Cornelis Bennema here presents a new theory of character in the New Testament literature.
Although character has been the subject of focused literary-critical study of the New Testament since the 1970s, Bennema observes that there is still no consensus regarding how character should be understood in contemporary literary theory or in biblical studies. Many New Testament scholars seem to presume that characters in Greco-Roman literature are two-dimensional, "Aristotelian" figures, unlike the well-rounded, psychologized individuals who appear in modern fiction. They continue nevertheless to apply contemporary literary theory to characters in ancient writings. Bennema here offers a full, comprehensive, and non-reductionist theory for the analysis, classification, and evaluation of characters in the New Testament.