[B-Greek] LInguistic question on Luke 1:1

Ann Nyland accuratebibles at ozemail.com.au
Fri Jul 18 20:05:27 EDT 2003

Kenneth, this is a question for a lexicographer, not a linguist. I don't know why you say PLHROFOREW is a "fairly formal" word, as the papyri and ostraca don't show evidence of that. It also is well enough attested. At any rate, you could consult Moulton and Milligan for references. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East) discusses it, and that's even ignoring the evidence from the last 80 years. (Btw, it occurs also in Rom. and 2 Tim. as wll as the LXX.)

For an excellent article on lexicographical methods and issues, I'd suggest you read G.H.R. Horsley G.H.R. and J.A. Lee, "A Lexicon of the New Testament with Documentary Parallels: Some Interim Entries, 1" Etlologia Neotestamenataria, Vol X Mavo Novembre 1997, 55-84. 

As for "determining the meaning of a word from its semantic domain by a hearer/reader" - that's what lexicographers do.

Ann Nyland

> Kenneth Litwak <javajedi2 at yahoo.com> wrote: I have a question for anyone on the list who has
> training in linguistics. Based on current thinking in
> linguistics, is there a resource I can go to that
> would provide guidance in determining how a first
> century reader/hearer would go about determining the
> meaning of a word in its context if the word was
> polyvalent? The specific word I am interested in is
> PEPLHROFORHMENWN. I want to know if linguistics can
> help in determining how someone, coming to LUKE 1:1
> for the very first time, without later assumptions of
> commentators, would go about determining from the
> semantic domain of this word, what it means. 
> What is the effect of this not being a particularly
> common, and fairly formal word? I"m not interested in
> anything but a linguistic perspective. I don't think
> it is right to determine what this word means based on
> some interpretation of the rest of Luke's Gospel since
> the first audience has not gotten there yet. I'm
> hoping there's a good book or article out there that
> talks about the process of determining the meaning of
> a word from its semantic domain by a hearer/reader. 
> Thanks.
> Kenneth D. Litwak, Ph.D.
> Affiliate Faculty
> Professional Studies
> Southwestern College
> Wichiita, KS

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