It is hard to overestimate the importance of the rhetorical tradition in the history of Western civilization. Beginning with Homer's epics, and moving through the classical age of Greece and then through the Roman Republic and its subsequent history, the rhetorical tradition was embedded into the deepest, earliest strata of the life of the West. Via Augustine and other Church Fathers, through the Medieval period, then into the Renaissance, the Neo-Classical, the nineteenth century, and into the early part of the twentieth century, classical rhetoric adapted to differing cultural situations without any trouble and without too much distortion. That is, classical rhetoric remained remarkably the same throughout this long history, although at different points there were different emphases, such as stressing style over invention, or valuing highly figurative language over plain speech.
One obvious demonstration of rhetoric's simultaneous staying power and usability is the writings of America's founding fathers and others since then. Jefferson and Franklin were immersed in classical rhetoric. And Lincoln's utilization of rhetorical techniques for deeply moving purposes shows the similarities and differences between different eras regarding the implementation of rhetoric. This applies to such diverse communicators as Augustine, Martin Luther, and C. S. Lewis. They differ in style, tone, and purposes, yet they all learned their lessons from classical rhetoric.
But how do you get this now? Some composition classes in college and some speech or communication courses may dip into this major tradition, but usually such academic environments downplay or disregard classical rhetoric in favor of more contemporary "critical theory" approaches, such as "Queer Rhetoric" which " seeks to uncover the symbolic and strategies whereby queer identities have been and continue to be constructed in different times and places" (this is from the 6th annual LGBT Conference at Hofstra University. In case you wanted to know.). So if this is the case today with secular education, how do you get into classical rhetoric without resorting to muddling through on your own overprice and antagonistic textbooks?
Leland can help you. has been for years applying traditional rhetorical and literary techniques to the Bible, and his works can help you get into the habit of reading rhetorically, teaching you how rhetoric works.
His major work is Words of Delight: a Literary Introduction to the Bible, and it is worth investing in. takes familiar texts and shows how the standard elements of style, organization, figurative language, parallelism, and so on are thickly embedded in all biblical texts (the title of the book makes it sound as if he is dealing only with literary issues, but the line between the literary and the rhetorical is very foggy, so he employs both interpretive strategies, and this makes his book that much more useful).
Another work is his Dictionary of Biblical Imagery ; edited this mostly, though some of the entries are his. Again, many of the entries are more about rhetoric than literary techniques--though-- again--many of these overlap.
You can also find on the internet some PDFs by . These are abbreviated versions of material from his books, but I would urge you to invest in the books themselves and leisurely wallow in them when you can. You will learn about rhetoric this way while also shaping up your understanding of how the Bible works as a human document. That is to say, whatever your doctrine of the Bible's inspiration, the Holy Spirit did not short circuit individual human personality, making every writer sound exactly the same. That's what the Koran does, interestingly. Indeed the monophonic, depersonalized nature of the Koran is suggestive of its theology . . . . The Bible speaks with multiple voices in multiple ways. Even Paul is different from letter to letter and even within a letter he can change rapidly his rhetoric.