, income, and security in jeopardy? This monograph employs Stephen Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to study John’s explicit and implicit motivational argumentation and to argue that the two primary grounds for John’s argumentation are soteriological. Hearers are motivated positively by the promise of future salvation and negatively by warnings of future judgment.

In addition to this main claim, this monograph will (1) argue that the Apocalypse of John is a thoroughly rhetorical text; (2) highlight the centrality of logos, or logical argumentation, in John’s argumentation; (3) demonstrate the general applicability of Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to biblical texts; (4) argue that one’s systematic theology of motivation or salvation must be grounded in a comprehensive analysis of the actual motivational argumentation within a text; and (5) explore some of the theological questions raised by the use of soteriology as motivation.

Alexander E. Stewart is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands.

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Contributor Biography

Alexander Stewart

Alexander E. Stewart is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands. He holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

  • Table of Contents (page 1)
  • Acknowledgments (page 5)
  • Abbreviations (page 7)
  • Chapter 1: Introduction (page 11)
    • How Does John Motivate? (page 11)
    • Whose Motivational Strategies? (page 18)
  • Chapter 2: Argumentation in the Apocalypse (page 21)
    • Rhetorical Analysis of the Apocalypse of John (page 21)
      • Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (page 24)
      • David A. deSilva (page 25)
      • Other Contributors (page 27)
      • Alternative Approaches: Hebrew Rhetoric and Modern Theories (page 35)
    • Modern Theories of Argumentation Analysis (page 44)
      • Chaim Perelman (page 46)
      • Stephen Toulmin (page 48)
      • Recent Developments (page 58)
      • Defining Terms: The Relationships between Arguing, Motivating, Convincing, and Persuading (page 61)
    • The Rhetorical Situation (page 65)
      • Possible Rhetorical Exigences (page 70)
        • Power Struggle (page 70)
        • Perceived Tribulation (page 72)
        • Actual Tribulation (page 74)
      • Johns Rhetorical Goals (page 77)
        • Produce a Theodicy (page 77)
        • Facilitate Catharsis (page 78)
        • Critique and Denounce Rome (page 79)
        • Provide Encouragement and Comfort (page 81)
        • Increase Witness (page 81)
        • Promote Worship (page 82)
        • Motivate Believers to be Overcomers (page 84)
    • Summary (page 89)
  • Chapter 3: Johns Foundational Narrative: From Creation to New Creation (page 91)
    • Fields of Argumentation, Religious Rhetoric, Worldviews, and Foundational Narratives (page 93)
      • Fields of Argumentation and Religious Rhetoric (page 93)
      • Worldviews and Foundational Narratives (page 97)
    • The Foundational Narrative (page 103)
      • Johns Foundational Narrative: The Past (page 104)
        • Creation (page 104)
        • Gods Activity in Israels History (page 106)
        • The Recent Past: The Formation of the Christian Community (page 107)
      • Johns Foundational Narrative: The Present (page 108)
        • The Present Experience of the People of God (page 108)
        • The Present Activity of God, Christ, and Satan (page 113)
      • Johns Foundational Narrative: The Future (page 116)
    • Johns Foundational Narrative: A Summary Description (page 117)
    • The Function of the Foundational Narrative in the Argumentation of the Apocalypse (page 122)
    • Summary and Conclusions (page 128)
  • Chapter 4: Motivation in Sentences And Clauses (page 131)
    • Explicit Motivating Expressions in the Apocalypse317F (page 135)
      • Seven Proclamations (Rev 2:1…3:22) (page 135)
      • Vision Narratives (Rev 4:1…22:7) (page 153)
    • Implicit Motivating Expressions in the Apocalypse (page 158)
      • Declarations of Blessedness (page 158)
      • Declarations of Imminence (page 161)
      • Jesus Opinion and Wishes (page 163)
      • The Standard of Judgment (page 166)
      • Johns Interpretive Comments (page 167)
      • Various Reason-Result and Grounds-Conclusion Logical Relations (page 170)
      • Condition-Consequence Logical Relations (page 178)
    • Summary of Results (page 185)
    • Conclusion (page 186)
  • Chapter 5: Soteriology Within the Argumentation of the Apocalypse (page 187)
    • Inaugurated Soteriology: Now and Not Yet (page 191)
      • The Now (page 192)
        • Realized Soteriology (page 195)
        • Summary (page 199)
      • The Not Yet (page 199)
    • The Role of Soteriology in Johns Argumentation (page 204)
      • Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? (page 207)
      • Is Faith Necessary? (page 210)
    • Summary and Conclusions: Soteriology as Motivation in the Apocalypse (page 213)
  • Chapter 6: Summary and Conclusions (page 215)
    • Summary (page 215)
    • Constraints on Persuasiveness: The Necessity of a Shared Meta-Narrative (page 218)
    • Evaluating the Contribution of Toulmins Model for Argumentation Analysis to Biblical Studies (page 222)
    • Conclusion: Soteriology as Motivation (page 222)
  • Appendix: Identifying Motivational Argumentation (page 225)
    • Logical Relations (page 230)
    • Grounds-Conclusion Relations (page 230)
    • Means-Purpose Relations (page 233)
    • Conclusion (page 233)
  • Bibliography (page 235)
  • Index (page 261)
    • Index of Biblical References (page 261)
    • Index of Modern Authors (page 276)
    • Index of Subjects (page 280)
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