[b-greek] Re: Ephesians 3:13

From: Mike Sangrey (msangrey@BlueFeltHat.org)
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 15:24:46 EDT

keitht@kneptune.demon.co.uk said:
> But are all examples of imperfect grammar in the New Testament
> intentional, or are some of them errors?

There are two types of grammarians: prescriptive and descriptive.

The prescriptive ones say "This is the way it is suppose to work, and if
we have to float the Titanic, by golly, you're going to do it this way."

The descriptive ones say "We don't tell nobody nothin' 'bout how to do it,
we chust tell it like it is."

Well, perhaps that's pushing things a little bit, but my point is the
truth of the matter is a strange marriage of the two. People will
tend to obey the "rules" of grammar for the simple reason that it gets
the message across far better than throwing the rules to the wind.
However, language is such an immensely complicated beast that nobody,
but nobody is going to get the grammar right all the time.

I wish I could say the NT authors were perfectly submissive to the god
of grammar book--they weren't. I wish I could say we perfectly understand
that grammar--we don't. From my perspective, that leaves us with this
wonderful gift from God dressed in human language.

    What kindness writ in holy fabric;
    infused by God this inscribed hope.

    For human flesh has penned the writing,
    for which the grammar feigns a Pope.

> I would be interested to learn more about discourse analysis, my
> understanding of English seems to be hindering me in fully understanding
> what the scriptures say. Are there any good introductions online that
> can be saved or downloaded for offline study?

You might be interested in:
  Dooley, Robert A. and Stephen H. Levinsohn. 2000.
  Analyzing Discourse: A Manual of Basic Concepts


Watch out for word-wrap in the URL.
Mike Sangrey
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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