From: Mike Sangrey (msangrey@BlueFeltHat.org)
Date: Sun Jun 03 2001 - 15:33:09 EDT
"Dave Washburn" <email@example.com> said:
> I'm not sure where this supposition is found, but I'll bypass that
> for now. It seems to me that the question is, which form of the
> statement is more likely to have come out of the mouth of Jesus? We
> have profuse examples of his use of AMHN LEGW SOI/hUMIN etc as an
> introductory formula, and to my knowledge there is not another
> example of his modifying it with SHMERON. Thus, intrinsic
> probability by comparison with other use of this formula in the
> gospels would suggest that SHMERON belongs with the next clause.
While it is very important to consider the statistical norm of usage,
statistical analysis alone tends to walk us down the wrong path. The
exceptions may very well indicate linguistically marked expressions.
Statistics can--and should--be used to uncover marked and unmarked
linguistic behavior. However, additional information is needed in
order to get at the potential meanings. Language is much too capable
of expression to be limited in a somewhat mechanical way by
statistics. Statistics uncovers data, but does not explain it.
"Not allowing a preposition to end a sentence is a rule up with
which I will not put" is a classic example of exceptional usage
for intended effect.
So, it seems to me we have two choices: either SHMERON goes with the
second clause in an unmarked way, or it goes with the first clause in
a very highly marked way. So, our choices, other things possibly NOT
being considered, aren't between the two places for the comma, but are
between these two choices:
Listen, I tell you, today you will...
Listen, even today I tell you, you will...
Or, to allow Jeffrey B. Gibson a voice:
It is about Today I tell you, you will...
Lastly, and I don't think this was discussed in the archives, I've
wondered whether this question regarding SHMERON could be answered,
or the answer more fully supported, by answering a related question:
To the 1st century CE Jews, what did PARADEISOS refer to?
Now the answers to that, I rather guess, will bump up against 1st
century Jewish Eschatology. Therefore, let's do the moderators a
favor and stick to the data as you understand them and allow the
implications of those data to be dealt with in the privacy of our own
homes and offices. I would appreciate understanding this aspect of
the question better. So if you believe your answer moves us away from
explaining the Greek via culture and history, then send email to me
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."
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