Table of Contents
Seminar questions are provided below. The given bibliographies are mere suggestions, a place to start. Compiling a useful list of references is a help for fellow students and an important part of the assignment.
What is an apostle? What are the qualifications of an apostle? What does an apostle do? Give biographies of the apostles Peter and John.
Betz, Hans Dieter. “Apostle.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Ed. David Noel Freedman. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992. 1:309-11.
Bruce, F. F. Peter, Stephen, James and John: Studies in Early Non-Pauline Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.
Cullmann, Oscar. Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr: A Historical and Theological Essay. Trans. Floyd V. Filson. New York: Meridian Books, 1958.
Culpepper, R. Alan. John, the Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.
Who wrote the letters of Peter and John? Are these letters individual or group efforts?
Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2001. 22-27.
———. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. See the index entry on “Authorship of Johannine writings.”
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 47-53.
Jobes, Karen H. 1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 5-19, 325-38.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 9-14, 36-37, 42.
Lieu, Judith. The Second and Third Epistles of John: History and Background. Studies of the New Testament and Its World. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986. 52-64.
To whom were the letters of Peter and John sent? Give profiles of the respective audiences.
Brown, Raymond E. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. 27-40, 98-99, 166-67, 171-82.
Jobes, Karen H. 1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 23-41.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 14-15, 37-38, 43.
Strecker, Georg. The Johannine Letters: A Commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996. xxxv-xli.
When were the letters of Peter and John written?
———. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. See the index entry on “Dating of Johannine writings.”
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 53-55.
Jobes, Karen H. 1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 5-19.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 27-28, 39-40, 47.
Michaels, J. Ramsey. 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary 49. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1988. lv-lxvii.
How were the letters of Peter and John transmitted to their recipients. How were they transmitted to us? Are their texts reliable?
What makes a writing canonical? Do the letters of Peter and John satisfy these requirements? Were any of them ever excluded from New Testament collections? (Only look at 1 Peter and 1-3 John.)
Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2001. 36-37.
Davis, Glenn. “The Development of the Canon of the New Testament.” http://www.ntcanon.org/.
Gamble, Harry Y. “The Canon of the New Testament.” In The New Testament and Its Modern Interpreters. Ed. Eldon Jay Epp and George W. MacRae. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989. 201-28.
Hahneman, Geoffrey Mark. The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon. Oxford Theological Monographs. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992. 125-28, 177-78.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 8-9.
Lieu, Judith. The Second and Third Epistles of John: History and Background. Studies of the New Testament and Its World. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986. 5-36.
Metzger, Bruce M. The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance. Oxford: Clarendon, 1987.
Michaels, J. Ramsey. 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary 49. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1988. xxxi-xxxiv.
Souter, Alexander. The Text and Canon of the New Testament. 2nd ed. Revised by C. S. C. Williams. London: Gerald Duckworth, 1954.
Strecker, Georg. The Johannine Letters: A Commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996. xxix-xxxv.
What kinds of writings are the letters of Peter and John. Do they fit any known genres?
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 22-24, 34-35.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 28-29, 40-41, 48.
Lieu, Judith. The Second and Third Epistles of John: History and Background. Studies of the New Testament and Its World. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986. 37-51.
What verbal and written sources (e.g. sayings, scriptures, tracts) were used for the letters of Peter and John? Are the letters of Peter and John literary units or compilations of multiple source documents?
Brown, Raymond E. The Epistles of John. Anchor Bible 30. New York: Doubleday, 1982. 36-46, 432-34, 755-61.
Charles, J. Daryl. “Old Testament in General Epistle.” In Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development. Ed. Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids. Downers Grove: IVP, 834-41.
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 39-44, 109-113.
Gréaux, Eric J. “The Lord Deliver Us: An Examination of the Function of Psalm 34 in 1 Peter.” Review and Expositor 106 (2009) 603-13.
Jobes, Karen H. 1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 55-56.
Lieu, Judith. The Second and Third Epistles of John: History and Background. Studies of the New Testament and Its World. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986. 166-216.
Smalley, Stephen S. 1, 2, 3 John. Word Biblical Commentary 51. Waco: Word Books, 1984. xxii, xxvii-xxx.
Strecker, Georg. The Johannine Letters: A Commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996. xl-xliii.
What in the (Graeco-Roman) world is rhetoric? Who learnt it? Why did they learn it? Present some common rhetorical devices. Were the letters of Peter and John influenced by people with rhetorical training? Who might they have been?
The Greco-Roman world was an oral, not literate culture. Literacy rates were low with only a small proportion (one in ten?) able to read and write. However, nearly everyone could speak and listen. This oral culture provided the backdrop for rhetoric, the art of persuasion. Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in any subject whatsoever” while Quintilian said it was “the art speaking well.”
Learning the art of rhetoric was an essential part of education: “There were not only schools of rhetoric throughout the Mediterranean crescent, rhetoric itself was part of elementary, secondary, and tertiary basic education as well.” Rhetorical education was normally restricted to males of the elite. While there were a few rhetorically trained women, they “were not in general either encouraged or in some cases allowed to pursue 'higher' education, which means that even wealthy women tended to lack rhetorical training beyond the intermediate or even progymnasmata level.” (Progymnasmata were exercises used to learn elementary rhetoric.) This might help to explain why Paul wrote “αἰσχρον γαρ ἐστιν γυναικι λαλειν ἐν ἐκκλησιᾳ” at 1 Cor 14.35.
There were various reasons for learning the art of persuasion. A professional rhetor could make a decent living as a legal representative or by delivering speeches to honour one person or shame another. More generally, learning rhetoric enabled a man to convince others about what he believed to be important.
Demosthenes was regarded as the greatest exponent of rhetoric in the ancient world. Early in his career, he was laughed out of court after a poorly delivered speech. This made him determined to become a powerful speaker:
He understood now that he must not only compose his orations with care, but that he must deliver them well, and that he must get rid of his awkward ways. He set to work again with fresh courage. He built himself an underground study, and there he used to practice his orations over and over again. For fear he should be tempted to go out, he would sometimes shave one side of his head, so that he could not appear on the street. He cured his disagreeable stammering by speaking with his mouth full of pebbles. He learned to control his voice by delivering speeches while running up a steep hillside; and he strengthened it to overpower the tumult of the people by making speeches to the ocean in the midst of the thunder of the waves. He hung a naked sword in such a way that if he hunched up his shoulder in the least, he would be pricked; and he practiced while standing before a mirror, that he might learn not to twist and distort his face. He wrote his orations ten or twelve times; and at last he became an orator, one of the greatest that ever lived.
Rhetoric was classified into a number of types:
Used in legal accusation and defence; focussed on past events.
Used to persuade or dissuade an assembly (ἐκκλησια) concerning a course of action; focussed on the future.
Used for praise and blame at celebrations, funerals, and in a forum; seeks to reinforce existing beliefs; focussed on the present.
There were also different styles: the Atticizing variety was reserved while the Asiatic one was more emotive.
Rhetoric employed both macro- and micro-scale conventions, discussed separately below.
A rhetorical discourse often had three parts:
“Ethos was all about establishing the speaker's character and making clear he was trustworthy and believable.”
“Logos refers to the real meat of the discourse, its emotion-charged arguments. In Greek arguments were called pistoi, interestingly enough.”
“At the end of the discourse the rhetorician needed to appeal to the deep emotions — love or hate, grief or joy, anger or pity — and so create pathos in the audience in order for the hearers to embrace the arguments not merely intellectually but affectively as well. When that happened, the act of persuasion had achieved its aim of winning over the whole person or group — body and soul.”
Forensic and deliberative rhetoric could also be divided as follows:
“The introduction acknowledged the situation, addressed the audience, and established the ethos of the speaker.”
“The statement of the case rehearsed the circumstances, clarified the issue (stasis), and established the proposition with a reason (aitia, ratio).” (That is, the speaker stated the case and said why it was being proposed.)
“The argumentation arranged the evidence and supplied examples construed according to customary strategies... In a judicial speech the argument could also anticipate the proofs of one's opponent and refute them.” This part of the discourse typically included proof by opposites, analogy, example, and authority. Opposites might be “negative contrasts, dissuasions from alternative points of view, charges against those of opposing views, dialectical maneuvers in the interest of verifying the logic of a proposition, censure of the opposite proposition, showing that the opposite case would not make any sense, and so forth.” Analogy and example enhanced a proof, as did appeal to legal, scriptural, literary, and philosophical authorities.
“The conclusion summarized the argument and pressed for its acceptance. It might include impassioned style, exhortation, spelling out of consequences of a decision, or advice.”
Epideictic rhetoric did not always have the narrative part because it was concerned with praise and blame related to existing circumstances and beliefs.“”
A discourse would also include rhetorical devices at the scale of phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Examples include alliteration (repetition of the same sound in nearby words), chiasmus (arrangement of parallel phrases in the pattern of an X; e.g. A B C C B A), the rhetorical question (one with an expected answer), hyperbole (a statement exagerated for effect), personification (where an object or idea is represented as a person), amplification (a sequence of successively stronger phrases), irony (speaking to imply the opposite of what one says), enthymemes (logical proofs in which some parts are not stated), and so on.
The New Testament documents are full of rhetorical structures and devices. Although the opening and closing of most New Testament books follow the conventions of Graeco-Roman correspondence, macro- and micro-scale rhetorical forms can often be discerned within the body. The New Testament documents may therefore be described as rhetorical discourses wrapped inside written correspondence.
Witherington thinks that 1 Peter has the structure of deliberative rhetoric:
From Peter, Apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's scattered people in Asia Minor.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave us new birth into a living hope.
Be holy in all your behaviour as the One who called you is holy.
Becoming part of a spiritual temple.
Submission to those in authority.
Revere Christ in your hearts.
Sharing in Christ's sufferings.
Appeals to old and young.
Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand and he will lift you up in due time.
I write to you through Silvanus. Greetings from she who dwells in Babylon and from my son Mark.
You should decide for yourselves whether the letter conforms to this pattern. Regardless of the details, the overall arrangement of 1 Peter does seem to be influenced by rhetorical conventions. As for rhetorical devices within the letter, 1 Peter contains a fine example of chiasmus at 3.18b-4.19:
While made dead in/by flesh he was made alive in/by spirit
in/by which going to the spirits in prison he also preached
([i.e. those spirits] once unpersuaded while the Patience of God waited) in the ark-building days of Noah
in which a few — that is, eight souls — were rescued through water, which baptismal symbol now saves you also, not removal of flesh dirt but response of good conscience to God through Jesus Christ's resurrection
who going into heaven is at the right hand of God, angels, authorities, and powers made subordinate to him.
Therefore arm yourselves with the same mindset ([i.e.] Christ's sufferings in/by flesh) that the one suffering in/by flesh is done with sin, as someone living no longer in/by human desires but in/by the will of God for his/her remaining days in flesh.
For the time passed by [was] enough for what the nations desire to do — living in vices, lusts, inebriations, orgies, drinking parties, and forbidden idolatry — in which they are astonished by your (pl.) not stampeding into the same flood of hedonism, blaspheming you (pl.). They will have to answer to the One ready to judge the living and dead.
For in/by this the dead were also evangelized
so that though they might have been judged in the same way as humans in/by flesh they might live in the same way as God in/by spirit.
The parallelism between phrases marked A and B is unmistakable while that between those marked C and D is less certain. According to this structure, the pinnacle is 3.22 (E): all things, including imprisoned spirits, are now subordinate to Jesus Christ who has gone into the highest attainable position of authority, seated in God's realm at God's right hand.
The First Letter of John is an example of epideictic rather than deliberative rhetoric: “Epideictic rhetoric is the rhetoric of praise and blame, dealing with the values the audience already affirms, and is an attempt to enhance or intensify the adherence to those values.” According to this understanding, 1 John is addressed to insiders. Its purpose is to reinforce right belief in those on the right side rather than to persuade anyone to adopt new beliefs.
1 John can be divided as follows:
The purpose of writing is so that those who hear may share κοινωνια (community) with the apostolic group, the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ.
Use of “amplification” to encourage adherence to the apostolic message.
The purpose of writing is to assure those who hear that if they have the Son then they have eternal life.
According to Watson, 1 John makes extensive use of a rhetorical technique called “amplification.” In their handbooks on rhetoric, Longinus and Cicero say that amplification invests the subject with grandeur, provides a weighty affirmation, lends credence by arousing emotion, exercises influence, increases the importance of a favoured stance, and disparages an unfavoured one. The following amplification techniques are used in this letter: strong words (e.g. 3.15); augmentation (rising to a crescendo; 1.10, 2.2, 3.20); comparison (lesser to greater to raise the greater: 3.2, 5.9); accumulation (amassing words and sentences with identical reading all referring to the same thing: 1.1-3, 2.14, 2.16, 5.6-9); expolitio (dwelling on the same topic yet ever saying something new: many instances); reflexio (same word with different meanings: καινοσ at 2.7-8); regressio (reiteration of things said while drawing distinctions between them: 1.2, 2.18, 5.6); conduplicatio (repetition of the same word in the same part of speech: 2.12-14 and numerous other places); distributio (enumerating the parts after mentioning the whole: 2.12-14, 3.6, 5.7-8); synonomy (using different words with the same meaning: 1.1 ὁραω/θεαομαι (see), 1.9 ἁμαρτια/ἀδικια (sin), 2.29 οἱδα/γινωσκω (know)); epanaphora (beginning successive phrases with the same word: 1.1 four uses of ὁ; 1.3 two uses of μετα του; 1.6, 8, 10 ἐαν εἰπωμεν; 2.2 three uses of περι; 2.4, 6, 9 ὁ λεγων); commoratio (spending a long time on an important topic and returning to it often: 1.5-22 on sin); enargeia (creating a mental picture: 1.1-3 seeing, hearing, and feeling the Word of Life; 2.11 walking in the dark); asyndeton (absence of connecting particles: 1.1); polysyndeton (liberal use of connectives: 1.2, 2.16, 5.8, all using και); antithesis (juxtaposition of contraries: 1.6-7; 2.7, 9, 10-11, 17, 23; 3.7-8; 4.2-3, 4-5, 7b-8, 10; 5.10, 12, 19), personification (representing an absent person as present, giving a formless or mute thing appropriate speech, form, or action: 1.7 the blood of Jesus cleanses, 2.11 darkness blinds the eyes, 2.27 annointing abides and teaches, 5.7-8 spirit, water, and blood testify); hyperbole (exaggeration to magnify or minify something: 3.15 hating is murder); emphasis (more is implied than actually expressed: 2.11 walking in the dark implies stumbling, a metaphor for moral failure); and development of commonplaces (using common topics which apply to all forms of rhetoric such as possible-impossible, lesser-greater, virtue-vice, honour-dishonour).
Amplification is correctly used throughout the epistle. It must be pointed out that virtually every known rhetorical technique for amplification is utilized in the epistle. The use of the repetitive figure of expolitio clearly predominates, perhaps because it is a multifaceted technique and one central to the exercise of the progymnasmata learned in secondary school.
In view of all the above, it goes without saying that 1 Peter and 1 John were produced by rhetorically trained individuals. Who might they have been? Peter was a Galilean fisherman and John seems to have been connected to the priestly families of Jerusalem. Whereas they may well have received a Jewish education as boys, it is possible that they learned the art of rhetoric during their time as apostles charged with taking the Gospel to the whole world. After all, rhetoric was the conventional way of persuading people in the Greco-Roman world. We see from Acts that Peter could make a fine impromptu speech when the occasion demanded it.
Then again, there may have been individuals near to the apostles who had rhetorical training. Silvanus might have helped Peter add rhetorical flair to his letter. Only God knows who helped John, if he had help. There does seem to have been a group around him, as indicated by use of “we” in 1 John. Perhaps this group included Greek converts — such as mentioned at Acts 6.5 — who had the benefit of rhetorical education? The apostles may have chosen people with abilities that would help evangelize the world by the most effective possible means, just as Jesus may have recognised similar abilities in those he chose as apostles.
I have a varied background, having spent time in both the sciences and humanities. As regards science, I have a physics degree and have even worked as a physicist, although only in the Health Department. I also have a diploma in computer science and have worked as a programmer. As far as the humanities are concerned, I have a theology degree and a doctorate earned by working out a way to transcribe and collate biblical manuscript texts so that the results could be analysed using multivariate statistics. As far as Christian experience is concerned I am born of God, not through any merit of my own but because it was God's good pleasure to make me his. I worked under the Order of Saint Stephen doing children's and youth ministry in Kwinana and spent years as a volunteer leader with the Scripture Union adventure camping program. Occasionally, people even let me preach. (I am rarely invited back.)
You might say that this varied background gives me an unusual perspective on Christianity. I know what it is to be a hedonist, having wasted years in the kind of dissipation that is common among Australians. And this brings me to my point: the biggest threat to Christianity is servants of Christ who don't do what he says. I say so because no other threat is as insidious or demoralizing as this threat from within.
This threat is worse than education. Education has brought us a generation that is careful to dot its I's and cross its T's but has a total lack of moral education. (Actually, it does have a moral education of sorts -- the kind you get when you're not taught right from wrong.) The idea that everything we see somehow got here by itself is everywhere pushed while the idea that it was put together by a super intellect is everywhere disparaged.
But we have nothing to fear from education. After all, public education is a Christian invention, as are public hospitals, laws against slavery, laws against child labour, laws against extermination of indigenous people, and the list goes on. Indeed, public education is the reason why women finally got educated. The equality that some women enjoy today goes back to public education which goes back to the church which goes back to the Good News that came to us through the Living Word of God.
As regards the idea of an old universe, Christians have nothing to fear. Who set the fundamental constants so that they are precisely right to allow a life-supporting cosmos? We sure didn't. But there is One who did, the Ancient of Days. Is the world six thousand years or fourteen thousand million years old? Why not ask him? Regardless of how you date it, the evidence that streams into us from the heavens -- the cosmic microwave background -- tells us that there was a beginning. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
And what about the end of the universe? Science is universally agreed that the universe is going to end badly for physical life. Whether heat death or gravitational annihilation, physical life cannot survive. Your life and all of your aspirations are either pointless or else you hold in your hearts the message of a Life that transcends the physical realm. Only the message first spoken by Christ carries the hope of life everlasting.
Even the theory of evolution is not our worst enemy. So what if things are such that DNA can mutate to produce something different? (Although mutations that give rise to anything but detrimental effects in advanced organisms rarely happen, if ever.) No, in the final analysis every advanced organism, from a tomato plant to a human being, contains a DNA blueprint comprised of some number of thousands of millions of base pairs. Is fourteen thousand million years long enough for these vital combinations to have happened by chance? And why isn't this question part of the curriculum? We have nothing to fear in seeking the truth.
No, our worst threat is from an elite who come up with the most toxic pieces of heresy from within the church! They say that we can't trust the Bible, even though its essential truth has been transmitted to us through multiply redundant channels, a sure fire way to get the message through. They say that the New Testament is the product of later religious imaginations who could make whatever words they liked come out of Christ's mouth, even though the New Testament documents bear the hallmarks of the first-century apostolic circle.
This threat is worse than the Devil. Sure, the Devil uses every tactic to derail the Gospel. He tempts us to dismiss each other, to treat our peers with contempt. He knows how to distract people using lust for riches, sex, power, and learning. He can stack our leadership with Freemasons, cripple us with debt, inundate us with the cares of this world. But none of this can continue if we simply do what Christ says: “Love God with all your heart. Love one another in the same way as I have loved you. Cast your cares upon God because He cares for you.”
There is nothing great about oppression and persecution, but do these things kill the Gospel? As a summary of Tertullian's Apologeticum puts it:
Every misfortune is ascribed to the Christians -- as if earthquakes never happened until 33 AD. You say that the community suffers because of us -- we are unprofitable in business. Yet we have to live, and buy and sell like everyone else. The only people to suffer are the pimps and magicians! But the state really does suffer when the honest and hardworking can be executed because they are Christians -- that really does decrease the public revenue. So are we the only ones who are innocent? Well, we are certainly the only ones living by a philosophy that makes us so! You say we are just another spin-off of philosophy, then. Well why don't you persecute your philosophers when they say the gods are fake, or bark against the emperors. Perhaps it is because the name of 'philosopher' does not drive out demons like 'Christian' does. We are not a new philosophy but a divine revelation. That's why you can't just exterminate us; the more you kill the more we are. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. You praise those who endured pain and death -- so long as they aren't Christians! Your cruelties merely prove our innocence of the crimes you charge against us. When you chose recently to hand a Christian girl over to a brothel-keeper rather than to the lions, you showed you knew we counted chastity dearer than life. And you frustrate your purpose. Because those who see us die wonder why we do, for we die like the men you revere, not like slaves or criminals. And when they find out, they join us.
No, persecution and oppression strengthen the church and make it grow. What really kills the Gospel is an insipid parroting of words without a life that follows suit.
How can we be cured? The catch cry of the early Christians was “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.” We must make this our mantra, that Jesus Christ is the cure for every form of evil, and live in discontent until we have taken this cure to every part of the world.
As surely as night follows day, darkness will descend if those who carry the light of the Gospel keep it hidden. The gains of the past will be lost. Slavery will come back. People will live in perpetual debt. (It's already happening.) Children will be sent back down the mines. The weak will be annihilated. The naked will go unclothed. Women will fall underfoot.
Should we expect God to intervene when we sit idly by and do nothing? Don't forget the lesson of the Book of Judges. When the Israelites turned away from God, he allowed their enemies to gain the upper hand. Do you care what happens to your family? Then make your light shine. Do you care about your friends? Then purify yourselves and live a life worthy of someone who serves God. Do you care what happens to your country? Then ask God to have mercy on this land, even though we have turned our backs on him.
Burton, Gideon. “Silva Rhetoricae.” Brigham Young University. http://rhetoric.byu.edu/.
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 37-38.
Jones, Peter Rhea. 1, 2 & 3 John. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2009. 4-8.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 28-32, 40-41, 48.
Mack, Burton L. Rhetoric and the New Testament. Guides to Biblical Scholarship, ed. D. O. Via Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.
Tappan, Eva March. “Demosthenes, The Famous Greek Orator.” In Old World Hero Stories, 1:59-66. Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press, 1909. http://www.mainlesson.com/.
Pearse, Roger, ed. “Apologeticum (The Apology).” Summary of Tertullian's Apologeticum. http://www.tertullian.org/works/apologeticum.htm.
Watson, Duane F. “Amplification Techniques in 1 John: The Interaction of Rhetorical Style and Invention.” JSNT 51 (1993) 99-123.
———. “1 John 2.12-14 as Distributio, Conduplicatio, and Expolitio: A Rhetorical Understanding.” JSNT 35 (1989) 97-110.
Witherington III, Ben. New Testament Rhetoric: An Introductory Guide to the Art of Persuasion in and of the New Testament. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2009.
———. “NT Rhetoric -- A Handbook.” Blog entry dated 23 April 2008. http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2008/04/nt-rhetoric-handbook.html.
What status do women have in the letters of Peter and John? Has the content of these letters helped or hindered the cause of women? (It may be that the Letters of John don't mention women at all. Is this saying something about the status of women?)
Aland, Kurt. Saints and Sinners: Men and Ideas in the Early Church. Trans. Wilhelm C. Linss. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970. 18-22.
Balch, David L. Let Wives Be Submissive: The Domestic Code In 1 Peter. SBL Monograph Series, 26. Chico: Scholars Press, 1981.
Brown, Raymond E. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. 183-198.
Dowd, Sharyn. “1 Peter.” In The Women's Bible Commentary. Ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe. London: SPCK, 1992. 370-72.
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 26-29, 91-92.
Harding, Mark. Early Christian Life and Thought in Social Context: A Reader. London: T. & T. Clark International, 2003. 208-220.
Kroeger, Catherine Clark and Aída Besançon Spencer. “1 Peter.” In The IVP Women's Bible Commentary. Ed. Catherine Clark Kroeger and Mary J. Evans. Downers Grove: IVP, 2002. 780-92.
Magda, Ksenija. “2 John.” In The IVP Women's Bible Commentary. Ed. Catherine Clark Kroeger and Mary J. Evans. Downers Grove: IVP, 2002. 810-11.
O'Day, Gail R. “1, 2, and 3 John.” In The Women's Bible Commentary. Ed. Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe. London: SPCK, 1992. 374-75.
Survey the major persecutions directed against Christians in the first century after the resurrection of Jesus. Does the persecution mentioned in 1 Peter match any of these episodes? Who are the antagonists in John's letters? Develop profiles of the opponents mentioned or implied in 1-3 John. What is their end?
Brown, Raymond E. The Epistles of John. Anchor Bible 30. New York: Doubleday, 1982. 49-68, 103-6, 762-63, 766-71.
———. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. 103-44, 166-67.
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 57-67.
Haas, C., M. De Jonge, and J. L. Swellengrebel. A Translator's Handbook on the Letters of John. Helps for Translators. London: United Bible Societies, 1972. 15-16.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 15-27, 44-47.
Stevenson, J. ed. A New Eusebius: Documents Illustrating the History of the Church to AD 337. Revised by W. H. C. Frend. London: SPCK, 1987.
Smalley, Stephen S. 1, 2, 3 John. Word Biblical Commentary 51. Waco: Word Books, 1984. xxiii-xxv, xxx-xxxii.
What are the major theological themes of the letters of Peter and John? Which represent unique contributions within the New Testament? If we had only these letters, what would we lack in our knowledge of God?
Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2001. 32-36.
———. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist, 1979. 109-44.
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. New Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996. 69-105.
Jobes, Karen H. 1 Peter. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. 44-53.
Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester: Apollos, 2000. 33-36, 41, 48.
Lieu, Judith M. The Theology of the Johannine Epistles. New Testament Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. 22-97.
Michaels, J. Ramsey. 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary 49. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1988. lxvii-lxxv.
Smith, D. Moody. “Johannine Studies.” In The New Testament and Its Modern Interpreters. Ed. Eldon Jay Epp and George W. MacRae. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989. 285-88.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 10-11.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 5.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 12.
 Tappan, “Demosthenes,” 62-63.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 13-14. One could switch between types within a discourse.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 15
 Quotations are from Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 15-16.
 Quotations are from Mack, Rhetoric and the New Testament, 41-43.
 New Testament Rhetoric, 182.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 187.
 Witherington, New Testament Rhetoric, 187; Watson, “Amplification Techniques in 1 John,” 118-23. Witherington actually thinks that the peroration covers 5.18-21. Apparently Watson thinks it covers 5:13-21 but I haven't been able to find the place where he says so.
 Watson, “Amplification Techniques in 1 John,” 100-101.
 Watson, “Amplification Techniques in 1 John,” 101-17.
 Watson, “Amplification Techniques in 1 John,” 118.
 This is extracted from a summary of Tertullian's Apologeticum written by Roger Pearse and based in part on an assessment by T. D. Barnes.