[B-Greek] Where does meaning come from?

Michael Aubrey mga318 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 2 00:43:45 EDT 2010

The relevant paragraph is included below.

Were scriptural redundancy an "unnecessary addition typical of human discourse," then I'd be quite sympathetic to the rabbis as well. But the fundamental issue with redundancy of language is that its a truly *necessary* addition. Without it, language would be quite difficult to follow, particularly at the level of larger discourse chunks.

I'd also be curious what those who would accept the rabbis' views entirely would do with Greek where redundancy is not only a discourse level phenomena, but a phrase level phenomena. Obviously, each instance of agreement marking on nouns, articles, adjectives, quantifiers, demonstratives and so forth deserves to be treated as having a unique and theologically significant meaning. And such a view would be ridiculous. And that's the point about the redundancy of language. It's actually fairly banal concept with far reading application. That is to say, many are willing to accept it on points of morphology, but would much prefer to ignore it when dealing with anything larger than a word.

Besides, to say the scriptural language *isn't* redundant is essentially to say that it isn't *human* language -- and that would make communication between God and man slightly more difficult. But let's not move into theology any more than that. I've probably gone too far already, even if I was only trying to make a language-centric point.

Mike Aubrey

From: "drdwilkins at verizon.net" <drdwilkins at verizon.net>
To: eric-inman at comcast.net
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Thu, April 1, 2010 7:33:11 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Where does meaning come from?

I'd like to offer two examples for linguistic analysis. The first has to do with redundancy. There is a good deal of it in the Bible, especially in the OT but undoubtedly in the NT as well. The rabbis were acutely aware of redundancies in the Torah, and they developed the hermeneutic that whenever a redundancy occurs, it is referring to something particular not addressed in the context at hand. The basis for the hermeneutic evidently is that God is never redundant. So it's probably fair to say that they "corrected" scriptural redundancies essentially by postulating that every redundancy actually refers to something new or different not covered in the context. Personally I am sympathetic to the rabbis and would not conclude simply that a scriptural redundancy is an unnecessary addition typical of human discourse. But I find their hermeneutic contrary to the principle of context, so I would argue instead that a redundancy probably occurs for emphasis or
 some other legitimate pu
rpose. Thus there are at least three ways to interpret scriptural redundancies. Are they all valid, given the different presuppositions, or not? And would linguists all agree on a particular hermeneutic to apply (not necessarily one of these three)?


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