"The young should be more daring and inventive and should rejoice in their inventions, even though correctness and severity are to be acquired. Exuberance is easily remedied but barrenness is incurable..." --Quintilian

The Rhetorical New Testament Project investigates the modes of argumentation used in the dominant cultures of the hellenistic world through examination of the writings of the rhetors produced during both the classical period of rhetoric and the so-called Second Sophistic. It identifies and makes available to interested scholars bibliographical resources listing primary and secondary literature dealing with the teaching, practice and history of the art of rhetoric, and provides an outlet for publication of rhetorical critical studies of the literature of the New Testament through the Journal for the Study of Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament, an on-line journal sponsored by the project.

In recent years the Project has also sponsored conferences at which scholars from across the country have gathered to investigate the relevance of modern rhetorical critical methods to the analysis of early Christian literature, thereby moving its emphasis from primarily historical and form critical issues to question of how "sacred" texts maintain their persuasive power. 

Dr. James Hester is Crawford Professor of Religion, Emeritus,

and Research Professor at the University of Redlands.