Vernon K. Robbins

Sociorhetorical Interpretation

Emory Studies in Early Christianity

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity

Religious Sites in Atlanta

Emory Department of Religion

Emory Graduate Division of Religion



Religious Textures: Space, Time, and Storyline in First Century Christian Rhetorolect/Belief Systems/Forms of Life

Welcome to the Table on Rhetorolects (rhetorical dialects) in first century Christian discourse, which emerged from belief systems that guided first century Christian forms of life. From this page, you also can use the alphabet list to find definitions of major terms and concepts used by Sociorhetorical Interpretation (SRI) or return to the Sociorhetorical Textures Table.

To begin, click on the letter that begins the word for which you are seeking a definition:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J-L | M-N | O | P-Q | R | S | T-Z

Return to the Sociorhetorical Textures, click an item on the Religious Textures Table below, or see Belief System/Sacred Textures Table; Blended Religious Rhetorics

Mediterranean
Discourses

Mythical-Historical Discourses
(Divine Communications)
Philosophical Discourses
(Mental Searching)
Ritual Discourses
(Religious Actions)

Cultural Frames
(Rhetorolects/
Belief Systems)

Prophetic Apocalyptic Wisdom Precreation Priestly Miracle

Social, Cultural, & Physical Realia

(1st Space)

Political Kingdom

Political Empire
Imperial Temple
Imperial Army

Household Vegetation Living Beings Universal Empire,  Universal Household, & Universal Community

Altar
Temple
Temple City

Human Body
Unexpected Phenomena Transformations in the natural world

Visualization, Conceptualization, & Imagination of God’s World

(2nd Space)

God as King

God on kingly throne in heavenly court

Selected humans as prophets and kings

Jesus as Prophet-Messiah selected and sent by God

Selected people as God’s kingdom

God as Almighty Emperor (Pantokratōr)

Jesus as King of King and Lord of Lords

God as Father-Creator (Progenitor)

Wisdom (light) as Mediator

Jesus as God’s Son

People as God’s children

God as Eternal Universal-Father,

Jesus as God’s Eternal Son

God as Holy and Pure

God on priestly throne in heavenly temple

Selected humans as priests

People as God’s holy & pure priestly community

Jesus as Priest-Messiah

God as Transforming Power

Selected humans as agents of God’s transforming power

People as healed and transformed by God

Jesus as Healer & Miracle-Worker

Ongoing Bodily Effects and Enactments: Blending in Religious Life

(3rd Space)

Human body as Distributor and Receiver of justice (food, bodily needs, honor)

Human body as Receiver of resurrection & eternal life in a “new” realm of well-being Human body as Producer of Goodness & Righteousness Human body and Community as Receivers of eternal life through friendship (belief & loyalty) with God's eternal Son Human body as Giver of sacrificial offerings, Seeker of mysteries, and Receiver of beneficial exchange of holiness, purity, and mysteries between God and humans Human body as Healed and amazingly Transformed

Hebrew Bible (Divine) History/Story-Lines (Names as Events)

Cultural Frames
(Rhetorolects/
Belief Systems)

Prophetic Apocalyptic Wisdom Precreation Priestly Miracle
    Creation: spirit-angels to watch over all creation Creation: tree of the knowledge of good and evil Personified emanations from God: Wisdom (sophia); Word (logos); Image (eikōn); Reflection (apaugasma)    
    Adam: death        
    Noah: flood        
  Abraham       Melchizedek  
  Moses: prophet Moses: ten plagues Moses: Torah  

Moses: priest
Aaron, Levi

Moses: miracles
  [Elijah, Elisha: prophets]         Elijah, Elisha: miracles
  Samuel: prophet       Samuel: priest  
  David: prophet   David: wisdom psalms      
      Solomon      
  Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah, etc. Jonah, Ezekiel, Joel        
      Job      
  Daniel: prophet Daniel: visionary seer in Babylon Daniel: wise      

Click on the letter that begins the word for which you are seeking a definition:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J-L | M-N | O | P-Q | R | S | T-Z

Return to the Sociorhetorical Textures or click an item in the Religious Textures Table above

Based on Vernon K. Robbins, Exploring the Texture of Texts, Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996;
Vernon K. Robbins, The Tapestry of Early Christianity: Rhetoric, Society, and Ideology, London and New York: Routledge, 1996;
Vernon K. Robbins, The Invention of Christian Discourse, Blandford Forum, UK: Deo, 2008.