From: Lynn A Kauppi (lynnkauppi@juno.com)
Date: Sun Apr 13 1997 - 14:17:12 EDT

In reference to Heidi Pope's question:

It is an assumption on your part, Heidi, that each New Testament text has
only one meaning. Some examples: Luke is often called the "gospel of
prayer" because prayer is a major emphasis (including three parables
(11:5-8, 18:1-8, 18:9-14) but he also emphasizes the resurrection and
numerous other themes. In Acts, Luke variously treats the outreach to the
Gentiles, the God-fearers, etc. My dissertation is about the (minor)
theme of Luke's critique of Greco-Roman religion in Acts. Paul spends
much of 1 Thessalonians discussing the return of Christ and comforting or
exhorting the community. What do we make of the various ethical
pronouncements in chap. 5 if 1 Thessalonians has only one theme? Paul's
Corinthian correspondence treats apostolic authority, community
factionalism, sexual impropriety, etc.
Our own understanding of an author also depends upon our questions and
our "social location." I ask cultural and sociological questions and seek
parallels in archaeology and Greco-Roman literature. A minister asks,
"How can I apply the text to my church right here and now?" Marxists have
asked questions, so have Freudians, and so on and so on. Try reading
Christopher Blount, Cultural Criticism (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996)
which discusses one text in Mark from the perspectives of Bultmann,
African-American preaching and spirituals, liberation theology, and a few

Carl, the current exegetical literature on Revelation seems to generally
agree on a Domitianic date for Revelation. Schussler-Fiorenza sees Roman
imperialism everywhere and concludes that the imperial cult "being forced
down the throats" of the early Christians and local in Asia Minor. Recent
archaeological study and Simon Price's Rituals and Power have made most
other exegetes move beyond this demonization of the imperial cult. The
literature is impossible to summarize here. My advisor once mentioned,
without providing the reference, drat!, that some exegetes understand
John of Patmos' "bad" Greek as a "counter-cultural" response to Roman
authority. I'd like to see the evidence. I'm finishing up an article for
publication on the use of DIKAIOSUNH on Greco-Roman coins which has
implications for understanding both Paul and Revelation.

Jonathan, when you say prayers use the aorist, what do you mean? The
address, the specific invocation for help? Whose prayers? Biblical
prayers? I have several Greek prayers in front of me cited by H. S.
Versnel, "Religious Mentality in Ancient Prayer," in Faith, Hope,
Worship: Aspects of Religious Mentality in the Ancient World, ed. H. S.
Versnel (Studies in Greek and Roman Religion 2; Leiden: Brill, 1981)
1-64. Many do not use the aorist. The aorist imperative appears to be
used in the direct petition for help but not in every case.
Ritual language does take on a life of its own. The Assyro-Babylonias
continued to use Sumerian religious texts long after Sumerian was a dead
language. The outlines of the Western liturgy have remained essentially
intact among liturgical churchs after some 1800 years if not longer. The
Romans used Etruscan prayers in their rituals long after neither the
priests nor the Roman populace understood Etruscan.

Mark 8:35 is simply a third class condition or future more vivid: EAN +
subjunctive in the protasis with the future indicative (or equivalent) in
the apodosis:

        SWSEI AUTHN.

Why does Zerwick, Grammatical Analysis, 134, say, "AN with future
indicative in Hellenistic Greek sometimes found replacing aorist
subjunctive? Am I missing something here or have I totally misconstrued
this text?

Here's hoping everyone has a nicer spring than the upper Midwest or

Lynn Kauppi
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:12 EDT