Re: Jn 21:15-17 (and getting woollier..)

From: Jim West (
Date: Fri Apr 17 1998 - 14:32:48 EDT

At 01:13 PM 4/17/98 -0500, you wrote:

>As an author myself, I must confess to a little bit of bewilderment at
>statements like this.

I have written a good bit myself and agonize over every word. I cannot
understand why that would be bewildering to anyone.

> It is part of good writing to use synonyms and to
>vary your vocabulary. Repetition of written words has the same result as
>speaking in a monotone: it bores the readers to sleep; they start to skim,
>to skip over parts of what you're saying; they lose interest. Therefore,
>you use synonyms. Sometimes you are going for nuances, certainly, but
>more often than not, the nuanaces are irrelevant: you're simply trying to
>create something which is pleasing to read.

Perhaps the modern novelist, with computer and ample paper will write this
way- but ancient folk with expensive parchment did not waste a single word
or line.

>For instance, there are different nuances to the english words, "ask,"
>and, "request." If I were writing a dialogue, however, and one person
>kept posing question, I would probably throw in a lot of different verbs:
>"....?" he asked.
>"....?" Karl requested.
>His father posed him this question: "....?"

Well and good.

>There are different nuances, different flavors to the verbs there, but my
>intended meanings are all the same. And, yes, as an author I would then
>be smart enough to realize that I'd used three different phraseologies,
>but you as readers would not have to be smarter than me, only as smart as
>me, to understand that I really meant the same thing.

Exactly! And that is exactly what "John" did!!!

>Just a note from the persepctive of someone under the same magnifying
>glass as the author of John.

Apparently you missed the slight sarcasm of my comment- to whit- we are NOT
smarter than John- and he DID know what he was doing.



Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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