Jesus, The Great Speaker

It’s the first day of class and your professor had just handed to you your syllabus for the entire semester for Public Address.  Knowing you’re limited on book money you are eager to look as to how many books you need to buy for the class.  As you look under “Books” you see that you only needed one book!  But as you begin to read into a little bit more detail, you see that the one book reads The Holy Bible.  You then ask yourself, “why would a teacher have students buy a Bible for a Public Address class? This is not a religion class.” Well, as I read my Bible throughout the semester I began to notice a lot of connections with the Bible and what we were learning in class.  I began to identify the group presentation topics in the Gospels.  There were so many techniques we’ve learned about that I was able to faithfully identify them.  In Jesus’ teachings, he shows constant examples of power Button, power line, power parable, power active, and power question.  Below are specifics of what I am talking about:

Power Button and Power Line – “But when thou prayers, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which s in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”  (Matthew 6:6)

Power Parable– “Ye are the salt of the earth….Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew5:13-16)

Power Question–“…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?..But whom say ye that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-15)

The above examples are only a few, however the New Testament are full of examples of publicly addressing the people who are believers and those who are unbelievers.  His “skills” ranged from his ability to persuade those to drop whatever they were doing to follow him, including even leaving their families.  Even His way of dress (poor and humble) made a big difference in acceptance from the people because He was like them and he can relate to them.  Living in a family whom father was a lower class carpenter, by his dress and class he was able to enthuse those around him in relationship to his status and then his healing power.  Also, through his dress he was able to put more focus on his public address, or his message, rather than material things.  

What do you think?  Could the scenario in the first paragraph be legitimized? If you were in that same situation what would be your feelings?  Should that be something added to the curriculum for studying public address?

-Katelyn Johnson


2 comments so far

  1. jenniferephillips on


    There are many things that I think are relevant in regards to your post.
    First, I see how this can be perceived as public address but you mention that the speeches given made people leave where they were and join Jesus. From what I have heard, in many cases it is the actions of Jesus that created followers and not the public address. With this in mind, the public address may not be as imperative as the actions. When persuading people to follow his plan, Jesus may have used a call to action, but it was a silent call to action demonstrated with actual actions.
    Secondly, I think something that is unique about this text that is not true about many other texts from this time period has been its ability to change over the past years. As there have been many different translations of this text the public address reaches a wider audience. ie Gene Petterson’s bible translation, King James, etc So, the speaking from this time has morphed many different times into what it is now today.

    Jen Phillips

  2. carospence on

    Like public address, religious text is meant to persuade. However, I don’t think that the Bible should be studied in public address classes because it would be alienating to the non-Christians. To study a text in class is to declare it superior in some way. I think that have the Bible as a primary text in a Comm class would be troubling for some people. I understand your points about power parable and power point and I think you underwent a very smart analysis but I do not think that the Bible should be used in the classroom.

    Caroline Spence

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