Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Douglas Bock


It is the Bible's claim to be the inspired word of God. The message from the Scriptures has persuaded millions: from the shepherd of the first century to the business person of our present age. The words chosen, the genres used, and the forms of verbal support employed are prodigious in every way. The rhetorician and linguist, I. A. Richards, has written and spoken on how words come to have meaning, how they are used in context, and how they are used metaphorically. He has developed his ideas through a model called the triangle of meaning. There is justification for a comparison between the teaching styles of the Bible and the rhetorical theories of Richards. The literature of the Bible is stressed rather than any doctrinal issues. Richards rhetorical theory is compared and contrasted to the different genres and forms of verbal support used in Scripture. Also reviewed, in light of the triangle of meaning, are several of the favorite terms of Jesus Christ.