Rhetorical criticism is now an established discipline in New Testament interpretation—but “rhetorical criticism” means very different things to different practitioners. Genealogies of New Testament Rhetorical Criticism gathers critical appreciations of five pioneers of rhetorical criticism—Hans Dieter Betz, George A. Kennedy, Wilhelm Wuellner, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, and Vernon K. Robbins—and responses from the pioneers themselves or their representatives (Duane F. Watson for George A. Kennedy; Thomas H. Olbricht for Wilhelm Wuellner)—to highlight their distinctive approaches and to describe their legacies for contemporary interpretation.
From a lucid description of the understanding of persuasion held by the ancients to contemporary appreciations of the ways power shapes discourse, these pioneers have helped to set the agenda for future interpretation. In a final methodological turn, a concluding essay by Todd Penner and Davina C. Lopez asks about the rhetoric of New Testament rhetorical criticism itself. Scholars and students of the field will benefit from this timely contribution.