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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

A Theory of Character in New Testament Narrative
Bennema, Cornelis

Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014 pp. xviii + 216. $39.00

Description: In this study in three-dimensional character reconstruction, Cornelis Bennema presents a new theory of character in the New Testament literature. Although character has been the subject of focused literary-critical study of the New Testament since the 1970s, Bennema observes that there is still no consensus regarding how character should be understood in contemporary literary theory or in biblical studies. Many New Testament scholars seem to presume that characters in Greco-Roman literature are two-dimensional, ďAristotelianĒ figures, unlike the well-rounded, psychologized individuals who appear in modern fiction. They continue nevertheless to apply contemporary literary theory to characters in ancient writings. Bennema here offers a full, comprehensive, and non-reductionist theory for the analysis, classification, and evaluation of characters in the New Testament.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches

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Review by Alicia D. Myers
Published 5/13/2015
Citation: Alicia D. Myers, review of Cornelis Bennema, A Theory of Character in New Testament Narrative, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

Review by Michael R. Whitenton
Published 3/15/2016
Citation: Michael R. Whitenton, review of Cornelis Bennema, A Theory of Character in New Testament Narrative, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2016).

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