Re: Luke 6:27 ALLA hUMIV LEGW

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Mar 06 1999 - 14:58:48 EST

At 11:23 AM -0800 3/6/99, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>In Luke 6:27 we read:
>There is some disagreement among commentators concerning the role this
>opening plays in the semantic structure of the Sermon on the Plain. Some
>say it is a shift in audience addressed from the crowd back to the
>disciples. So that we would see the following breakdown:
>6:20-23 addressed to the disciples
>6:24-24 addressed to crowd (?)
>6:27f addressed to the disciples
>There are others who see ALLA hUMIV LEGW . . . AGAPATE as a contrast
>being draw between AGAPATE and MISHSWSIN (6:22). Some commentators
>place some emphasis on TOIS AKOUOUSIN as specifying a specific subset of
>those present at the sermon on the plain.

You are, of course, really asking hermeneutical questions here more than
questions about what the Greek really means, but without entering into a
real hermeneutical response as such, let me just raise a question whether
perhaps this hUMIN TOIS AKOUOUSIN is equivalent to the device with which
Mark's gospel frequently frames statements of Jesus: hOS AN WTA ECEI

>My main interest in this question is not determining which is the
>correct answer. It is rather, to observe how the semantic structure of
>this passage determines the answer to this question. An analysis of the
>lexical/syntactical issues here will not resolve this issue. One is
>forced to look at higher levels of discourse structure to address this

I think the question I raise does go to the question you raise here.

>****new subject****
>A side issue and somewhat off topic is the general schema I am using to
>look at Lukan narrative. Lukan narrative can be broken down into several
>high level abstract semantic categories. There is nothing at all
>profound about these categories. They are really quite obvious:
>Lukan Narrative Semantic Categories
>Movement (geographical)
>Setting (time, place, historical issues, etc.)
>Actions (the deeds of the main characters)
>Speech (dialogue, teaching, etc).
>Using these four meta categories we can make a further distinction
>between structural categories and substantive categories. Movement and
>Setting are structural categories because they are used to organize the
>narrative. Actions and Speech are substantive categories because they
>are the real core of the story. One should observe that the structural
>categories are not without some substance. These categories do tell part
>of the story. But looking at Movement and Setting from a semantic
>functional perspective I decided to classify them as structural because
>they are used to define the architecture of the narrative.

I know, Clay, especially from what you've told me, that you don't want to
"think like an academician," but I have to say that it seems to me that
you're trying to start doing again from scratch what has already been done
back in the 20's by Dibelius and Bultmann in the least controversial part
of their "Formgeschichtliche" investigations. Although their terminology
differed, it's always seemed to me rather remarkable that the logical
categories which they developed in order to group narrative segments of the
gospels by structural factors did in fact coincide so well with each other.
You may prefer to do this work all over again, but you would not be wasting
time to read the old classic of Bultmann, _History of the Synoptic

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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