[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 22 13:58:53 EDT 2010

referential complexity: frames & scenarios:

One of more enlightened linguist friendly NT scholars, D.Carson, is cited several times by Hoyle [1] under heading 8.2 Lexical doublets and scenarios. The citations from Carson show the difficulty that even the best Old School Grammar partitioners have when trying to discuss referential complexity. Caron uses expressions like "same thing", concept, entity, package and probably others. 

Cognitive Frames or Scenarios are a solution to this problem because they represent a formal approach to modeling referential complexity. A frame is something that can be encoded such that a computer can deal with it. It isn't some sort of vague idea like "package" or "concept". This vagueness plagues the discussion of the greek article with multiple substantives. Hoyle, in one of his more difficult to understand sections, "8.2 Lexical doublets and scenarios" sets out to restate the problem in terms of scenario theory. I had print this section so could read it multiple times. I am still digesting it. Hoyle doesn't set out to disagree with Carson, but he uses a model that as far as I know Carson has not employed. The difference being that the concept of a semantic frame is some essential to dealing with complex referents.

An example that Hoyle cites from Carson is 

1Th. 2:12 παρακαλοῦντες ὑμᾶς καὶ παραμυθούμενοι καὶ μαρτυρόμενοι εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν ὑμᾶς ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν. 

Carson comments:

"we are not to understand that kingdom and glory are identical, but that “kingdom and glory” must be taken together as a package, in this case a package referring to the eschatological blessing comprehensively summarized by the two nouns in tandem."

Hoyle's response:

"I agree with Carson, and suggest that conjoined nouns with a single article always open up a single scenario which includes both concepts."

The difference between Carson and Hoyle is not just terminology. Carson's "package" is an ad hoc label where as Hoyle's "scenario" points to a developed structured approach to semantic analysis. In other words, given some time and effort, the linguist can define the Scenario/Frame in a formal manner that could used in an "expert system" (or whatever these are called now days) for dealing with NT semantics. Furthermore, the concept "scenario" once it is understood, will remove a lot of confusion from the discusson of how the greek article is used with complex referents. 

A second longer example from Hoyle p233f :

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For example, the Pharisees and Sadducees are mentioned together six times in the Gospels, all in Matthew. Only once do they have separate articles, where they are in different participant roles:

Matthew 22:34a
Οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ἐφίμωσεν τοὺς Σαδδουκαίους >>hOI DE FARISAIOI AKOUSANTES hOTI EFIMWSEN TOUS SADDOUKAIOUS<<

In all other cases they are combined as a single group, members of the main religious sects of Judaism, functioning together in the same role as “opponents of Jesus”, for example (referents bolded, evidence for combined role underlined):

Matthew 3:7: generation of vipers
Ιδὼν δὲ πολλοὺς τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων ἐρχομένους ἐπὶ τὸ βάπτισμα αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν >>IDWN DE POLLOUS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN ERCOMENOUS EPI TO BAPTISMA AUTOU EIPEN AUTOIS, GENNHMATA ECIDNWN<<

Matthew 16:1: testing, asking for a sign
Καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ Σαδδουκαῖοι πειράζοντες ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν σημεῖον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτοῖς >>KAI PROSELQONTES hOI FARISAIOI KAI SADDOUKAIOI PEIRAZONTES EPHRWTHSAN AUTON SHMEION EK TOU OURANOU EPIDEIXAI AUTOIS<<

Matthew 16:6: Beware the leaven
Ὁρᾶτε καὶ προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>hORATE KAI PROSECETE APO THS ZUMHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<. Matthew 16:11: Beware the leaven
προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>PROSECETE DE APO THS ZUMHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<. Matthew 16:12: Beware the teaching
ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ τῆς διδαχῆς τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>ALLA APO THS DIDACHS TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<<.

Carson (1984:85) cites Acts 23:7 as the only place this phrase τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ Σαδδουκαίων >>TWN FARISAIWN KAI SADDOUKAIWN<< occurs outside Matthew. Here again, although the following text emphasizes the dissension between the groups, they are introduced together in the same scenario role as “council members”, referring back to 23:1 “the council”. This passage contains the only other New Testament occurrences of Pharisees and Sadducees in the same verse, i.e. 23:6 and 23:8, where the two groups are explicitly contrasted.

Similarly, the scribes and the Pharisees are mentioned together 21 times in the Gospels. They are distinct in nature, one being an occupation, the other a religious sect, yet on three occasions, where there is emphasis on these people as the superreligious and hyperlegalistic types, they are conjoined:

Matthew 5:20: unless your righteousness exceeds
ἐὰν μὴ περισσεύσῃ ὑμῶν ἡ δικαιοσύνη πλεῖον τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων >>EAN MH PERISSEUSHi hUMWN hH DIKAIOSUNH PLEION TWN GRAMMATEWN KAI FARISAIWN<<

Matthew 12:38: we want to see a sign
Τότε ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ τινες τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων λέγοντες, Διδάσκαλε, θέλομεν ἀπὸ σοῦ σημεῖον ἰδεῖν >>TOTE APEKRIQHSAN AUTWi TINES TWN GRAMMATEWN KAI FARISAIWN LEGONTES, DIDASKALE, QELOMEN APO SOU SHMEION IDEIN<<.

Luke 14:3: Is it lawful?
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς νομικοὺς καὶ Φαρισαίους λέγων, Ἔξεστιν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεῦσαι ἢ οὔ >>KAI APOKRIQEIS hO IHSOUS EIPEN PROS TOUS NOMIKOUS KAI FARISAIOUS LEGWN, EXESTIN TWi SABBATWi QERAPEUSAI H OU<<;

Matthew mentions scribes and Pharisees together in Matthew 23:2, 13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, as two distinct but known groups “the scribes and the Pharisees”, for example:

Matthew 23:2
Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋςέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι >>EPI THS MWU+SEWS KAQEDRAS EKAQISAN hOI GRAMMATEIS KAI hOI FARISAIOI<<. Matthew 23:13
Οὐαὶ δὲ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί >>OUAI DE hUMIN, GRAMMATEIS KAI FARISAIOI hUPOKRITAI<<

One might have expected the scribes and Pharisees to be conjoined as a doublet with a single article in 23:2, since they are accused of the same sins. However, in Matthew 23:6 the Pharisees are accused separately, Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ >>FARISAIE TUFLE<< ‘Blind Pharisee’, which suggests that the two groups are not being treated as an undifferentiated whole.

All other references to scribes and Pharisees are as two groups, either both anarthrous Φαρισαῖοι καὶ γραμματεῖς, Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι >>FARISAIOI KAI GRAMMATEIS, FARISAIOI KAI NOMODIDASKALOI<< (Matthew 15:1; Luke 5:17) or both arthrous. Here there is no set order for the two groups, i.e. Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 15:1; Mark 7:1, 7:5; Luke 5:17, 5:30, 7:30, 15:2), scribes and Pharisees (Luke 5:21, 6:7, 11:53).

The Pharisees are also mentioned with the Herodians (Mark 12:13, each noun with the article), and with the chief priests. In the latter case the order is always “the chief priests and the Pharisees” but both nouns have the article (Matthew 21:45; John 7:32, 11:47, 11:57, and 18:3) except for John 7:45 which has the one article τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ Φαρισαίους >>TOUS ARCIEREIS KAI FARISAIOUS<<. This, I propose, can be explained by the anaphoric reference to 7:32 where the two distinct groups, in cooperation, send attendants to arrest Jesus, and here those attendants report back to their senders, now conceptualized as a single group since they function together as opponents of Jesus in this paragraph.

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Elizabeth Kline

[1] section 8.2 page 323 ff., Richard A. Hoyle, Scenarios, discourse and translation.  SIL 2008

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