The Power of Point of View

“The Sermon on the Mount” from the Perspective of “First-Century Culture” – GARY YAMASAKI

November 30, 2017 • FEATURE

At the recent Society of Biblical Literature meetings in Boston, I was invited to participate on a panel addressing the topic of “Preaching The Sermon on the Mount as Resistance Literature.” My contribution explored how the Sermon on the Mount ends up being “resistance literature” when viewed from the “perspective” of 1st-century Mediterranean culture: I… Read More ›

point of view in BIBLICAL NARRATIVE »

Seeing the Birth of Jesus Through “2000-Year-Old” Eyes – GARY YAMASAKI


While posts on this site over the past five years have examined many different components of the workings of ‘point of view’ in the crafting of biblical stories, the present post represents a “first” in that it addresses the issue of cultural point of view. It is clear that the manipulation of narrative devices has… Read More ›

point of view & HOMILETICS »

“Standing far off”: Using the Spatial Plane in the Sermon – BRYAN NASH


According to Luke, on one occasion Jesus told a parable to people who trusted in themselves. “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers,… Read More ›

point of view on SCREEN »

Creative Point-of-View Editing in “Homeland” – GARY YAMASAKI


When I watched the final episode of the third season of Showtime’s hit drama Homeland, I thought the series was over. All three seasons had focused on the interaction between U.S. Marine Nicholas Brody and CIA operative Carrie Mathison, and when Brody was killed off at the end of season 3, thus terminating the Brody-Mathison interaction,… Read More ›

point of view & LINGUISTICS »

Bilingualism in Perspective: Ideology Construed Through Language Shifting in Daniel – Part 2 – ZACHARY K. DAWSON


That Daniel 7 remains in Aramaic before the Hebrew text recommences in chapter 8 has puzzled biblical scholars for years, and no answer to this question to date has fully satisfied this query. It is the present writer’s contention that Bill Arnold paved a way forward in his point-of-view analysis of Daniel, but still left… Read More ›

TEACHING point of view »

Reading 1 & 2 Samuel with Undergraduates using Perspective Criticism: A Retrospective – SCOTT S. ELLIOTT


About a year ago, I wrote a post about an upcoming upper-level course on “Literature of the Hebrew Bible” that I would be teaching during the spring 2014 semester. This year’s edition centered on 1 and 2 Samuel and integrated perspective criticism. My primary objectives in doing the latter were to better equip students (i)… Read More ›

point of view DYNAMICS »

Seymour Chatman’s Alternative Take on “Point of View” – GARY YAMASAKI


The idea for this blog post actually has its roots in a writing project of mine that is not focused on point of view. Last year, I was contacted by Fortress Press to see if I would contribute a volume to a new series they were developing–Reading the Bible in the 21st Century–dedicated to approaches to… Read More ›

IDEOLOGICAL point of view »

Ideological Point of View in the Account of the Four Lepers (2 Kings 7:3-9) -JESSE LONG JR.


In his Oct 25/2012 post, Gary Yamasaki correctly understands the account of the four lepers in 2 Kings 7 as crafted so that the implied reader experiences the event through the point of view of the characters in the story. On the informational point of view plane, the narrator withholds from the reader that the… Read More ›


Unmixing Our Metaphors, Media, and Methods: A Response to Phil Ruge-Jones — LEON SEAMAN


Gary Yamasaki’s work on point-of-view dynamics is rooted in literary criticism, but draws on the analogy of camera angle in film to illustrate these dynamics. When I read his first book, Watching a Biblical Narrative, its title suggested the interaction between reading text and watching film or live performance. Yet it might also suggest a… Read More ›