[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios and Galatians 6:18

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 26 18:25:55 EDT 2010


Steve wrote:

<[SER: ] I have used the NASB to highlight structural issues from the
Greek text to make an exegetical point in teaching. Having said that,
most students (even those with some Greek) lack the necessary
background to really understand complex clause structural issues on
their own. What I advocate in the grammar is the student gaining a
thorough understanding of the Greek text in order to communicate it
clearly to their (most likely English) audience. I say in the
introduction (I think) that translation is often a poor means of
communication. I am focused more on exposition and preaching, not
translation. If I WERE to focus on translation, I would lean more
toward the functional equivalent end of things, meaning of the
discourse features that accomplish various tasks, not just preserving
the words or structure. 

I toured Roman ruins once while in
Italy for a high school trip. Their significance was lost on me as I
had no way of understanding their significance since I did not
understand what they used to be. It was clear they were important,
there were gates around them, guards, and signs everywhere. But
understanding that they ARE important is far cry from understanding WHY
they are important. When I teach, I picture it being something like the
tour guide that show pictures of an artist's mock up of what underlies
the preserved elements. Without that understanding of what underlies
it, ruins are just a pile of pretty, important rocks. 

Probably a bad analogy, but its Monday and I do not have time for more. Hope that helps.>

Hi, Steve,

It is a bad analogy, but don't feel bad; I make bad analogies all the time.  The New Testament is nothing like Roman ruins because its
meaning can be grasped by anyone who can read.  The meaning of the Greek NT and a translation, or a set of translations, overlap about
97%.  We obsess over the other 3%, which is one issue.

But a deeper issue is your contention that there is some deeper meaning in a text, any text, that only a linguist can unpack.  If it were true
that we who have not read that many books in linguistics "lack the necessary
background to really understand complex clause structural issues on
their own"
then we would not be able to understand the Greek NT, the English NT, Shakespeare or the Denver Post.  But we do, don't we?

You need a guide to explore and understand Roman ruins.  You do not need a linguist to explore and understand language.  You never have and you
never will. People understood language just fine before Linguistics was invented, and they will understand it just fine if Linguistics goes the way of Phrenology.  That was the point of my egg salad post, another bad analogy to be sure, but it's Monday for me too.

Blessings.



 Mark L



FWSFOROS MARKOS




________________________________
From: Steve Runge <srunge at logos.com>
To: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>; Dr. Don Wilkins <drdwilkins at verizon.net>; Steve Runge <academic_67 at yahoo.com>
Cc: B Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>; Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>
Sent: Mon, April 26, 2010 2:57:28 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios and Galatians 6:18

I'll snip out the extra...

-----Original Message-----
--Snip--

> Elizabeth has once again refused further comment, but I appreciate  
> her input and Yancy's. It appears that you all think that a  
> translation that is "wooden" for analysis purposes is a bad idea. I'm  
> not sure Steve Runge would agree, because he seems to see value in  
> linguistic analysis of an English translation.

Well, Steve can and should speak for himself. I don't see much value
in analysis of an English version other than as an analysis of how an
English text expresses its meaning. I don't see how one can analyze
a Greek text other than in terms of the elements constituting that
Greek text.

--End snip--

[SER: ] I have used the NASB to highlight structural issues from the Greek text to make an exegetical point in teaching. Having said that, most students (even those with some Greek) lack the necessary background to really understand complex clause structural issues on their own. What I advocate in the grammar is the student gaining a thorough understanding of the Greek text in order to communicate it clearly to their (most likely English) audience. I say in the introduction (I think) that translation is often a poor means of communication. I am focused more on exposition and preaching, not translation. If I WERE to focus on translation, I would lean more toward the functional equivalent end of things, meaning of the discourse features that accomplish various tasks, not just preserving the words or structure. 

I toured Roman ruins once while in Italy for a high school trip. Their significance was lost on me as I had no way of understanding their significance since I did not understand what they used to be. It was clear they were important, there were gates around them, guards, and signs everywhere. But understanding that they ARE important is far cry from understanding WHY they are important. When I teach, I picture it being something like the tour guide that show pictures of an artist's mock up of what underlies the preserved elements. Without that understanding of what underlies it, ruins are just a pile of pretty, important rocks. 

Probably a bad analogy, but its Monday and I do not have time for more. Hope that helps,

Steve Runge

Steven E. Runge, DLitt
Scholar-in-Residence
Logos Bible Software
srunge at logos.com
www.logos.com
www.ntdiscourse.org

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