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And I Turned to See the Voice: Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament

ISBN: 9781441252951


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Although they don’t constitute a dominant genre, vision-reports—such as those surrounding the nativity, the transfiguration and resurrection, Stephen’s martyrdom, and Jesus’ appearance to Saul—appear at crucial moments in numerous New Testament texts. Surprisingly, however, they have occasioned few detailed studies.

Edith Humphrey’s careful work neatly fills that gap in the scholarly literature. By means of a literary and rhetorical approach, Humphrey offers new insights into the use of vision-reports, moving beyond previous studies that have tended to focus only on the recorded event (what actually happened?) to the deeper polemic, literary, and theological dimensions (how and to what end do the authors embed the vision-report in their writings?).

Humphrey details four uses of vision-reports: to complete the narrative, to direct the argument, to shape the narrative, and to fire the imagination. Taking the cue from these narratives, which are at once “open” and “undirective,” she commends a hermeneutics of receptivity to the reader.

The Logos Bible Software edition of And I Turned to See the Voice: Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of the Bible. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about interpreting the Bible.

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Key Features

  • Offers a literary-rhetorical approach to examining how word and image work together in understanding vision reports
  • Demonstrates how biblical visions convey and reinforce messages that deeply affect readers


  • Making a Case: Word Clinched by Vision
  • Directing the Argument: The Power of Repetition within Narrative
  • Shaping the Narrative: Embryonic and Strategic Visions
  • Firing the Imagination: Visions with Embedded Propositions

Praise for the Print Edition

The argumentative and aesthetic contribution of vision-reports to persuasion in biblical texts is an exciting area of investigation, one in which Edith Humphrey has already distinguished herself. Her literary skill is evident in the ways in which she, as a sensitive reader of texts, invites us to be more attentive and engaged readers ourselves as well as in the ways her own winsome style encourages us to read both the texts and her observations on them with a ‘hermeneutics of welcome’ rather than the customary ‘hermeneutics of suspicion.’

David A. deSilva, Trustees’ Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

Humphrey surprises us with her ability to lift the veil from the mysterious vision-reports of the New Testament. She clarifies how the words and images of vision-reports work together to create the rhetoric of sacred texts. Humphrey has brought the vision-reports of the New Testament into full conversation with rhetoric and hermeneutics in a whole new way. She has produced a delightful work of great imagination and powerful argumentation in its own right.

Duane F. Watson, professor of New Testament studies, Malone University

Product Details

  • Title: And I Turned to See the Voice: Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament
  • Author: Edith M. Humphrey
  • Series: Studies in Theological Interpretation
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 240

Dr. Edith M. Humphrey is the William F. Orr professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Prior to her service at PTS, she taught at several colleges and universities in Canada, and was professor of Scripture at Augustine College, Ottawa, Canada, from 1997–2002, where in her final year she served as dean. She earned her doctorate from McGill University in Montreal, where she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. The author of numerous articles on the literary and rhetorical study of the Bible, she has also written four books, including And I Turned to See the Voice: The Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament and Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit. Humphrey is a also coauthor of a series of theological workbooks for congregational use, entitled Wrestling with God.


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    Print list price: $24.00
    Save $0.01 (0%)