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

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Apr 11 1999 - 21:27:20 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
> recognize?


Thanks for clearing this up.

I am at fault here for choosing the wrong topic line in my post. My real
topic line should read something like: Can analysis of TEXTURE be used
to resolve the issue of who is speaking in Luke 7:29-30? The question of
who is speaking is not one interests me in the least. The question that
does interest me is one of methodology. It is a question raised by

Reed, Jeffrey T “A discourse analysis of Philippians” Sheffield
Academic Press, 1997.

Reed states that we can discover the macrostructure of a NT Greek text
by analysis of distributions of linguistic features. So even though
what I was asking might look like form criticism, then intent was
different. My first question was: can we draw conclusions from Luke's
typical use of PAS + LAOS in the semantic role of AGENT? I am suggesting
that PAS + LAOS in the role of AGENT is a feature of the semantic
TEXTURE of Luke/Acts which is only found in narrative, not in reported
speech. I could be wrong but I don't think this is the way form critical
questions are usually put. I don't think form criticism usually raises
the question of semantic function. I don't think form criticism even
uses the idea of TEXTURE.

It is quite possible that I have departed somewhat from the model used
by J. Reed at this point. Perhaps the way I have formulated the above
question is not in keeping with Reed's approach. I am just finding my
way in this business without a guide.

The second question has to do with the distribution of verb attributes.
The question is, do these patterns mean anything? I am not sure they do.
But this is another question about TEXTURE.

> 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.


I am as skeptical about this methodology as you are. Probably more
skeptical. But I am still at the stage of trying to understand the
methodology so I have decided to suspend judgement until I understand it

I do think that there is a sort of "syntax" in a text above the level of
the paragraph. I got this idea from reading J. P. Louw (The Semantics of
New Testament Greek, Fortress 1982). And I do think that this level of
"syntax" is language specific so falls within the proper scope of the
b-greek list. The problem with this subject is that the "rules" of this
level of "syntax" are far from being well defined. It is still a rather
"dynamic" aspect of NT greek theory.

Thanks for putting up with my confusion of categories while I explore
the fringe.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

Post Script:

As for Higher Criticism, I don't do that kind of stuff. See also Gerhard Maier "Biblical Hermeneutics," Crossway 1993.

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