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From “Linguistic Turn” and Hebrews Scholarship to Anadiplosis Iterata: The Enigma of a Structure*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2009

Gabriella Gelardini*
Affiliation:
University of Basel, Switzerland

Extract

In 1963, when the “linguistic turn” had evidently taken hold of New Testament studies, Albert Vanhoye, a linguistically trained Catholic priest, published a monograph entitled La structure littéraire de l'épître aux Hébreux.1 The manifold reactions to his refined literary-rhetorical approach and conclusions in favor of a concentric structure oscillated between euphoric approval and offensive disapproval. Along with its translation into German (1979/1980) and a decade later into English (1989), Vanhoye's study influenced and stimulated Hebrews scholarship like none other in the twentieth century.

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ARTICLES
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Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2009

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References

1 Albert Vanhoye, La structure littéraire de l'épître aux Hébreux (2d ed.; Paris: De Brouwer, 1976).

2 See Christoph Helferich, Geschichte der Philosophie. Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart und östliches Denken (2d ed.; Stuttgart: Metzler, 1992) 381-89; Siv Bublitz, Der “linguistic turn” der Philosophie als Paradigma der Sprachwissenschaft. Untersuchungen zur Bedeutungstheorie der linguistischen Pragmatik (Internationale Hochschulschriften 116; Münster: Waxmann, 1994) 1—11.

3 Ferdinand de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale (ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye; Paris: Payot, 1916).

4 Roland Barthes, Le plaisir du texte (Paris: Seuil, 1973).

5 Algirdas Julien Greimas, Sémantique structurale (Paris: Larousse, 1966).

6 Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp, Morfologija skazki (Leningrad: Academia, 1928).

7 Claude Lévi-Strauss, Anthropologie structurale (2 vols.; Paris: Plon, 1958, 1973).

8 Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1976).

9 Friederike Rese, Frank Heidermanns, and Johann Figl, “Strukturalismus,” RGG4 7:1781-84; John Barton, “Structuralism,” ABD 6:214—17; Ute Daniel, Kompendium Kulturgeschichte. Theorien, Praxis, Schlüsselwörter (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 1523; Frankfurt a.M.: Surhkamp, 2001) 120-38.

10 Daniel, Kompendium Kulturgeschichte, 138—49; Petra Gehring, “Poststrukturalismus,” RGG 4 6:1518-19; Mathias Richter, “Poststrukturalismus,” in Metzler-Philosophie-Lexikon. Begriffe und Definitionen (ed. Peter Prechtl and Franz-Peter Burkard; Stuttgart: Metzler, 1996) 407-8.

11 Doris Bachmann-Medick, Cultural Turns. Neuorientierungen in den Kulturwissenschaften (Rowohlts Enzyklopädie, Rororo 55675; Reinbek b.H.: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 2006).

12 Thomas Söding, Wege der Schriftauslegung. Methodenbuch zum Neuen Testament (Freiburg i.B.: Herder, 1998) 54—80.

13 Friedrich Bleek, Der Brief an die Hebräer. Erläutert durch Einleitung, Übersetzung und fortlaufenden Commentar (2 vols.; Berlin: Dümmler, 1828-1840).

14 For a comprehensive and most up-to-date survey of the history of Hebrews research, see Gabriella Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht.” Der Hebräer, eine Synagogenhomilie zu Tischa be-Aw (BINS 83; Leiden: Brill, 2007) 11-77.

15 F. Thien, “Analyse de l'épître aux Hébreux,” Revue Biblique Internationale 11 (1902) 74-86.

16 Léon Vaganay, “Le plan de l'épître aux Hébreux,” in Mémorial Lagrange. Cinquantenaire de l'École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem (15 novembre 1890-15 novembre 1940) (Paris: Gabalda, 1940) 269-77.

17 Albert Descamps, “La structure de l'épître aux Hébreux,” Revue diocésaine de Tournai 9 (1954) 251-58, 333-38.

18 Rafael Gyllenberg, “Die Komposition des Hebräerbriefs,” SEÅ 22/23 (1957/1958) 137—47.

19 Vanhoye, La structure littéraire de l'é pître aux Hébreux.

20 Louis Dussaut, Synopse structurelle de l'épître aux Hébreux. Approche d'analyse structurelle (Paris: Cerf, 1981).

21 Biblical Archaeology Society, ed., Who's Who in Biblical Studies and Archaeology (2d ed.; Washington: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1993) 307.

22 Ernst Käsemann, Das wandernde Gottesvolk. Eine Untersuchung zum Hebräerbrief (FRLANT 55; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1939).

23 Otto Michel presided over this thirteenth volume of the series Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament for almost forty years, Der Brief an die Hebräer (KEK 13; 7th ed.: Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975).

24 Wolfgang Nauck, “Zum Aufbau des Hebräerbriefes,” in Judentum, Urchristentum, Kirche. Festschrift für Joachim Jeremias (ed. Walther Eltester; BZNW 26; Berlin: Töpelmann, 1960) 199-206.

25 Erich Gräßer published widely on the Book of Hebrews; his most comprehensive work, though, remains his commentary, An die Hebräer (3 vols.; EKKNT 17; Zürich: Benziger; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1990-1997).

26 George W. Buchanan, To the Hebrews: Translation, Comment and Conclusions (AB 36; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972).

27 Harold W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia; Philadelphia, Pa.: Fortress, 1989).

28 Craig R. Koester, Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 36; New York: Doubleday, 2001).

29 Linda Lloyd Neeley, “A Discourse Analysis of Hebrews,” Occasional Papers in Translation and Textlinguistics 3—4 (1987) 1—146.

30 George H. Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis (Biblical Studies Library; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1998).

31 Kenneth Schenck, Understanding the Book of Hebrews: The Story Behind the Sermon (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2003).

32 Cynthia Long Westfall, A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews: The Relationship between Form and Meaning (Library of New Testament Studies 297; London: T&T Clark International, 2005).

33 John Dunnill, Covenant and Sacrifice in the Letter to the Hebrews (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 75; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

34 David A. deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2000).

35 Ellen Bradshaw Aitken, “Portraying the Temple in Stone and Text: The Arch of Titus and the Epistle to the Hebrews,” in Hebrews: Contemporary Methods, New Insights (ed. Gabriella Gelardini; BINS 75; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 131—48.

36 Mary Rose D'Angelo, “Hebrews,” in The Women's Bible Commentary (ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe; Louisville, Ky: Westminster/John Knox, 1992) 364—67.

37 Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, “Hebrews,” in A Feminist Commentary (vol. 2 of Searching the Scriptures; ed. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza; 2 vols.; 2d ed.; New York: Crossroad, 1997-1998) 2:428-52.

38 Ulrike Wagener, “Brief an die Hebräerinnen. Fremde in der Welt,” in Kompendium Feministische Bibelauslegung (ed. Luise Schottroff and Marie-Therese Wacker; rev. ed.; Darmstadt: WBG, 2003) 683-93.

39 Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht,” 193-99, 237-45, 281-86, 321-24, 349-51, 383-84.

40 James Moffatt, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975); Theodore H. Robinson, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Moffat New Testament Commentary; 7th ed.; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1953).

41 Walter G. Übelacker, Der Hebräerbrief als Appell. Untersuchungen zu exordium, narratio und postscriptum (Hebr 1-2 und 13,22-25) (Coniectanea biblica, New Testament 21; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1989).

42 Vanhoye, La structure littéraire de l 'épître aux Hébreux.

43 Westfall, A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews, 11, 21.

44 Vanhoye, La structure littér aire de l'é pître aux Hébreux, 59 and passim.

45 Neeley, “A Discourse Analysis of Hebrews,” 61-62.

46 Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews, 144 and passim.

47 Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht,” 80-83, 353-57 and passim.

48 John W. Welch, “Chiasmus in the New Testament,” in Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (ed. idem.; Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981) 211—49, esp. 220-21.

49 Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews, 76-89; Westfall, A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews, xii, 136-37, 230—40.

50 Neeley, “A Discourse Analysis of Hebrews,” 41, 51; Guthrie, Structure of Hebrews, 143: Westfall, A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews, 301.

51 Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews; Dunnill, Covenant and Sacrifice in the Letter to the Hebrews; Koester, Hebrews; Knut Backhaus, Der Neue Bund und das Werden der Kirche. Die Diatheke-Deutung des Hebräerbriefs im Rahmen der frühchristlichen Theologiegeschichte (Neutestamentliche Abhandlungen 29; Münster: Aschendorff, 1996); Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht.”

52 Thien, “Analyse de l'épttre aux Hébreux,” 79, 86.

53 Eduard Riggenbach, Der Brief an die Hebräer (Leipzig: Deichert, 1922; repr. Wuppertal: Brockhaus, 1987) xxiii-xxiv.

54 For a comprehensive overview of my methodological and structural considerations, see Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht,” 79-84, 193-99, 203-6, 249-54, 288-96, 326-35, 352-59.

55 Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht,” 87-180.

56 Wilhelm Egger, Methodenlehre zum Neuen Testament. Einführung in linguistische und historischkritische Methoden (3d ed.; Freiburg i.B.: Herder, 1993) 28-33.

57 Nauck, “Zum Aufbau des Hebräerbriefes,” 201-2.

58 Walter Bühlmann and Karl Scherer, Sprachliche Stilfiguren der Bibel. Von Assonanz bis Zahlenspruch. Ein Nachschlagewerk (2d ed.; Giessen: Brunnen, 1994) 26—29, at 28.

59 Wilfred G. E. Watson, “Chiastic Patterns in Biblical Hebrew Poetry,” in Chiasmus in Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (ed. John W. Welch; Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981) 118—68, esp. 149—58.

60 The authors of the following articles convincingly demonstrate that Hebrews 6 forms an integral part of the interpretation of the quotations in Hebrews 3—4: Randall C. Gleason, “The Old Testament Background of the Warning in Hebrews 6:4—8,” Bibliotheca Sacra 155 (1998) 62-91; Dave Mathewson, “Reading Heb 6:4—6 in light of the Old Testament,” Wesley an Theological Journal 61 (1999) 209-25.

61 1) Semantic criterion: Heb 6:13-20 has many semantic overlaps with Heb 10:19-23, of which the most important was mentioned, the “curtain.” 2) Compositional criterion: the two transitional sections flank the central and exclusively cultic section, which does not contain the keyword “faith.” 3) Contextual criterion: Heb 6:13-20 is preceded by two themes that immediately follow Heb 10:19-23 in inverse order. Hebrews 6:9-12 as well as 10:24—25 contain the “works of love,” and Heb 6:4—8 as well as 10:26-31 contain the stern message that for those once enlightened and sinning again neither repentance nor sin sacrifice is left. 4) Intertextual criterion: the neglected renewal of repentance in Hebrews 6 is related to the intertext in Num 13-14; Hebrews 6 hence also pertains to the interpretation of Ps 95:7-11 in Heb 3:7-11.

62 Ceslas Spicq, Introduction (vol. 1 of L'épître aux Hébreux; 2 vols.; Études bibliques; Paris: Gabalda, 1952) 1:32.

63 Vanhoye, La structure littéraire de l'é pître aux Hébreux, 237, 269.

64 Neeley, “A Discourse Analysis of Hebrews,” 41, 51; Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews, 143; Westfall, A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews, 301.

65 Rodolphe Gasché, “Über chiastische Umkehrbarkeit (1987),” in Die paradoxe Methapher (ed. Anslem Haverkamp; Edition Suhrkamp 1940: Aesthetica; Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1998) 437-55.

66 Gelardini, “Verhärtet eure Herzen nicht,” 123-90.

67 Gabriella Gelardini, “Hebrews, an Ancient Synagogue Homily for Tisha be-Av: Its Function, its Basis, its Theological Interpretation,” in Hebrews: Contemporary Methods, New Insights (ed. eadem.; BINS 75; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 107-27.

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