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  • Greek & Latin Linguistics x

Creation Language in Romans 8

A Study in Monosemy

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Gregory P. Fewster

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.

Jerome and the Monastic Clergy

A Commentary on Letter 52 to Nepotian, with Introduction, Text, and Translation

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Andrew Cain

In Jerome and the Monastic Clergy, Andrew Cain provides the first full-scale commentary on the famous Letter to Nepotian, in which Jerome articulates his radical plan for imposing a strict ascetic code of conduct on the contemporary clergy. Cain comprehensively addresses stylistic, literary, historical, text-critical and other issues of interpretive interest. Accompanying the commentary is an introduction which situates the Letter in the broader context of its author’s life and work and exposes its fundamental propagandistic dimensions. The revised critical Latin text and the new facing-page translation will make the Letter more accessible than ever before and will provide a reliable textual apparatus for future scholarship on this key writing by one of the most prolific authors in Latin antiquity.

The Greek Article

A Functional Grammar of ὁ-items in the Greek New Testament with Special Emphasis on the Greek Article

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Ronald D. Peters

In The Greek Article, Ronald D. Peters presents a grammar of the Greek article and relative pronoun, categorized as ὁ-items, which was formulated using the principles of Systemic-Functional Linguistics. This categorization stands in contrast to previous grammars, which have categorically associated the article with the demonstrative pronoun. Thus, the present work represents a significant paradigm shift in the study of the Greek article.

Unlike previous approaches that have too often yielded internally inconsistent and contradictory rules of usage, this approach results in a description of the article’s function that is uniform across all occurrences. Simultaneously simple and robust, this grammar promises to pay significant dividends for exegetes and translators of the Greek New Testament.

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Adrian T. Smith

In The Representation of Speech Events in Chariton's Callirhoe and the Acts of the Apostles, Adrian T. Smith summarizes cross-linguistic research on how and why narrators vary the formulae that introduce direct speech. This research is applied to Chariton and to Acts. The findings demonstrate that narrators vary quotation formulae for numerous pragmatic purposes, including the tracking of conversational dynamics via a set of 'marked' and 'unmarked' quotation devices.

Studies in Matthew's Gospel

Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting

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W.J.C. Weren

These Studies in Matthew’s Gospel by Wim J.C. Weren are the result of scholarly work carried out using recent methods in Biblical exegesis such as structural analysis, text semantics and intertextuality. Part One presents a new proposal regarding the macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel and discusses meanings of textual units from this Gospel on the basis of synchronic research. In Part Two, intertextual theories are described and practical tools are developed that enable us to identify various types of relations between texts from Matthew’s Gospel and co-generic or co-thematic textual units from the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint and early Jewish and early Christian writings. Part Three answers the question to what extent the ways in which the disciples are portrayed in Matthew is related to ‘real’ groups in the Matthean communities. The three successive steps are deliberately chosen and are in a complementary relationship to each other.

Modeling Biblical Language

Selected Papers from the McMaster Divinity College Linguistics Circle

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter, Gregory P. Fewster and Christopher D. Land

Modeling Biblical Language presents articles with some of the latest scholarship applying linguistic theory to the study of the Christian Bible. The contributors are all associated with the McMaster Divinity College Linguistic Circle, a collegial forum for presenting working papers in modern linguistics (especially Systemic Functional Linguistics) and biblical studies. The papers address a range of topics in linguistic theory and the Hebrew and Greek languages. Topics include linguistic model building, temporality and verbal aspect, Greek lexical semantics and Hebrew-Greek translation, appraisal and evaluation theory, metaphor theory, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, and Greek clausal structure. These various areas of linguistic exploration contribute generally to the interpretation and analysis of the Old and New Testaments, as well as to linguistic theory proper.

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Hughson T. Ong

In The Multilingual Jesus and the Sociolinguistic World of the New Testament, Hughson Ong provides a study of the multifarious social and linguistic dynamics that compose the speech community of ancient Palestine, which include its historical linguistic shifts under different military regimes, its geographical linguistic landscape, the social functions of the languages in its linguistic repertoire, and the specific types of social contexts where those languages were used. Using a sociolinguistic model, his study attempts to paint a portrait of the sociolinguistic situation of ancient Palestine. This book is arguably the most comprehensive treatment of the subject matter to date in terms of its survey of the secondary literature and of its analysis of the sociolinguistic environment of first-century Palestine.

Parabiblica Latina

Studien zu den griechisch-lateinischen Übersetzungen parabiblischer Literatur unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der apostolischen Väter

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Benjamin Gleede

The author presents a comprehensive historical examination of the early Christian graeco-latin translations of the biblical 'apocrypha' and 'pseudepigrapha'. The analysis of the translation techniques employed yields a distinction between 'literal' and 'adaptive' translations on the hand and translations associated with the textual tradition of the bible and those not associated with it. Whereas the former can be distinguished by the respective handling of textual macrostructures, the latter 'biblical' translations were subject to constant revision according to their original and thus always display a number of different versions.

Als erster Schritt hin zu einer Geschichte der christlichen Übersetzungsliteratur werden hier die lateinischen Übersetzungen griechisch erhaltener „Apokryphen“ und „Pseudepigraphen“ erstmals umfassend historisch einzuordnen versucht und einer übersetzungstechnischen Analyse unterzogen. Obwohl keine dieser Übersetzungen wirklich sklavisch wörtlich vorgeht, ergibt sich dabei doch ein relativ deutlicher Unterschied zwischen ‚wörtlichen‘ und ‚literarischen‘ Übersetzungen einerseits und mit der biblischen Überlieferung assoziierten und nicht damit assoziierten andererseits: Lassen sich die ersteren beiden primär anhand ihres Umgangs mit textlichen Makrostrukturen auseinanderhalten, zeichnet sich die biblische Überlieferung durch ständig neue Rückbindung einer Übersetzung an ihr Original in Form unterschiedlicher Revisionen aus.

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and David Yoon

This collection of essays—the ninth volume in Brill’s Pauline Studies series—features Paul and his relationship to knowledge. Gnosis, the Greek word generally translated as "knowledge," is broadly interpreted, and the essays contained in this volume revolve around both a more general notion of knowledge in relation to Paul and more specific references to Gnosticism. Several of these essays discuss Paul’s use of "knowledge" words, Paul’s knowledge and understanding of key themes and ideas in his writings, Paul’s interpreters in light of gnostics like Valentinus and Marcion, and Gnosticism in light of Paul’s letters. This collection of essays exposes the reader to crucial topics regarding Paul and Gnosis that are not readily addressed elsewhere.

Revisiting Aspect and Aktionsart

A Corpus Approach to Koine Greek Event Typology

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Francis G. H. Pang

In Revisiting Aspect and Aktionsart, Francis G.H. Pang employs a corpus approach to analyze the relationship between Greek aspect and Aktionsart. Recent works have tried to predict the meanings that emerge when a certain set of clausal factors and lexical features combine with one of the grammatical aspects. Most of these works rely heavily on Zeno Vendler's telicity distinction. Based on empirical evidence, Pang argues that telicity and perfectivity are not related in a systematic manner in Koine Greek. As a corollary, Aktionsart should be considered an interpretive category, meaning that its different values emerge, not from the interaction of only one or two linguistic parameters, but from the process of interpreting language in context.