Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament is a substantial theoretical and practical guide to the multifaceted discipline of New Testament exegesis. This volume covers current topics in New Testament exegesis in sufficient depth to provide a useful methodological basis. The introduction includes an analysis of the various definitions of exegesis, a term notoriously difficult to define, and a bibliographic essay covering the basic tools of exegesis. A section on method includes detailed discussions of the different models used in the major approaches to exegesis: textual criticism; linguistic analysis; genre criticism; source, form, and redaction criticism; discourse analysis; rhetorical and narratological criticism; literary criticism; and canonical criticism.
Also included are models based on analysis of the backgrounds of the New Testament in Hellenistic philosophy, ancient Judaism, the Roman Empire, and the works of second-century authors. In a section on application, exegetical methods are applied to the various literary units of the New Testament. This handbook serves well as both a textbook and a reference book for the major tools and topics in the area of New Testament exegesis.
Stanley E. Porter is president, dean and professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of numerous studies in the New Testament and Greek language.
“Whereas the emphasis of grammatico-historical exegesis has focused upon what the biblical text originally meant, it has been more recently argued that the exegetical task should, and even must, be expanded to include both what the text has meant (i.e. its history of interpretation) and what the text means (i.e. its relevance for today).” (Page 9)
“Discourse analysis (less frequently referred to as Textlinguistics or Text Grammar) is a sub-discipline of modern linguistics that seeks to understand the relationships between language, discourse, and situational context in human communication.” (Page 188)
“The implications of aspect theory for exegesis are extensive, including at least the following: Each verb tense-form is not to be equated with a single temporal value or an objective description of action. Each tense-form is instead to be seen in relation to putting into grammatical form a particular view of an action, as described by the author.” (Pages 117–118)
“Not only is the Bible an ancient record of past communities, and in this sense historical, it is also a modern record to present communities, and in this sense theological. The distinction between the role of the exegete as a proclaimer of what the text meant, and the role of the theologian as a proclaimer of what the text means, illustrates the primary issue at the heart of biblical interpretation today.” (Page 17)
“The third and final stage in discussion of Greek verbal structure is a logical continuation from that of Aktionsart theory, and recognizes that verbs are not primarily concerned either with time or with objectified action, but with a subjective perspective on action. This has come to be called aspect theory.” (Pages 116–117)