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Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Charge Form

Read the first five posts in this series: Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
2Ti 4.1 offers an example of the Charge Form.


Charge Form in 2Ti 4.1

The discussion of this form is very much preliminary because Smith’s recent book, Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect is the first to propose this form. If Smith is right, it could affect how one interprets the whole book of Second Timothy. One should at least weigh this when working through the book of Second Timothy.

Description of Form
Smith defines the form as follows:

My research has identified four basic elements which comprise the charge: the Charge Verb, Person/s Charged, Authority Phrase, and Content of the Charge. A fifth element sometimes present in a charge is the Implications of the Charge, though this is not a necessary component.[1]

Smith provides more explanation of each of these elements:

  • The Charge Verb: Could be διαμαρτύρομαι, παραγγέλλω, μαρτύρομαι, ἐνορκίζω, εχορκίζω, ὁρκίζω, κελεύω, παρακαλέω, ἐντέλλομαι.[2] Smith notes these are to be active apart from deponents, which will occur in the middle.[3]
  • The Person Charged: A second person singular or plural, though third person singular or plural are possible. The case of the noun is either accusative or dative. This item is not always a part of the charge, sometimes it may be implied from context.[4]
  • The Authority Phrase: Typically following the verb, it may or may not use a preposition. When no preposition is present, the phrase uses the accusative case.[5]
  • The Content of the Charge: Typically in a ἵνα clause and a verb second or third person subjunctive, though it may be an infinitival clause or perhaps even a series of imperatives.

Because the charge verb and authority phrase are always present, those will be used as the basis of the query.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Smith reports the following instances of the charge form: Mt 26.63; Mk 5.7; Ac 16.18; Ro 12.1-2; 15.30-32; 1Co 1.10; Eph 4.17; 1Th 4.1; 5.27; 2Th 3.6; 2Th 3.12; 1Ti 5.21; 1Ti 6.13-14; 2Ti 4.1-8.[6] The query follows:


Charge Form

  • A primary clause with a first-person indicative charge verb as predicator. A second clause component, either an adjunct or a complement contains:
    • “supernatural being or power” (Louw-Nida domain 12) as head term, or
    • οικτιρμος, οικτιρμων or ονομα as the head term

This query, when run, returns 29 instances. Some are duplications based on the “OR” criteria in the word group of the second clause component.

  • Instances from Smith located by the query: Mt 26.63; Mk 5.7; Ac 16.18; 15.30-32; 1Co 1.10; Eph 4.17; 1Th 4.1; 5.27; 2Th 3.6; 2Th 3.12; 1Ti 5.21; 1Ti 6.13-14; 2Ti 4.1-8
  • Extras located by the query: Jn 14.16; 16.26; Ac 19.13.
  • Instances from Smith missed by the query: Ro 12.1-2. This is due to a discrepancy in the annotation of Ro 12.1, where the prepositional phrase that functions as the authority phrase is annotated as modifying the following infinitive verb instead of the preceding indicative verb (the charge verb).

Bibliography

Smith, Craig A. Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: The Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006).

Notes
[1] Smith, p. 27.
[2] Smith, p. 27, 29.
[3] Smith, p. 29.
[4] Smith, p. 30.
[5] Smith, p. 30
[6] Smith, p. 231-233

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Joy Expression

Read the first four posts in this series: Intro | 1 | 2 | 3.
Php 4.10 offers an example of the Joy Expression.


Joy Expression in Php 4.10

Description of Form
As with the Request/Petition form, Mullins has questioned if such a thing as the “Joy Expression” exists as a form in the New Testament. White describes the form as follows:

Five formal items may appear in joy expressions: (i) either the verb χαίρω (“I rejoice”) in the aorist tense (cf. Phil 4:10 and P.Giss. 21 in type 3), or the noun χάρις (“joy”) in the accusative case as the object of the verb ἔχω (cf. Philemon 7 in type 3); (ii) an adverb denoting magnitude (πολλήν, μεγάλως, λίαν in the examples diagrammed on p. 94); (iii) either a statement regarding the arrival of a letter or a statement concerning something which was heard; (iv) the object which was heard, introduced by ὅτι; and (v) the vocative.[1]

Mullins rightly takes issue with this based on White’s own examples. Mullins writes:

For the joy expression, [White] indicates five elements without saying which are essential and which are optional; he says they “may appear” in the form. Now, if a form is to be a form, there must be something about it which is basic. Presumably in the joy expression two elements are basic: first “either the verb χαίρω (“I rejoice”) in the aorist tense (cf. Phil 4:10 and P.Giss. 21 in type 3), or the noun χάρις (“joy”) in the accusative case as the object of the verb ἔχω (cf. Philemon 7 in type 3)” and, second, “the object which was heard, introduced by ὅτι”.[2]

To isolate instances of this potential form,[3] the two items Mullins understands as basic are used as search criteria.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Because Mullins’ first basic item has two relatively different options, two queries are necessary.

First Query[4]


Joy Expression, First Query

  • A primary clause with a first person aorist instance of χαίρω as the predicator.
  • A secondary clause with the conjunction ὅτι.

Second Query


Joy Expression, Second Query

  • A primary clause with a first-person instance of ἔχω as predicator and χάρις (or χαρά) as complement. The order may be predicator-complement or complement-predicator.

No comprehensive list of instances of the joy expression are given by either White or Mullins. Their own examples list Php 4.10 (exemplary of first query) and Phm 7 (exemplary of second query) among the NT instances. The following are located with the queries:

  • Instances located by the First Query: 2Co 7.13; Php 4.10; 2Jn 4
  • Instances located by the Second Query: 1Ti 1.11-12; 2Ti 1.3; Phm 7; Heb 12.28; 3Jn 4.

Bibliography

Mullins, T.Y., “Formulas in the New Testament Epistles”, JBL 91 (1972), pp. 380-390.
White, J.L., “Introductory Formulae in the Body of the Pauline Letter”, JBL 90 (1971), pp. 91-97.

Notes
[1] White, pp. 95-96.
[2] Mullins, p. 384.
[3] For the very reasons Mullins states, existence of this structure as a literary form are doubtful. At the very least, the definition needs to be worked over and supplemented with non-canonical examples from the papyri.
[4] Instead of two queries, the form could be located with a single query that uses OR to join the two separate queries. They are presented separately to isolate the differences in each portion of the overall query.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Request/Petition Form

Read the first three posts in this series: 1 | 2 | 3.

1Co 1.10 offers an example of the Request/Petition form.


Request/Petition Form in 1Co 1.10

Description of Form
There is much debate between White and Mullins on this form. Smith, as the latest writer to review the debate, gets the last word. He sides with Mullins, thus Mullins’ formulation (as described by Smith) will be evaluated here. Smith writes:

According to Mullins, the petition form has three basic elements: the background, the petition verb, and the desired action and optionally the address (i.e. to whom the petition is directed) and the courtesy phrase (i.e. a form of ἔαν σοι δόξη, ‘if it seems good to you’). The background includes the recital of information which the petitioner deems necessary for the official to know so that the official will decide in the petitioner’s favour. The petition verb, which is always in the first person and the present tense, reflects the petitioner’s concern that the official act on his behalf. the typical verbs used are ἀξιοῦν, δεῖσθαι, ἐρωτᾶν and παρακαλεῖν. The desired action outlines the request of the petitioner, that is, what he wants the official to do on his behalf. [1]

No specific structural information is given regarding the “background” section, so this cannot be included in a structural search. The other “basic elements”, the petition verb and the desired action, can be structurally quantified.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
The request/petition form involves consecutive clauses, each with different characteristics.

First Query


Structure of First Query

  • A primary clause that has either ἀξιοῦν, δεῖσθαι, ἐρωτᾶν or παρακαλεῖν as its predicator in the first person and present tense. The verb is a first-person present indicative. This clause has a complement (or perhaps an adjunct) with an embedded clause. The predicator of the embedded clause is an infinitive verb. An example is found in Lu 9.38.

Second Query


Structure of Second Query

  • A primary clause that has either ἀξιοῦν, δεῖσθαι, ἐρωτᾶν or παρακαλεῖν as its predicator in the first person and present tense. The verb is to be a first-person present active indicative.
  • A primary or secondary clause follows. This primary clause has an second person verb in the indicative, imperative or subjunctive mood as its predicator. An example is found in Ac 21.39.

Third Query


Structure of Third Query

  • A primary clause that has either ἀξιοῦν, δεῖσθαι, ἐρωτᾶν or παρακαλεῖν as its predicator in the first person and present tense. The verb is to be a first-person present active indicative.
  • A secondary clause follows. This clause contains a subordinate clause indicated by the conjunctions ἵνα, γὰρ or ὅπως.[2] An example is found in 2Th 3.12. Note that other secondary clauses may intervene between the primary clause and the subordinate clause (e.g. Phm 10).

Mullins reports the following instances of the Petition Form: Lu 8.28; 9.38; 14.18-19; 16.27; Ac 8.34; 21.39; 26.3; 28.22; Ro 12.1; 16.17; 1Co 1.10; 16.15; 2Co 2.8; 6.1; 10.1, 2; Ga 4.12; Eph 4.1; Php 4.2, 3; 1Th 4.1, 10; 5.12; 2Th 2.1; 3.12; 1Ti 2.1; Phm 9, 10; Heb 13.19; 22; 1Pe 2.11; 5.1.[3]

  • Instances from Mullins located by the First Query: Lu 9.38; Ac 26.3; 28.22; Ro 12.1; 16.17; 2Co 2.8; 6.1; 10.2; Eph 4.1-3; Php .4.2; 1Th 4.10-11; 5.12-13; 2Th 2.1; 1Ti 2.1-2; 1Pe 2.11-12.
  • Extras located in First Query: Ac 24.4; 27.34; Ro 15.30.
  • Instances from Mullins located by the Second Query:[4] Lu 8.28; Lu 14.18-19; Lu 16.27; Ac 21.39; Ro 12.1-2; 16.17; 1Co 1.10; 16.15; 2Co 5.20; Ga 4.12; Php 4.3; 1Th 4.1; 5.12-13, 14; Heb 13.22
  • Extras located in Second Query: Jn 17.15
  • Instances from Mullins located by the Third Query: Lu 16.27; 1Co 1.10; 1Th 4.1, 10-12; 2Th 3.12; 1Ti 2.1-2; Phm 10-13; Heb 13.19; 1Pe 2.11-12.
  • Extras located in Third Query: Jn 17.15; Ro 15.30-32; 2Jn 5
  • Instances missed by all three queries: Ac 8.34; 1Pe 5.1.

In the instances missed by the queries, the syntax is not as easily ascertained as in the others. In Ac 8.34, the substance of the desired action is not stated at all; it is implied by asking a question—a question that is formally three short clauses. The petition, then, is to answer the question; it is not explicitly stated at all. In 1Pe 5.1, a complex verbless clause consisting of a subject with embedded participles intervenes between the petition verb and the desired action (stated in a primary clause with an imperative verb).

Alternate Query


Structure of Alternate Query

An alternate method would be to simply find where a present tense, singular form of the petition verb occurs as the predicator of a primary clause. These would logically have a high probability of being examples of the petition form.

This method, completed in a single search, locates all of the instances supplied by Mullins. The query additionally locates the following false positives: Jn 17.9, 15, 20; Ac 24.4; Ro 15.30; 1Co 4.13, 16; 1Th 5.14.

Bibliography

Mullins, T.Y., “Formulas in the New Testament Epistles”, JBL 91 (1972), pp. 380-390.
———, “Petition as a Literary Form”, NovT 5 (1962), pp. 46-52.
Smith, C.A., Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006). pp. 10,
White, J.L., “Introductory Formulae in the Body of the Pauline Letter”, JBL 90 (1971), pp. 91-97.
———, The Form and Structure of the Official Petition (Missoula, MT: Society of Biblical Literature, 1972).

Notes
[1] Smith, 47.
[2] White 1971, p. 93.
[3] Mullins 1962, p. 54. Note that Mullins has two typos. “2 Corinthians XX 2” should be “2 Corinthians X 2” and “2 Corinthians V 20; V 1” should be “2 Corinthians V 20; VI 1”.
[4] These instances include overlapping matches between all three queries; this is not a unique list.

Quick Impressions of ETS and AAR/SBL 2006

The ETS and AAR/SBL conferences were awesome. We were able to meet all sorts of folks at both conferences and talk with them about Bible study software and especially about syntax.

But it was a long week. Time in the booth, catching sessions, giving papers, catching up with old friends and making new friends have a way of wearing a guy out. As a matter of fact, on the way to the airport for the flight home, Eli (in the back), Mike (on the right) and Rick (on the left) crashed in the minivan while John was playing the role of chauffeur. Vincent apparently obliged in snapping the picture.

We may have other pictures later, and I hope to post the papers I presented later as well.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Greeting Form

Read the first two posts in this series: 1 | 2.
Romans 16 has several examples of this form. Verse 3 offers a good sample:


Greeting Form in Ro 16.3

Description of Form
Mullins describes the components of the greeting form as follows:

The elements of the greeting are: 1. the greeting verb (some form of ἀσπάζεσθαι); 2. indication of the person who is to do the greeting; 3. indication of the person who is being greeted; 4. elaborating phrases. The first three are the basic elements of the greeting. The fourth is optional. These elements may be expressed differently in the three types of greeting. In the first-person and second-person type of greeting, elements one and two are accomplished at the same time by the verb.[1]

As noted in the above quotation, Mullins identifies three different types of the form, one for each grammatical person of the greeter. Thus there are first-person, second-person and third-person forms. Because component 2 can be done with either grammatical person of the verb (first and second person) or a pronoun (third person), the pronoun is essentially optional when considering a syntax-based query.

Therefore a syntactic search only need attend to two criteria:

  • The greeting verb (ἀσπάζομαι)
  • Indication of the person being greeted.

Mullins does not provide a definitive list of New Testament instances, but he does mention epistles that contain instances of the greeting form: “It appears in the letters of Paul, extensively, and in the Pastorals, Hebrews, I Peter, and II and III John.”[2]

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the greeting form involves searching for clause-initial instances of ἀσπάζομαι (as a predicator component) that also have a complement clause component. The complement denotes what completes the predication, thus direct objects are included in the sorts of things that complements encode.[3] Including the complement therefore includes an “indication of the person being greeted”.


Structure of Greeting Form

This query returns 69 instances, though the results are not perfect. Instances in Mark (15.18) and Acts (21.7, 19; 25.13) are returned in addition to hits in Paul, Pastorals, Hebrews, First Peter, Second John and Third John.[4] Romans, with an extensive greeting section in chapter 16, contains the bulk of the matches.

Bibliography

Mullins, T.Y., “Greeting as a New Testament Form”, JBL 87 (1968), pp. 418-426.

Endnotes
[1] Mullins, p. 419.
[2] Mullins, p. 424.
[3] An aside: One could limit greetings to those that list personal names in the complement by restricting the complement to containing a head term word that is also tagged as Louw-Nida domain 93, the “personal name” domain. But this would skip over other valid instances of greetings like Php 4.22, “All the saints greet you”.
[4] Based on Mullins’ article, my guess is that only the Mark and Acts references are extraneous; the rest are valid.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Disclosure Form

Read the first post in this series
An example of the disclosure form is found in 1Th 4.13:


1Th 4.13, Disclosure Form

Description of Form
Smith provides a concise summary of the structure of the disclosure form as identified by Mullins:

Mullins has isolated the disclosure form, as a distinct literary form which is used in the NT. He examined the form in terms of structure first. By doing so he observes that this form has four constituent elements: verb of wishing, infinitive of a noetic verb, person addressed and information disclosed. Next he examined the form in terms of content and observed that the verb of wishing is typically θέλω, the infinitive of a noetic verb used is typically γινώσκειν (the tense varies) or ἀγνοεῖν, the person addressed is either second person singular or plural and the content of the information disclosed is diverse and usually found within a ὅτι clause.[1]

White discusses the form briefly in his article:

This form may be delineated in terms of its three principal elements: (i) the verb of disclosure, often a two-membered unit consisting of a verb of desiring (θέλω or βούλομαι) in the first person indicative, and the verb of knowing (γινώσκω) in the infinitive form; (ii) the vocative of address (ἀδελφοί, “brothers,” in the five examples from Paul); and (iii) the subject to be disclosed introduced by ὅτι.[2]

The common points of these descriptions include:

  • verb of wishing/desiring
  • verb of knowing, in the infinitive mood
  • a ὅτι or ἵνα clause further explicating the subject to be disclosed.

Smith reports Mullins determines the following references as containing instances of the disclosure formula: Ro 1.13; 11.25; 1Co 10.1; 11.3; 12.1; 2Co 1.8; Col 2.1; 1Th 4.13.[3]
Because the third item (ὅτι or ἵνα clause) is variable as Mullins’ reported instances demonstrate, candidate instances of the disclosure formula can be located simply taking the first two items into account.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the disclosure form in the OpenText.org SAGNT involves searching for clauses that contain a Predicator with θέλω and that also contain an embedded clause (infinives are typically encoded as embedded clauses) with lexical forms of either αγνοεω or οιδα.[4] Below is the query that will find Smith and Mullins’ reported instances.[5]


Structure of the Disclosure Form

Search results in Logos Bible Software are presented in both Greek and English, with respective structures highlighted in each language. In this particular search, the silver background represents the content of the clause; the orange represents each clause component.


Syntax Search Results — Disclosure Form Instances

Bibliography

Mullins, T. Y., “Disclosure: a Literary Form in the New Testament”, NovT 7 (1964), pp. 44-50.
White, J.L., “Introductory Formulae in the Body of the Pauline Letter”, JBL 90 (1971), pp. 91-97.
Smith, C.A., Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006). pp. 10,

Endnotes
[1] Smith, 10.
[2] White, 93.
[3] Smith, 11.
[4] Andrew Pitts, in a forthcoming review of Logos Bible Software 3.0 to be published in the Journal of Greco-Roman Judaism and Christianity, uses a similar search with similar results as an example of the capability of the OpenText.org SAGNT.
[5] As of November, 2006, this is not strictly true. 1Co 12.1 is erroneously tagged in the current version of the OpenText.org SAGNT. This error has been flagged for correction and should be updated in a future release of the database.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Introduction

During the SBL national meeting in Washington DC, we’ll be doing a session on Syntactically Annotated editions of the Greek New Testament. Here’s the info:

Session: 20-101 — Syntactically-Tagged Databases of the Greek NT: Overview & Training Seminar Date: Monday — November 20 Time: 4:00 – 6:30 PM Room: Bulfinch – GH Description: Exegesis in the Greek New Testament concerns far more than semantics and parsing. Take the quantum leap with software that allows you to search for grammatical/syntactical structures and usage in the Greek New Testament.

During that session, I hope to run through a few examples of things I’ve been working on with syntax searching in the area of epistolary form criticism. That sounds a bit high-falutin’, I know, but it has direct import on exegesis of New Testament epistles.

Think about it. Even today, we have certain “forms” that we use in particular types of communication. When we write a letter, we have a “Dear ______” salutation, we have a signature (e.g., “Sincerely, Rick” or something like that). Those are what could be called “forms”. If you write a memo in your office, chances are you do it a particular way.

The same thing happens with ancient letters. There are particular “forms” for opening a letter. There are also forms closing a letter. And there are, some think, forms for other things in between.
If you’re working through an epistle, wouldn’t it be important to know if there are potential examples of these “forms”, and to also be able to find where other instances of them are in the epistles? Might that not have an effect on exegesis?

This post introduces the idea in a little more detail. Subsequent posts in the series (I believe there will be five, though some may be broken up depending on size of post) will work through the structure of some proposed forms (see bibliography below) and examples of syntax searches designed to locate those forms. I hope to post once a week, but I may get off that schedule since we’ll be in the holidays.

Continue Reading…

Greek Syntax: Kinds of Mystery

I’m in a small group home Bible study, and we’re studying Colossians. My Father-in-Law leads the study, but he and Mom were on a short vacation last week so that means I got to sit in the hotseat. Our text was Col 2.1-7.

So Col 2.2 was one of the verses we looked at. Here it is, in the ESV:

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, (Col 2:2, ESV)

The text has the words “God’s mystery”. One of the first things I wondered about had to do with what other types of “mysteries” are mentioned in the New Testament. In OpenText.org-speak, what this means is that I wanted to find what sorts of things qualify the word translated “mystery” (μυστήριον).

I’ve detailed this sort of search before (see blog post Syntax Search Example: What “Qualifies” another Word?), complete with video.

That’s cool and all … but what if I didn’t want to go to the trouble of creating a syntax search? Well, I could just run the Bible Word Study (BWS) report. One of the Grammatical Relationships examined for the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament involves qualifiers.

Specifically, it is the “Words and phrases used to further qualify (word)” relationship.
So I just ran the BWS by right-clicking μυστήριον and selecting the Bible Word Study option. Of course, if I was in a reverse interlinear, I could’ve just right-clicked. Here’s the list I retrieved:

Now, assuming you have Logos 3 and the syntax databases, you try it. Here’s my question for you: What kinds of “Kingdoms” are mentioned in the New Testament?

Go to Mt 13.11 in your ESV New Testament Reverse Interlinear, which mentions “the mystery of the kingdom of heaven”, right-click on “kingdom”, and run the right-click option for Bible Word Study.

When it’s done, scroll down to the Words and phrases used to further qualify βασιλεία. It should look something like this:

Watch out … now you’re using syntax in your study of the New Testament!

Why does Logos have editions of both the NA27 and UBS4?

If you’ve looked at the list of Greek New Testaments contained in Scholar’s Library (and Silver, and Gold) in any detail, you’ve likely noticed that both the UBS4 and NA27 texts are included.

I’m sure you’re asking, “Hey, aren’t those the same text? Why would you ever have them both?”
It’s true, the texts share great similarity and can even be said to be the same text. From tha NA27 Introduction:

The text of this edition reproduces that of the 26th edition unchanged. Consequently, with rare exceptions, the paragraphing and punctuation remains the same, avoiding the necessity for altering the page makeup. Thus the text of the present edition is identical as before with that of The Greek New Testament, now in its 4th revised edition. The same text underlies the concordances, the Lexikon zum Neuen Testament, and the Synopsis quattuor Evangeliorum.

Nestle, E., Nestle, E., Aland, K., Aland, B., & Universität Münster. Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung. (1993, c1979). Novum Testamentum Graece. At head of title: Nestle-Aland. (27. Aufl., rev.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung.

But an edition is more than text. The NA27 and UBS4 editions have the same letters in the same order with the same book, chapter and verse breaks. But that’s where the similarity ends. The texts have different punctuation, different casing, different paragraph breaks, different ideas of what constitute quotes or allusions from the Old Testament, and different poetry formatting.

All of these features play in to how a text is read and understood—you know, the very thing that students of the Greek New Testament (and the Bible in general) are very interested in.

Because Logos preserves as much formatting of the printed edition of the text as possible, these differences can be seen in comparisons of the text. One good example that has exegetical implications is found in 1Ti 3.16. This is a well known verse that contains what may be an early hymn or creed that the author used to support his argument. Some commentators see 1Ti 3.14-16 as the central piece of the epistle. But NA27 and UBS4 format the poetry/creed/hymn differently. UBS4 has the six lines formatted as two triplets while NA27 formats the text as three doublets.


Click image for larger graphic

The formatting has direct impact on how one reads the text. Are there two groups of three things? Or three groups of two things? What items are parallel to each other? Each edition presents different options, so both are necessary to consult to get a clear picture of the problem.

Sometimes one text will format things as poetry when another does not. An example of this is found in 1Ti 2.1-7. The UBS4 text sees this whole block as one paragraph, while the NA27 breaks out verses 5 and 6 as poetry (or perhaps an early hymn or creed or saying of some sort).


Click image for larger graphic

If one considers vv 5-6 as a reference to an early creedal statement, it may play a different role in exegesis than normal supporting text in prose. There are a few options. From the NA27 text, one might conclude that Paul is either waxing poetic/creedal (very possible) or referring to a commonly known creedal statement to back up his statement in vv. 3-4 (God wants to save all people, and wants them all to come into knowledge of the truth). Or, reading from the UBS4 text, one might consider vv 5-6 to be normal prose offered in support of the previous assertion with no creedal sort of impact. Is Paul appealing to an external saying he knows his audience will see as authoritative? Or is he being creative? Or did he just come up with some nice phraseology in the context of his argument? All (and more!) are possible. Whichever you prefer, the typography of each edition conveys the editors’ thoughts and it is valuable to take into account when reading and exegeting the text.

Another difference between editions is when one text has more paragraph breaks than the other. A good example of this is found in 1Ti 5.3-16. In the UBS4 text, this is one paragraph. In the NA27 text, it is two paragraphs (vv 3-8 and vv 9-16) with a sub-paragraph break in the second paragraph (so sub-paragraphs of vv 9-13 and vv 14-16). UBS4 has no notion of sub-paragraph breaks, but the NA27 uses them routinely to break larger paragraphs. You can see another one in the screen shot before verse 21.


Click image for larger graphic

A few other slight differences between versions can be seen in the above screen capture.
First, note the word Σατανᾶ in verse 15 of UBS4. The same term is σατανᾶ in the NA27. One could conclude that the UBS4 edition considers this to be a name or title, while the NA27 edition considers it a noun (“adversary”). This is not a small difference when it comes to exegesis.

Second, note the quotations and allusions from the Old Testament in vv. 17-19. They’re different typographically. UBS4 uses bold font while NA27 uses an italic font. But if you look closely, you’ll see disagreement on what is and is not a quotation from or allusion to the Old Testament. The UBS4 is much more conservative here; it generally only emboldens fairly direct quotations. The NA27, on the other hand, notes both quotations (the one matching the UBS4 edition) and allusions (the balance of italic text in vv 18-20. This as well is exegetically significant. If I think the author is reaching back to quote or allude to the Old Testament in the course of his argument, it may affect exegesis of the text.

The bottom line: While UBS4 and NA27 do share the same sequence of letters, they differ in many, many other ways. They are different editions of the same text. Some of these differences can and do affect exegesis. I’ve used examples from the same relatively short epistle (First Timothy, six chapters long) on purpose so you can see these differences can and do occur with frequency.

They are not isolated.

The good news is that your Logos Bible Software presents these texts as they appear in their printed versions. The UBS4 text even has section heads and, in the gospels, cross-references after the headings to parallel passages. You can simply scroll the text side-by-side to see if there are any differences in the passage you’re studying.

When you run across differences, ask yourself: “What impact would this difference have on exegesis of the text? What would I have missed if I wouldn’t have noticed this?” and seriously think about the options. Your exegesis will be better for it.

Greek Syntax: Searching for Granville Sharp

If you’ve studied NT Greek, you’ve likely heard of something called the “Granville Sharp Rule”.

If you’ve been around Bible software, you know that many folks use “finding Granville Sharp” as a sort of litmus test for the capabilities of their Bible software.

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament gives us an opportunity to examine what the Granville Sharp rule really is and to think about new ways to find instances of it.
Awhile back I wrote a paper for internal use here at Logos examining what “Granville Sharp” is and how to find it using the traditional “morphology+proximity+agreement” approach. This approach has problems because one must approximate relationships between words using morphological criteria (i.e. part-of-speech data), morphological agreement (i.e. terms ‘agree’ in their specified case), and word proximity (i.e. words are within N words of each other).

Then I examined finding Granville Sharp using the OpenText.org SAGNT. With the syntax annotation, you’re freed from approximating relationships with morphology+proximity+agreement and empowered to actually specify relationships that the syntax annotation encodes.

The 17-page PDF document linked below is that paper. It has explanation and screen shots of the queries, graphs and whatnot so it should help in thinking about how to go about isolating syntactic structures via searching the OpenText.org SAGNT. It might even help get the juices flowing for those considering the Logos/SBL Technology Paper Awards.

I’ve also included the two syntax queries discussed in the paper. I just tested them on 3.0b Beta 2, so if you have that version installed, you should be fine. I would think it would work on any flavor of 3.0, but why not upgrade if you’re not up to date?

Copy the queries to your My Documents\Libronix DLS\Syntax Queries folder and then load them as you would any other syntax search, from the Load … button in the Syntax Search dialogue.

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