A reference problem

From: Ronald Ross (rross@cariari.ucr.ac.cr)
Date: Tue Mar 04 1997 - 15:30:07 EST

Dear Greeks,

In a previous posting, I mentioned that I was doing research on the
discourse/pragmatic constraints on the passive voice in the writings of
Luke. One of the aspects of this involves determining the role of the
passive voice in topic continuity and persistence and this is done by
counting any kind of reference (nouns, pronouns, agreement markers,
etc.) to the passive subject and to the passive agent in immediately
preceding and immediately following clauses to determine their relative
topicality. When things go well, there are more mentions of the passive
subject than of the passive agent. I have found, however, that working
with the biblical text presents certain problems one doesn't usually
encounter in ordinary secular texts. For example, in Acts 10.34 the
passive agent is TOU KURIOU. Two clauses back there appears the phrase
TOU QEOU. Is there any way to know in this particular case if the two
terms have the same referent ('God') of different ones ('God/Christ')?
In other words, for my purposes does TOU QEOU constitute a mention of

Even in cases where QEOS and IHSOUS co-occur in the same context, I have
wondered if a linguist who accepts the deity of Jesus might not be
inclined to count this differently than one who is approaching the text
as an outsider.

Ron Ross

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