Tomorrow I will be posting an interview I did with Douglas Estes on his new book The Questions of Jesus in John: Logic, Rhetoric, and Persuasive Discourse (QJJ). This is a preview that I wanted to share for all those scrambling to find potential thesis or dissertation topics. I asked Estes if his book on non-declaratives in the Fourth Gospel provided him with any areas of study he’d like to see future students engage. This is his answer:
I would love to see someone tackle the way Paul uses questions (or non-declaratives) in order to build up his arguments. That’s a book waiting to be written. I also think there is much more linguistic work that can be done on the NT text—linguistics is somewhat a new field, and its (meaningful) impact on the study of the NT has been minimal. I also think that there are also many studies that could be written on the various forms of question-asking and argumentation in OT books. When I wrote the QJJ, the OT folks were far ahead of NT folks in the study of argumentation (my opinion), but they don’t appear to make much use of linguistics in this particular area (as far I can see). Someone could easily go back and do research on the way interrogatives were used in Hebrew, from a linguistic perspective. One thing I noticed in writing QJJ is that some languages (such as Latin) have more robust resources for handling non-declaratives than our Greek resources do.
If you are trying to find a thesis or dissertation topic Estes suggests (1) the use of questions by Paul; (2) the function of questions in other NT books; (3) the connection between question-asking and argument in the OT; (4) the use of interrogatives in Hebrew; and (5) the differences between how languages like Greek and Latin use non-declaratives.
I hope this find some student in need of suggestions!