brian at discoveryhills.org
Tue Sep 19 18:15:43 EDT 2000
Greetings Clayton and the list,
Am I correct in recognizing this as a hermeneutical proposition?
specifically, the use of the Greek language, the challenge seems best
the reader/interpreter can discern whether FLFA or SPA features most
objectively allow them to grasp the author's intended meaning.
Even as a little Greeker, I have found times when paragraph level
structure or spans (SPA), or grasping the intended semantic of a noun or
aspect of a verb (FLFA) are very objectively definable, and I have
that demand a certain subjective choice be exercised. The trick seems to
painstakingly do both SPA and FLFA.
clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
The recent discussion of Gal. 4:14 has reminded me once again that
a Great Divide among language aficionados which is constantly
The Great Divide might be characterized as a separation between those
give priority to formal language features and those who give priority
semantic structure. By priority I mean, the place where do you start
investigation of a text. If you work from the bottom up (phonology -
morphology - phrase and clause syntax) you are a formal language
aficionado (FLFA). If you start out by looking at the high-level
structure you are a semantic priority aficionado (SPA).
A semantic priority aficionado (SPA) assumes that an author of a text
with some semanitc goal and realizes this goal selecting from a vast
available formal language elements. For this reason the SPA will
investigation of a text with the analysis of the medium and high
semantic structure and will perhaps at some point wander down to take
close look at how the semantic goal of the author was realized in the
level formal language features.
The formal language feature aficionado (FLFA) starts out at the
attempts to work up through the layers to the semantic level of the
However, the FLFA often never arrives at his destination because the
analysis of the low-level language features becomes such a
that it becomes an endless quest in and of itself. The FLFA may not
know how to proceed upward beyond the clause level syntax. The
structure above the clause level is a relatively unexplored region
It would be a grievous error to consider the methods of the FLFA and
just two different ways of doing the same thing. This is not the
SPA and FLFA are actually removed by vastly different sets of
presuppositions (Great Divide) about the nature of language.
One of the side affects of learning an ancient language is that the
spends a great deal of time struggling with formal language features.
this reason alone most NT Greek students become by default hard core
incurable FLFA's. They spend so many hundreds of hours mastering a
reasonable subset of the language that they become inordinately
with formal language features for the rest of their life. This is all
exacerbated by pedagogy which promotes micro level analysis over
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