Emotion and the New Testament : a critique of the interpretation of emotion in New Testament studies and an interpretation of the use of emotion in the New Testament
The study of emotion in psychology and philosophy has seen major advancements in the last twenty years. This has included a new emphasis on the strong cognitive element that is present in all emotions. In large part, this dissertation is an attempt to bring the valuable findings of recent research to our understanding of emotion in the New Testament. The stated goal is to understand, in a broad sense, the use of emotion in the New Testament and how the writers perceived it. To this end, the writer surveys the ideas about emotion that were present in the Greco-Roman world, the Old Testament, and Intertestamental Judaism. The understanding of emotion by some important figures in church history is also studied. This background is then used to gain insight into the use of emotion in the New Testament. Specific, basic emotions are analyzed in the text; including love, joy, hope, jealousy, fear, anger, hatred, and sorrow. This is not a series of articles in the pattern of TDNT, but rather an analysis of emotion in general that uses specific emotions to study the subject in the New Testament. Interwoven into this study is a critique of the understanding of emotion that is predominant in New Testament studies. It is concluded that the New Testament has an appropriate and vital place for emotion in the Christian life. New Testament ethics, interpretation, and theology have often de-emphasized emotion, and this has been a mistake. A strong argument for the importance of emotion in the interpretation of the New Testament is made.