Re: Luke 7:29-30 Jesus or Luke?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Apr 11 1999 - 18:50:56 EDT

At 2:58 PM -0700 4/11/99, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>> I'd be willing to venture an opinion on this matter that this IS Luke's
>> comment, except that it strikes me that it is a text-critical question
>> rather than one that can be decided on the basis of the Greek text. Of
>> course the morphology and discourse features of the Greek do play a role
>> here--but wouldn't you be looking at the same features as you look at in a
>> translation of this passage into another language? It strikes me that this
>> question may be beyond definitive resolution: it may be that the evangelist
>> intends these verses to be understood as spoken by Jesus--but to determine
>> that requires making text-critical judgment, it seems to me, rather than a
>> judgment that is based strictly on the morphology and syntax of the Greek
>> here.
>> Carl W. Conrad
>What are you saying here? This is off topic? Are you shutting down a
>thread which is not a thread yet and is not likely to be a thread?
>On the subject of TC, there is no mention of TC in my post at all.
>Nothing! There is a TC issue in LK 7:31 where the TR and M (margin)
>Vg(cl) Lat (f) have an insertion of EIPE DE hO KURIOS at the beginning
>of the verse. This would have some bearing on the discussion but wasn't
>brought up in my post.
>It is really difficult for me after two years to figure out what is on
>and off topic on this list. This does occasionally cause some
>frustration on my part. This frustration may be evident in the tone of
>my remarks here. No disrespect is intend.
>Are you essentially barring all discussion of Discourse Analysis? I find
>discourse analysis as a subject heading in all of the intermediate NT
>Greek grammars which have been published in the last decade. So why is
>it off topic?
>It seems to me that discourse analysis is just as much a language issue
>as syntax. In fact it is a form of syntax at a different level of the
>language. The manner in which discourse is marked is language specific.
>It is different in NT Greek than it is in English or in Hebrew. I really
>am at a loss to see why this is off topic.
>I would like to hear some comments on this from some of our local
>experts who are doing research on this issue. Do I need to go to a
>different list for this. What list?
>If this post sounds kind of feisty it is not intended to be rude. Just
>trying to figure out what we can talk about here.

Clay, you're talking about textual criticism in the narrower sense of the
word; I'm talking about it in the broader sense, where it opens up into
so-called "higher criticism"--which is right on the border-line, whether or
not it has quite crossed in to it, between understanding the sense of the
text and determining the history, composition, sources, etc., etc. of the
text: and I mean specifically, such issues of form-criticism,
source-criticism, redaction-criticism which involve basic hermeneutical
presuppositions. To be precise: you have formulated your question in terms
of whether those two verses are to be understood as words of Jesus or as
words of Luke. And that's precisely the sort of question I don't think our
resources in Greek are sufficient to resolve; I think it's a question that
calls upon methodologies that, even if they depend upon competence in
Greek, go beyond mere competence in Greek. Is that so difficult to

I'm not ruling this out in advance, by any means, and I didn't think I said
that. I do question whether this question can be resolved by understanding
of the Greek alone. My own feelings about Discourse Analysis are wary, but
I hope open-minded; my sense is that the real difficulty with it is
agreeing about the legitimate presuppositions of an analysis. So let's just
see what develops, and not try to judge matters in advance.

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

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