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Arguing over TextsThe Rhetoric of Interpretation$
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Martin Camper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677121.001.0001

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Conflicting Passages

Conflicting Passages

Chapter:
(p.91) 5 Conflicting Passages
Source:
Arguing over Texts
Author(s):

Martin Camper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190677121.003.0005

Chapter 5 examines how arguers resolve apparently conflicting passages through argument. First, the problem that textual inconsistency poses for interpreters is considered, followed by a discussion of the three types of disputes that rhetors can have over an apparent inconsistency. Ancient rhetoricians viewed controversies in this stasis as consisting of a double letter versus spirit dispute, and the lines of argument detailed in the previous chapter are available in this stasis. But, as this chapter illustrates, there remain other special lines of reasoning that rhetors can use to resolve evidently conflicting passages. Several of these strategies have been used to reconcile apparently conflicting biblical passages concerning women’s preaching, as exemplified by the chapter’s main example: an epistolary debate over the issue reproduced in Frances Willard’s 1889 Woman in the Pulpit. Disputes in this stasis reveal the logical connections between passages and how these connections can be rhetorically constructed.

Keywords:   biblical interpretation, conflicting passages, contradiction, Frances Willard, Henry J. Van Dyke, heteroglossia, inconsistent passages, L. T. Townsend, paradox, women’s preaching

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