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The technical terms you're looking for are: Greek - proem from προοίμιον "opening, introduction"; Latin - exordium, the Latin equivalent of proem (see also Wikipedia) These are, essentially, the author's own "preface" to the following work which orients readers to its leading themes and aims. The much-cited study by B. A. van Groningen, "The Proems of ...


There are several terms for this. I'll list them from most colloquial to most technical: Purpose, aim, or goal Authorial intent Telos (Greek for end or goal) Illocutionary aim (or illocutionary intent; from Speech-Act Theory) These are probably the main terms you'll come across nowadays.


There is no particular reason to shy away from the rhetorical aspects of the contents of the Bible. Yes, I'm a rhetorician (i.e., an expert in rhetoric), but any ol' Christian or Jew can appreciate any one or more of the following concepts: Thesis A "book" of the Bible, whether it comprises history, law, prophecy, poetry, proverbs, Gospels, epistles ...

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