Date: Wed Feb 14 1996 - 22:12:19 EST
Northlan wrote: is the art of classifying an evolving art?
It is, although in my research my sense was that despite differences
in nomenclature, the sort of classifications that one finds in the major
grammars falls along similar lines. The apparent differences are often
along the "what do you call it when...?" lines.
What has helped in the last few decades is the realization that language
doesn't always fall into neat categories. Thus, in the passage in Matt. 24
that we've discussed this week - "the sign of the Son of man" - it can be
fruitfully debated whether it is epexegetical (my choice) or qualitative or
content --- but in the end, once you've scouted out what the genitive
MAY do, it helps just to stand back and look at the text and ask
"Yes, but what is Matthew SAYING?"
Language - even an alleged "precision-language" like Koine, is sloppy;
it spills over the containers we set up for it, and at the end of the day
it's people saying what's on their minds, just in an archaic language.
Hope this doesn't sound too simplistic - I've written a book on syntax
and appreciate the help that GRAMCORD and the grammars give, but in the
end "CONTEXT LEX" - context is king (forgive the pig Latin). Now, if I can
just get my exegesis students to believe me!
Gary S. Shogren
Associate Professor of New Testament
Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield PA
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