"Patterns of Persuasion in the Gospels will open the next stage in Synoptic studies. Mack and Robbins have returned synoptic criticism to the road it missed when Bultmann and Dibelius decided to ingnore Greco-Roman education and rhetoric. Starting from a sophisticated and detailed study of what the rhetorical handbooks say about the elaboratioin of chreiai, they illuminate the most basic techniques and logic which the Gospel writers used in developing the Jesus traditions. It is required reading for everyone with a serious interest in the critical study of the Gospels."
--Stanley K. Stowers, Brown Univeristy
Author of Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Authority
"An impressive, programmatic argument, which successfully challenges conventional approaches to the Jesus tradition. It demonstrates the relevance of Hellenistic rhetorical theory for composition analysis of the sayings tradition. A groundbreaking study, which all serious students of the gospels must consider."
--David E. Aune, St. Xavier College
Author of The New Testament in Its Literary Environment
"In this important new book, Mack and Robbins have clarified the patterns of persuasion that form the social, historical, and narrative worlds of the earliest Christians. All those who want a hands-on manual for studying the characters, stories, and argumentation of scripture will welcome this learned discussion of primary texts. Highly recommended for any person who is serious about understanding the Bible."
- Ron Cameron, Wesleyan University
Author of The Other Gospels