BH Syntax

David Stabnow dstabno at
Sat Mar 31 15:58:42 EST 2001


Thank you for the letter.

You wrote that you have many books from the Longacre school, "But my
(hopefully unwarranted) suspicion is that this trend in BH studies is not
unlike Literary Criticism in Biblical Studies, i.e. it is partially
determined by gender-correct political (financial?) circumstances rather
than by a meaningless pursuit of (uncapitalized) truth wherever it might

DS: I believe that there is an agenda, but it's not gender-correctness.  It
is synchronic: most practitioners of the Longacre school would argue that
the text as we have it is not an ungrammatical hodge-podge of fragments,
but a well-constructed literary whole.  That said, I believe the
methodology of BH textlinguistics would be a promising approach to your

You said autocommentary occurs in "about 50 contexts, mostly in Sam and the
Story of Josef. (I have a full list of contexts in Gen through 2 Kings.)"

I am working with Samuel, and would love to see your list.

A quick perusal of the examples you gave leads me to an initial suspicion
that, as your term suggests, they have to do with parenthetical narrator's
comments -- pieces of information that the writer has added that are not on
the same time-line as the history, that is, they are in the narrator's and
readers' point of view and time-frame.  However, then I would expect Judg
1:23b to be asyndetic (waw-less).

Incidentally, the index entry for "asyndeton" in Waltke/O'Connor's Biblical
Hebrew Syntax was disappointing.

I don't have time today to pursue this further.  I hope to give more time
to it later.

Dave Stabnow

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