Re: How to memorize verb forms...

Somi Chuhon (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 18:41:34 -0800

At 06:38 AM 17/12/96 -600, you wrote:
>On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Somi Chuhon wrote:
>> There's only one place to find "biblical Greek" and that's in the text!
>> Perhaps the concern to know other verb forms are due to a need to look
>> outside of the text in order to inform the text of its interpretation (I'm
>> taking a wild guess here). Frankly, [personal opinion], you don't really
>> need "outside" Greek to know that the text is saying "inside."
>This seems to asssume that the full semantic range of a given verb
>appears in its various instances in biblical literature. Not only is this
>a questionable assumption with verbs which appear frequently in the NT or
>LXX, but it hardly applies to hapax legomena. It is doubtful that the
>meaning, say, of ANASTENAZW (a hapax at Mk 8.12) is available to us from
>within Mark. My investigations of this word have shown that
>commentators, working only with the context that the text of Mark
>provides (and not the wider "outside" context of how the verb was
>used by other non-biblical writers), are consistently wrong in
>stating what ANASTENAZW signifies. They generally take it to mean "to
>express anger or frustration". But in all of the "outside" instances it
>NEVER means this. Rather it is used to signify and express "dismay",
>"profound distresss that one is caught up in a painful situation
>from which there is no escape".
>Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey, I understand your agrument and concern in this regarding hapax...I
have been mauling over this whole area about how much "outside" sources you
really need in order to determine what is "inside" the text. I am not sure
that I can put out a fully integrated argument concerning the use of the
hapax legomena at this moment because it involves so many other areas of
Greek study. What I can say is that I am not making the assumption that the
meaning of a word is confined to the boundaries of the text. I was merely
responding to the statement/question of how much we should work at knowing
Greek words not found in the text.
Having said this, I would not mind a futher discussion on the whole
area of textual and extra-textual study of the GNT. In my opinion (and in
the opinion of other biblical scholars, I might add), there needs to be a
distinction made between biblical interpretation and apologetics of the
Bible. I am not saying that these are seperate. Rather, the lack of
distinction between the two brings exegesis sometimes to a very subjective
end because it tends to base Scripture upon interpretation of historical
data which may or may not apply to a given biblical text (determined by the
scholar who attempts to apply it). Gordon Fee is a classic example. I have
attended his courses at Regent College here in Vancouver, B.C. and I have
yet to see a place where his "historical background" truly informs the
interpretation of the text. Yet, as he took an entire class through the
book of Romans one semester, the excitment of that book did not come from a
historical basis for the book but rather a careful reading of the text ALONE
(in using the word "alone", I am saying that he is able to talk about the
text without referring to a "historical" background.) Yet, he
unapologetically insists that one needs to know the historical background to
understand the book. In my estimation, he (Fee) is contradicting
himself...if there is a scholar who accomplishes what Fee is meaning to do,
I would like to know of one. (I am not being sarcastic here...I would invite
anyone to show me a good biblical "historically-informed" interpretation. I
don't pretend to know all the scholars out there.)
Like I stated earlier, this whole discussion is so involved that I
can't give you a full expanded version of it here. No doubt you will find a
lot of holes in the argument in the above paragraph. I am not placing a
full argument here but just opening up the areas that I think need to be
addressed. I would like to continue a discussion if you would like to
respond. I am still in the process of learning a lot about the whole area
of NT studies and interpretation and am hot on the topic rihgt now. (I'm
much more into the OT studies, personally, but what is the whole basis of
our faith or even the title "Scripture" is the NT is ignored!! *smile*) I
only have a month to really enjoy this newsgroup before I leave for 5 months
and then go to school after that so let's keep talking! :)

ACTS Graduate Student
Langley, B.C.
Old Testament Studies