Re: 1 Cor 12:1-11

Date: Fri Nov 06 1998 - 16:09:43 EST

Charles Peebles wrote:
> This is my first attempt to post to the B-Greek list. I'm quite sure
> that I'm not going about it in the right way. Please forgive me.
> Concerning the significance of ALLWi and hETERWi in 1 Cor 12: The
> interchanging of synonyms is most likely just an effort to avoid
> excessive repetition, as several other B-Greeks have already opined.
> The pattern, however, is almost certainly not an accident. The
> stylistic pattern ABAA AABA, or in its more common form AB BA is a
> figure of speech common in Greek and Latin prose and poetry. It's
> called a chiasm or chiasmus because of its resemblance to the shape
> of the letter chi (cf. Odit...privatam luxuriam, publicam
> magnificentiam diligit. 'They hate private extravagance, public
> magnificence they love.') This chiasm probably serves no purpose
> other than to give a pleasing structure to the enumeration of the
> gifts. Perhaps it even served as a mnemonic device for those who
> might have cared to memorize the list.

Chuck ~

Thank-you for this post ~ I keep reading chiasm on this list, and I
never really had any kind of handle on it until now, thanks to you.

Your observation that the chiasmic structure may have served
mnemonically sheds a whole new light on the structural import of Greek
writing for me ~ One of those things that lurked in one of my mental
backwaters unseen... The fact that the culture was bye and large
illiterate, as I believe it was, and that the language emerged out of
illiteracy, where memory was all that a person could refer to, would
seem to argue strongly for the idea that Greek syntactical structure
tends to serve memory ~ Much unlike our 'literate' 20th century
culture and resultantly developing syntax.

I am in your debt, and look foreward to 'hearing' more from you once
your timorousness passes!


Lisa Messmer..................ICQ# 5666415
George Blaisdell

Have you seen Dulcie? Look for her Heart!

Last Chance for Animals...Fight Pet Theft!

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