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

Ann Nyland accuratebibles at ozemail.com.au
Mon Jul 21 17:22:15 EDT 2003

I am disturbed by the recent discussions, most of which(especially the below post) display absolutely no understanding of the field of lexicography. 
 I am surprised Cliff Goddard is cited in this specific context. He is a former colleague of mine (although we were in different departments), lives locally, and I am aware of his field of interest.  
No one has dismissed the relevance of current linguistics to matters of biblical interpretation. Rather, people have made glaringly incorrect assumptions about the field of lexicography. 
Ann Nyland

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "kent lee" <k-lee7 at students.uiuc.edu>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:55 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] LInguistic question on Luke 1:1

>    I find some of this recent discussion odd, namely, the a priori
> dismissal of the relevance of current linguistics to matters of biblical
> interpretation. Lexicography is a sort of applied linguistics, and the
> information that it can provide on word meanings is probably sufficient
> for many students of biblical Greek or biblical scholars. However, its
> domain is more restricted to denotational meaning in literary contexts,
> and some scholars have questions that go beyond what lexicons can provide.
> In such cases, it is necessary to turn to other relevant fields for
> methods that can help answer those questions.  Such is the case here, and
> we can't dismiss a priori other relevant paradigms that can help us.
>    For a case like this, this is a valid area of linguistic inquiry, where
> semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis can be helpful to understand
> how the original audience might have understood the meaning of a biblical
> text or a particular word, based on the interaction of semantics and
> context, i.e., pragmatics, and how these interacted with genre and
> reader/listener expectations in shaping interpretation (pragmatics and
> discourse analysis).
>    For semantics, the functional/cognitive approaches to semantics would
> be more practical for biblical scholars. For this, works by John Taylor
> (_Linguistic categorization) or Cliff Goddard (_Semantic analysis: a
> practical introduction_) would be a good, easily accessible introduction,
> especially Goddard, who also discusses pragmatics. M.M. Turner & Peter
> Cotterell (_Linguistics and interpretation_, InterVarsity Press, 1988)
> discuss pragmatics and biblical interpretation. For more theoretical
> pragmatics, a good but sometimes more difficult reading is G. Green's
> _Pragmatics and natural language understanding_.
>    These linguistic paradigms can be very useful to biblical scholars and
> language scholars, and can provide well grounded methodologies that can be
> brought to bear on interpretive questions, and can help us avoid the
> linguistic abuses of two dangerous extremes, of excessive literalism or
> unbridled deconstructionism.
> kent lee
> "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body;
> now here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his
> commandments, for this is the whole duty of humanity."  -- Ecclesiastes
> 12:12-13
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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