Creation Language in Romans 8

A Study in Monosemy


Modern scholarship tends to understand Paul’s use of creation language (κτίσις) in Rom 8.18–23 as part of a commentary on the state of sub-human creation. This misguided position warrants an inquiry into the state of lexical study in New Testament scholarship. As a result, Fewster articulates a theory of lexical monosemy, cast in the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics. The model is applied to Paul’s use of κτίσις through a robust corpus analysis and investigation into the word's role within the paragraph. κτίσις contributes to the cohesive structure of Rom 8.18–23 and—contra the majority of interpreters—functions as a metaphor for the human body.

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Gregory P. Fewster is a graduate of McMaster Divinity College and is Adjunct Instructor of Greek at Great Lakes Bible College in Waterloo, Ontario. He serves as Associate Editor for the journal Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics.
1. Creation Language in Romans 8
2. Systemic Functional Monosemy: A Theory of Lexical Meaning and Function
3. Corpus Linguistics: Lexicographical Data Collection, Theory, and Analysis
4. Modeling Lexicogrammatical Metaphor
5. Corpus Insights into Creation Language in Hellenistic Greek
6. The Contribution of κτίσις to the Textual Organization of Romans 8.18–25
7. The Role of κτίσις in Discourse Transitivity
8. Conclusions and Results
Anyone with an interest in Ancient Greek language and linguistics, with a particular interest in lexical semantics, systemic and corpus linguistics, and metaphor theory, as they intersect with New Testament interpretation and Pauline theology.