Perspective Criticism sets out a new methodology designed to help the reader of biblical narratives in which there is a character engaged in action, but no explicit indication from the storyteller on how the action is to be evaluated. Gary Yamasaki convincingly argues that in these cases we are receiving guidance in a less obvious fashion, although not told what opinion to form, through the narrative point of view.
In such cases perspective criticism may be applied, an approach designed to uncover evaluative guidance that may be encoded in the point-of-view crafting of biblical narratives. Yamasaki provides a series of frameworks for analysis, such as: spatial, psychological, informational, temporal, phraseological, and ideological. His clear and accessible style provides modern cultural references and points of comparison with biblical narrative, which may be evaluated in the same ways; for example, a cinematic example of the spatial point of view may be seen in the 1985 film Das Boot, which deals with submarine warfare. Yamasaki concludes by applying his method to two useful case studies: the New Testament story of Gamaliel, and the Old Testament story of Gideon.
Perspective Criticism creates a valuable foundation for a deeper understanding of the bible, a gift to anyone who has struggled with the seemingly ambiguous messages of biblical point-of-view narratives.