[b-greek] Re: Topic/Comment & Pt of Departure Mk 9:10

From: CWestf5155@aol.com
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 00:15:35 EDT

In a message dated 7/13/00 1:49:46 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net writes:

<< This is a compound/complex question.
 Looking at TON LOGON in Mk 9:10 it seems that this is a topic/comment*
 clause where TON LOGON is the topic and there is a primary comment
 (EKRATHSAN . . .) and possibly a secondary comment (SUZHTOUNTES . . .). It
 also seems that TON LOGON may serve as a point of departure, but this may
 be dependent on what we determine to be the referent of LOGON.
 If we take the referent of LOGON to be the whole experience of the
 transfiguration (Mk 9:1-9) then I would argue that TON LOGON serves also as
 a point of departure since it sums up the whole previous scene and
 introduces a transition to the next scene.
 However, this approach leaves the second comment found in Mk 9:10
 (SUZHTOUNTES . . .) hanging in the air. On the other hand, if we understand
 the referent of LOGON to be restricted to hO hUIOS TOU ANQRWPOIU EK NEKRWN
 ANASTHi, then both the primary and secondary comments seem to make sense. If
 we accept this analysis then TO LOGON is still the topic but it seems less
 likely that it serves as a point of departure since it does not really
 provide a transition between two high level constituents (paragraphs).
 So it seems that we need to determine the referent of LOGON to proceed with
 the analysis of the discourse function of TO LOGON and the topic/comment
 structure of MK 9:10. However there is something of a chicken/egg problem
 here. Do we proceed from an analysis of the discourse structure to a
 solution of the LOGON referent question or do we solve the LOGON referent
 question first by some other means and use our conclusion about the referent
 of LOGON to help us analyze the discourse structure. >>

Just to keep our terminology straight, most of the discussion of theme as a
point of departure is about the sentence, but I see that Clay is talking
about the point of departure of a paragraph--a unit above the sentence
level--and this is one of my interests.

I agree that the problem of the referent of TON LOGON (accusative, right?)
needs to be solved. As you know, LOGOS has a broad semantic domain (see Louw
& Nida vol 2 p. 153). I suggest that the closest referent is hA EIDON in v.
9, and what they saw refers back to the episode on the mountain, vv. 2-8 (so
that the meaning of LOGOS in this context is event). So this is a direct
response to Jesus' command. The participial phrase SUZHTOUNTES TI ESTIN TO
EK NEKRWN ANASTHNAI is linked to Jesus' provocative contingency in v. 9b, the
phrase EK NEKRWN ANASTH being repeated nearly verbatim.

Everything points to an extremely high level of cohesion between v. 9 and v.
10. There is a command with a two-fold response that has all kinds of
semantic links. I also suggest that vv. 11-13 belong to the same unit, with
EPHRWTWN expanding on how they were seeking (SUZHTOUNTES). The whole thing
kind of follows the pattern of given-new, with TON LOGON being the given in
v. 10, but also prominent as the point of departure for that sentence, but
not for the paragraph.

The unit evidences spatial cohesion as well (the descent down the mountain
which terminates in v. 14 when the come to the other disciples), and finally,
there is cohesion among the actors--starting with v. 2. The formal
boundaries between vv. 1-8 and 9-13 are spatial.

Cindy Westfall
PhD Student, Roehampton

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