[B-Greek] Re: B-Greek Digest, Vol 7, Issue 16

Bill Starkey bill_starkey at mac.com
Sun Jul 20 10:32:37 EDT 2003


I have a question for the responders to Dr. Litwak's question.
For those who answered with the "lexicon" approach, how does a lexicographer understand or describe "happen" other than documenting all the forms and uses of the word "happen."
Does it not fall upon the linguist to determine reading, hearing and understanding?
An objective Greek lexicographer as he catalogues his words can only say "ah, this is pass participle, it's genative."
The objective linguist says "ok, what did the first hearer/reader hear and understand when a pass.part.gen was used?"

Hope I am not being too simplistic but maybe the discussion is crossing "sacred territory."

Bill Starkey
Pfafftown, NC
 
On Saturday, July 19, 2003, at 09:00AM, <b-greek-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

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>Today's Topics:
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>   1. Re: LInguistic question on Luke 1:1 (mark lama)
>   2. Re: LInguistic question on Luke 1:1 (Ann Nyland)
>   3. Re: Luke 11:17 and EPI (Steven Lo Vullo)
>   4. New book on "Gnosticism" by Karen King (Carl W. Conrad)
>
>
>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Message: 1
>Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:47:35 -0700 (PDT)
>From: mark lama <markosl80 at yahoo.com>
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] LInguistic question on Luke 1:1
>To: Kenneth Litwak <javajedi2 at yahoo.com>
>Cc: B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Message-ID: <20030718204735.34328.qmail at web41607.mail.yahoo.com>
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>
>
>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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>I am not a linguist myself, but I think one must say that those who prepare respected lexicons of the NT (such as the BDAG) are. If you look up a word (such as PLHROFOREW) in such a lexicon you will find information, not only on how the word is used in the NT and early Christian literature, which seems to me in most if not all cases to be perfectly relevant, if perhaps not always complete, information on how the word would have been used, and therefore perceived, by contemporary speakers, but also information on how it has been used historically in Greek literature, including literature of the time period of the NT documents themselves. Let's face it-- it is impossible for us to approach the NT in exactly the same way as someone in the first or second century would have, or even to determine exactly how they would have approached it. The only way we can determine if a word was polyvalent, as you say, is by examining all the extant texts that we have in which that word occurs,
>  and
> noting the context in which it is used. This is the work that people who do NT lexicography do. My advice, then is to get acquainted, if you have not already, with a good lexicon, such as the BDAG, Spicq, or Kittel. 
>
>CARIS KAI EIRHNH,
>
>Mark Lama
>
>
>
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>From: "farley" <lfarley at sprint.ca>
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>Subject: [B-Greek] Luke 11:17 and EPI
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>Dear friends:
>    What can one do when scholars and translators disagree--other than =
>of course asking this list?
>    In Lk. 11:17, we read OIKOS EPI OIKON PIPTEI.  Is this to be read =
>"house falls upon house" (as the Douay and RSV read it), or "a house =
>divided against itself falls" (as the NASB reads it, borrowing the verb =
>"divided' from the previous clause?  One commentator (I.H. Marshall) =
>seems to suggest that both are grammatically possible; if this is so, =
>which is the most likely? =20
>    Thank you for any help.
>    Yours as ever,
>    Lawrence Farley, Langley, B.C.
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 2
>Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 10:05:27 +1000
>From: "Ann Nyland" <accuratebibles at ozemail.com.au>
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] LInguistic question on Luke 1:1
>To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <06e501c34d89$771159f0$4f6954d2 at Ann>
>Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>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
>> From slovullo at mac.com  Sat Jul 19 04:12:51 2003
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>Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 03:12:45 -0500
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] LInguistic question on Luke 1:1
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>To: Kenneth Litwak <javajedi2 at yahoo.com>
>From: Steven Lo Vullo <slovullo at mac.com>
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>
>On Friday, July 18, 2003, at 02:05  AM, Kenneth Litwak 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.
>
>Ken, I think it is important to keep in mind that a literary work does 
>not exist and is not read in a vacuum. As it circulates, prospective 
>readers are sure to encounter preview, review, discussion, debate, 
>approbation, criticism, etc., that precedes their actual reading of the 
>work. Hardly anyone ever begins a book without any prior knowledge of 
>what it is about and why it was written, based on other's reading of 
>the work. For this reason alone we cannot discount the relationship of 
>PEPLHROFORHMENWN to the rest of the Gospel. Even though a person 
>reading Luke for the first time "has not gotten there yet," as you say, 
>there are, nevertheless, certain expectations generated from what one 
>has heard in advance about the purpose and content of the work. Such 
>pre-understanding may very well contribute to how one takes a word 
>semantically.
>============
>
>Steven Lo Vullo
>Madison, WI
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 3
>Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 04:19:34 -0500
>From: Steven Lo Vullo <slovullo at mac.com>
>Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Luke 11:17 and EPI
>To: farley <lfarley at sprint.ca>
>Cc: B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>Message-ID: <1CB42718-B9CA-11D7-9015-000A95A09D52 at mac.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
>
>On Friday, July 18, 2003, at 06:56  PM, farley wrote:
>
>>     In Lk. 11:17, we read OIKOS EPI OIKON PIPTEI.  Is this to be read 
>> "house falls upon house" (as the Douay and RSV read it), or "a house 
>> divided against itself falls" (as the NASB reads it, borrowing the 
>> verb "divided' from the previous clause?
>
>The RSV actually renders OIKOS EPI OIKON PIPTEI as "a divided household 
>falls," clearly understanding OIKOS EPI OIKON to mean "a house against 
>a house," i.e., "a house against itself," taking EPI as a marker of 
>hostile opposition (see BDAG 12 s.v. EPI). It is the NRSV that, for 
>some abstruse reason, translates "house falls on house."  A house 
>falling on a house simply doesn't make sense in this context, while a 
>household (family; cf. TEV, CEV, Message) divided against itself does. 
>(I wonder in what sort of context a house falling on a house WOULD make 
>sense. An earthquake scenario?) It seems clear to me that EPI in this 
>clause is to be taken in the same sense as EF' in the previous clause.
>
>>   One commentator (I.H. Marshall) seems to suggest that both are 
>> grammatically possible; if this is so, which is the most likely?
>
>A lot of things are grammatically possible which would make no sense at 
>all in their context.
>============
>
>Steven Lo Vullo
>Madison, WI
>
>
>------------------------------
>
>Message: 4
>Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 06:00:52 -0400
>From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
>Subject: [B-Greek] New book on "Gnosticism" by Karen King
>To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <p06001a0cbb3ec660c5a1@[63.153.57.197]>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>Some list-members may be interested in learning about a new book on
>"Gnosticism" by Karen King reviewed currently in BMCR:
>
>	http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2003/2003-07-26.html
>
>While B-Greek is not a forum for discussion of Gnosticism, I will simply
>cite a provocative sentence from early in the review: "King asserts that
>"Gnosticism" exists solely as a modern reification, a terminological
>construct deriving ultimately from an early Christian discourse of
>orthodoxy and heresy which has now taken on an independent existence."
>-- 
>
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
>1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
>cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
>WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/
>
>------------------------------
>
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>End of B-Greek Digest, Vol 7, Issue 16
>**************************************
>
>
 

Bill Starkey
4365 Mashie Dr.
Pfafftown, NC 27040
336-922-3047
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