[B-Greek] "inclusio"

Mike Sangrey msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Wed Jul 30 19:24:34 EDT 2003

On Thu, 2003-07-31 at 11:16, James Forsyth wrote:
> I have been instructed in a very remedial class that "the genitive modifies 
> the noun it either follows or is in INCLUSIO with".
> The latter is then supplied with an example (hOI IHSOU APOSTOLOI) which is 
> meant to indicate that if the genitive noun is placed between the article 
> and the nominative noun it follows then a reversal of word order can take 
> place.
> However, in Matthew S DeMoss's Pocket Dictionary for the study of New 
> Testament Greek he defines "inclusio" as: "A literary framing device in 
> which the same word or phrase stands at the beginning and the end of a 
> section. Sometimes called bracketing."
> Please, I'm confused.  Is DeMoss wrong, my instructor wrong or are there 
> two definitions of "inclusio" or am I missing something?

Two definitions.  You're not missing anything.

The one refers to structure--ARTICLE GENITIVE NOUN--which gives some
emphasis to the modification the genitive makes.  The genitive is
INCLUDED within the articular phrase.  Let me illustrate in English
though English doesn't really have a genitive.  If the genitive was a
possessive, as in, "It is John's book", the more emphatic rendering
would be, "It is a book of John's."

The second one refers to what I'm going to do in this paragraph.  DeMoss
is right and the key is that with his definition he's referring to a
larger unit of text--a paragraph for example.  Though sometimes these
contained text can be quite large.  They're also called `sandwhich'
structures or even (I think I've seen) "book-end structures".  The
original authors used several devices to signal the beginning and end of
communicatively complete units of thought.  My only quibble with DeMoss
would be that the framing device can also be a complete sentence.  I
tend to use `inclusio' to refer to these larger units of thought and not
worry about the ones which occur at the sentence or lower level where I
feel they serve a more poetic function.  That's about it, other than
this paragraph being a somewhat contrived illustration of this second

Mike Sangrey
msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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