Re: Metaphors in Greek

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Feb 07 1999 - 07:00:33 EST

At 4:34 PM -0600 2/6/99, William B. Steidtmann wrote:
>In "Figures of Speech Used in the Bible" by E.W. Bullinger (Baker Book
>House, Grand Rapids, Michigan) a disscussion of the phrase "this is my
>body" from Matthew 26:26 is taken up (pp. 738-739) as it relates to a
>"simple law of figurative language". The argument is as follows: the
>pronoun "this" in the Greek is TOUTO and the gender is neuter. If the
>statement "this is my body" were meant to be taken in a literal sense the
>pronoun would have taken the gender of the noun it replaces which in this
>case is "bread", in the Greek ARTOS, and is masculine. But the pronoun
>TOUTO is not masculine, rather it has taken the neuter gender of the noun
>"body" (SOMA) to which the meaning is "carried across" the verb. This "at
>once shows us that a figure is employed" and is not meant to be taken
>literally; it is a metaphor.
> Being a person who is but a "Little Greek" can anyone cite
>references/examples that would confirm/deny this law?

I'd like to see evidence for such a law, too? I really doubt seriously
there is any such "law" --or that the reader is given any sort of
self-explanatory code to determine where the sense is literal and where it
is metaphorical.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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