The invitation in 1965 to join the faculty of the Graduate Seminary of Phillips University read: Professor of New Testament and Preaching. And Preaching! All my graduate work had been in New Testament, and while I had considerable interest in preaching and had on my own worked at homiletical theory, much work lay between me and that advanced course in preaching to be taught each Fall. The urgency of that preparation was heightened by the general recognition that Homiletics was hanging by its nails on the edge of most seminary catalogs.
It was at that time, while reading in the fields of hermeneutics, linguistics, and communication that the basic ideas in these essays were formed. Students were subjected to them; colleagues on the faculty and in the parish ministry listened to them.
In 1968, a Fellowship from the American Association of Theological Schools made possible a sabbatical at the University of Tübingen, Germany where the resources of the Institute for Hermeneutic contributed greatly to the orientation and content of this book. In the Spring of 1969, while still in Tübingen, my wife typed the first draft of the manuscript. Upon our return, additional typing and other chores related to a manuscript have been handled by my student assistant, Diane McCracken.
For the help of these persons and institutions I am grateful. I wish to thank also my faculty colleagues who spent an evening in colloquy with this material, and Phillips University Press for its thoughtfulness and many considerations.
Fred B. Craddock