“Elements of Irony: Rhetoric and History in Ezekiel 20:1 – 44”

Bibliographic information:

Osborne, William. “Elements of Irony: Rhetoric and History in Ezekiel 20:1 – 44.” Criswell Theological Review 9.1 (2011): 3-16.


Ezekiel 20:1 – 44 has long provided points of contention among biblical scholars. Issues such as theological tension, radical historiography, along with a difficult transmission history, have caused interpretive conclusions to splinter into various directions. The present study addresses these issues by insisting that the reader must acknowledge the author’s use of irony as a rhetorical tool. Drawing upon literary analysis and speech act theory, the present study argues that the tensions and incongruities present within the chapter are intentional. Irony, thus, becomes a unifying feature. This thesis is argued by building a definition of irony, by demonstrating its appropriateness in the context of Ezekiel 20, and by identifying instances of irony within the chapter.


Criswell Theological Review (website: http://www.criswelljournal.com/)

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