Re: Metaphors in Greek

From: james m smith (
Date: Tue Feb 23 1999 - 09:46:20 EST

On 02/07/99, ""Carl W. Conrad" <>" wrote:
> 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
> WWW:

Is it reasonable to assume that no such "law" exists? Would it not be more
profitable to exhibit obvious cases that would show its failure? Many
clear examples can be given to support this "law" but clear examples to
disprove it are elusive. Can anyone debunk this "law" citing unambiguous
cases? Please.

Jamie Smith

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