Isaiah Allen, “Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 467–519 in Discourse Analysis of the New Testament Writings. Edited by Todd A. Scacewater and Cliff Kvidahl. Dallas: Fontes, 2020.

Recently, Fontes Press released Discourse Analysis of the New Testament Writings. The edited volume provides a discourse analysis of each book of the NT, with each author explaining his or her methodology before putting it to work. The Pastorals are covered in a chapter of about fifty pages by Isaiah Allen, assistant professor of New Testament at Booth University College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Allen’s discourse analysis of the three Pastoral Epistles goes down to the paragraph level, focusing strongly on the text with minimal interaction with secondary literature. His aim is twofold: to “describe how each paragraph relates to the whole and to its surrounding discursive context” and to “identify logical-semantic structures that have significance for interpretation” (469)—although his presentation seeks to be “interpretively non-committal” (471). His analysis engages relevance theory, which “emphasizes the context-dependency of meaning, which requires an appreciation of discourse structure” (471). Several helpful charts provide visual representation of each letter’s organization.