Of Heroes and Villains

Of Heroes and Villains

by D. Keith Campbell


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Gripping stories, whether modern or ancient, always include heroes and villains. The Synoptic Gospels, chock full of villains (religious leaders and others) in pursuit of an emerging hero (Jesus), are no different. Drawing first-century Jews into their familiar past and beckoning modern readers to join in its appreciation, these writers employ a literary tactic that intensifies this conflict; they depict these characters as Old Testament heroes and villains. To enter this fascinating, intertextual character portrayal, this book, in building on eighty years of lament studies, advances our understanding of the Synoptists's literary and rhetorical use of the Psalmic Lament in relation to other Old Testament motifs to characterize Jesus and his opponents. Other contributions made along the way, including insights into the Synoptists's literary appropriation of Isaiah's Servant, are all geared toward helping us better understand how Matthew, Mark, and Luke characterize their hero and villains.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620329238
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 08/05/2013
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

D. Keith Campbell, PhD (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Visiting Lecturer of New Testament and Christian Studies at Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China; Adjunct Instructor of New Testament and Theology at Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary, Beijing; and a Teaching Fellow with the International Institute for Christian Studies.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Campbell's work is in many ways groundbreaking, filling a gap in research and bringing the riches of lament research on the Old Testament to bear on the narrative presentation of Jesus in the gospels. His argument is careful and, to my mind, persuasive as he blends historical, literary, and theological aspects of gospel research. I shall refer to it again and again."

—Heath A. Thomas, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and Director of PhD Studies, Southeastern Seminary

"Keith Campbell's study pushes the conversation forward, and it is difficult to think of a higher compliment than that for a scholarly work. Campbell adds to our understanding of the use of lament within the Synoptic Gospels. He also advances the literary study of the Gospels by demonstrating how characterization develops through the evoking of preceding texts, such as the Lament Psalms. The scholarly conversation moves ahead with this contribution."

—Joel F. Williams, Professor of New Testament Studies, Cedarville University

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