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

David B. Gowler
Host, Guest, Enemy and Friend: Portraits of the Pharisees in Luke and Acts

This landmark study . . . represents [an] outstanding achievement in the field of New Testament studies. No other study to date has achieved the level of analysis of characterization in a narratological mode, nor has any achieved a greater integration of narratological analysis with social scientific analysis. — Vernon K. Robbins, in The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse.

David Gowler is an outstanding and creative young scholar, and his contribution to our understanding of Luke and Acts has been enhanced by his sensitive handling of character portrayal. His work promises to open new horizons in biblical interpretation. — Christopher C. Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor, University of Oxford.

This ambitious study breaks fresh methodological ground by utilizing both narrative criticism and aspects of social-scientific criticism to examine the characterization of the Pharisees in Luke-Acts. The path which Gowler has forged in seeking to unite narrative criticism and social-scientific criticism is to be warmly welcomed. His numerous specific comments on the cultural scripts implicit in the texts examined indeed cast these texts in a fresh light and provide a splendid model for others to emulate. — John H. Elliott, Biblical Theology Bulletin

I hope to be among the first to acknowledge the significant advances Gowler makes. Although Jack Sanders and I attempted to integrate literary and historical approaches, our methodology was naive in comparison with Gowler's socio-narratology. The significance of Gowler's socio-narratological approach can hardly be exaggerated. It will be indispensable for future studies of characters and characterization in the Gospels and Acts. — Robert L. Brawley, McCormick Theological Seminary

[Gowler's] combination of social and narrative-critical concerns provides a helpful new model for approaching ancient narratives. The clarity of his writing style and the comprehensive presentation of relevant secondary material allow Gowler's reader access both to his new methodology and to the scholarship which undergirds it. His application of the method to other ancient narratives shows his facility with classical literature and provides an important link between Luke and its literary milieu . . . . Gowler's book deserves to be read and reread. — Steven Sheeley, Review and Expositor

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