Socio-Rhetorical Glossary M-R

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Patriarchs, Period of

The Gospel of Matthew divides the genealogy of Jesus Christ into three periods of fourteen generations each. The first period is called the period of the Patriarchs. This is the age of the births of the founding father’s of the nation of Israel and the history concerning them and their off spring beginning with Abraham and the covenant God made with him. It ends with the birth of David, who became the second King of Israel. The period also covers the rejection of Joseph, the son of Jacob by his brothers and his exaltation to second in command of Egypt, his death, the enslavement of the Jewish people at the hands of Pharaoh, their deliverance through Moses, the establishment of what is called the covenant of the Law, Joshua and the campaign to take and control the promised land of Canaan. The era of the judges of Israel, a civil war and the rise of the prophetic ministry through Samuel to the appointment of Israel’s first king Saul and his forty year reign up to David characterize this period.[1]

Post Exile, Period of

The third and final fourteen generational period in Matthew’s account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. According to Matthew, this period begins during the Babylonian captivity and ends with the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. It is about a six-hundred year period. It includes the Israel’s captivity, events during the captivity recorded in the book of Daniel,  ministry of the prophets continue during and after the captivity, return of  the Jewish exiles, rebuilding of Jerusalem and its walls under Hehemiah, rebuilding of the Jewish temple under Ezra and Zerrubabel, fall of the Babyloinian empire, the rise of the Persian empire according to Daniel,  events of the book of Esther, fall of Persia and the rise of the Greek  empire according to Daniel, fall of the Greek empire and the rise of the Roman Empire, Herod’s rebuilding of a New Jewish Temple and four hundred silent years of no inspired writing from God and the birth of Christ.[2]

Prayer

Scripture describes prayer as “calling upon the name of the Lord” in both the Old and New Testaments  (cf. Joel 2:32; Rom 10:9, 12-13).

When reading and analyzing prayer view it from the aspect what Harrington specifies as speaker, addressee, medium or literary form, message and purpose, as well as context (historical setting, cultural milieu, language, literary forms and theological assumptions) and contemporary connection/application. [3]

There are different types of prayer, which socio-rhetorists organize in different ways. Daniel Harrington orders prayer by categories, while Bruce Malina by taxonomy.

Daniel Harrington (Two Categories)

         Category 1: Praise —  Extols the greatness of God [2]

  • Benedictions (Blessing; prayer of praise about what God has done for us in Christ through grace. Praise goes to God as the benefactor.)
  • Thanksgivings (Celebrates and affirms God’s actions
  • Doxologies (Word of praise that contains four elements: person or deity to be praised, word of praise, indication of time or eternity, closing response of acceptance or affirmation) New Testament doxologies end a scriptural unit). Examples” Matt 6:13; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:20-21; 1 Tim 1:17; 2 Tim 4:18b; Jude 1:24-25.

        Category 2: Petitions — Requests to God on behave of the one making the prayer, either personal or communal in context [4]

Bruce Malina (Taxonomy of Prayer: Seven Types)

Malina classified prayer in terms of purposes, by identifying seven results or aims the prayer desires through the communication which is prayer:

  1. Instrumental (“I want…”): petitionary prayers to obtain goods and services for individual and social needs
  2. Regulatory (“Do as I tell you…”): prayers to control the activity of God, to command God to order people and things about on behalf of the one praying.
  3. Interactional (“me and you…”): prayer to maintain emotional ties with God; prayer of simple presence.
  4. Self-focused (“Here I come. . .; here I am…”): prayers that identify the self — individual and social — to God; prayers of contrition and humility, as well as boasting and superiority.
  5. Heuristic (“Tell me why…?”): prayer that explores the world of God and God’s workings within us individually and collectively; meditative prayers, perceptions of the spirit in prayer.
  6. Imaginative (“Let’s pretend…”): prayer to create an environment of one’s own with God; prayers in tongues and those recited in languages unknown to the pray-er.
  7. Informative (“I have something to tell you”): prayers that communicate new information: prayers of acknowledgment, praise and thanksgiving.” [5]

Preaching, Early Apostolic: Early apostolic preaching contained four elements: (1) ”announcement that the age of fulfillment arrived; (2) account of the ministry, death and triumph of Jesus; (3) citation of OT Scriptures who fulfillment in these event proves Jesus to be the one to Whom they pointed forward and (4) call to repentance.” [6] Example is Acts 2:22-40.

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Relexicalized Language

Relexicalized language is the practice of changing new words for the purpose of what Malina and Rohrbaugh say is “some reality that is not ordinarily referred to with those words.” [7] One example is the term bread for money. The authors utilized relexicalized language in the Book of John: Realm of God refers to spirit, above, life, light, not of the/this world, freedom, truth and love. Another usage Malina and Rohrbaugh cite in John’s Gospel is believing into Jesus as following him, abiding in him, loving him, keeping his word, receiving him, having him or seeing him. The authors note that to John these terms were not other aspects of the word or phrase, but “new phrases in place of old ones, for many words for the same activity.” [8]

Endnotes

[1], [2] Daryl Cox, “Jesus Across the Gospels: Glossary M-R,” All Nations Leadership Institute (Alsip, IL).

Daniel Harrington, Jesus and Prayer: What the New Testament Teaches Us (Frederick: The Word Among Us, 2009), loc 63.

[3], [4] Harrington, Jesus and Prayer, loc 63.

[5] Bruce Malina, Cited in Jerome Neyrey, Prayer, In Other Words: New Testament Prayers in Social-Science Perspective,” n.p. [cited 17 February 2013]. Online:  http://www3.nd.edu/~jneyrey1/Prayer.htm.  

[6] F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing), loc. 2776.

[7] Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1998), 4.

[8] Malina and Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, 5.

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