Rhetoric and Theology
This monograph on John 9 makes extensive use of premodern Christian exegesis as a resource for New Testament studies. The study reframes the existing critique of the two-level reading of John 9 as allegory in terms of premodern exegetical practices. It offers a hermeneutical critique of the two-level reading strategy as a kind of figural exegesis, rather than historical reconstruction, through an extensive comparison with Augustine’s interpretation of John 9. A review of several premodern Christian readings of John 9 suggests an alternative way of understanding this account in terms of Greco-Roman rhetoric. John 9 resembles the rhetorical argumentation associated with chreia elaboration and the complete argument to display Jesus’ identity as the Light of the World. This analysis illustrates the inseparability of form and content, rhetoric and theology, in the Fourth Gospel.