J.K. Gayle posted some thoughts about Literary development more broadly, but today I'm specifically wondering about Rhetorical technique. I've been skeptical of Rhetorical Criticism in the past, until a friend at SBL encouraged me to give it more consideration. So here goes...
Assuming the Rhetorical Critics are right, it occurs to me that the 'wildness' of Galatians (being fitted into a standard Aristotelian outline) could arguably make Paul seem like *even more* of an amateur. In other words, the less disciplined composition of each 'section' might still reveal a less experienced writer. I'm not sure, but if Galatians fits more 'obviously' into Aristotle's format, doesn't that smack of an amateur? And wouldn't Paul most likely pick up more sophistication with Rhetoric after living in Greece, or during his extended association with Tyranus of Ephesus?
Obviously, my own thinking is somewhat circular (because I already have firm opinions on Pauline Chronology) but I'm suddenly dying to know what others might think about this. Maybe one of our Biblioblogging NT Rhetoricians (BW3 or BWG - the G is for Georgia) or someone else who's read more on Paul's Rhetoric than I have might be kind enough to stop by and answer these four questions:
1) Does the rhetorical(ly structured) view of Galatians necessarily prevent it from having been a one-draft effort?I'm guessing no, maybe, maybe, and no/yes, but the true scoop is probably more complicated. As always, my interest is to work towards reconstructing the True Story, no matter how challenging or difficult it may be.
2) Granting a classically rhetorical outline for Galatians, is there anything else about the composition that reveals a more or less experienced writer?
3) Have any rhetorical scholars noted clear signs of ongoing development in Paul's rhetorical style and/or abilities?
4) Has anyone ever attempted to rank Paul's letters in order of their rhetorical skill, with or without considering chronological issues?
So hey, Brandon, you got your ears on?