Cabelese & Rom. 12:19

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 02:28:21 EDT

In the early 20's Ernest Hemingway sent his dispatches from Paris to the
Hearst's news service in a language called cabelese. "Cabelese was an
exercise in omitting everything that can be taken for granted."* This was an
artificial language that lacked information redundancy. The purpose was to
cut down of the cost of sending a cable which unlike e-mail was not free
(about $3 per word in 1920's currency).

From the standpoint of information transfer human language is highly
redundant. The NT authors did not use cabelese in their writings. However, a
skilled author will often prune away information that can be taken for

I would take THi ORGHi in Rom. 12:19 as an example of this. Further
specification of THi ORGHi is not required on account of the quotation from
Deut 32:35.

Excessive information redundancy can be employed by an author for the
purpose of rhetorical underlining. It is a means of slowing the reader down
and drawing added attention to a select portion of text.

In Rom. 12:19 I think Paul was just being economical with his use of words.

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

* quoted form Malcom Cowley's introduction to "The Sun Also Rises."

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