[b-greek] RE: "hOUTOS/hAUTH Word Order" and "Questions about questions"

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Sun Jun 24 2001 - 13:48:11 EDT

on 6/24/01 12:16 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:

>>Mark Beatty wrote:
>> The next key point of my dissertation is that the REASON for "special" word
>> order is not answered by syntax but by semantics.
> I have no quarrel with this theory.

Yes but Mark Beatty's response to Cindy W. seemed to imply that marked and
unmarked constituent order is a language universal. I have read some of the
things on language universals (Bernard Comrie, etc) but I reject the notion
that constituent order patterns are universal across languages and dialects
and I don't think Comrie and others who have written on this topic were
really trying to gloss over language specific distinctions in constituent
order patterns.

The issue under discussion was constituent order in Hebrews. Mark Beatty
implied that one need not distinguish between LXX quotes in Hebrews and
non-quotes when discussing constituent order patterns. His reason for this
was some sort of claim relating to language universals. Not having the total
framework he is working in clearly defined, I cannot evaluate his claim, but
I think his application of his theory to the question about the LXX quotes
in Hebrews is problematic.

Looking again at Hebrews:

What constitutes a valid data sample from the book of Hebrews? If you are
going to talk about the constituent order in the language used by the AUTHOR
of Hebrews you need to set aside the LXX quotes if they are verbatim from
the LXX. Verbatim quotes from the LXX are not the language of the AUTHOR of
Hebrews. (What is verbatim is a tricky problem due to text critical issues
but lets assume that we can distinguish between a direct quote and an

So when we have a verbatim quote of the LXX in Hebrews we need to set that
data aside for independent analysis. Furthermore, when the verbatim quote
from the LXX slavishly follows the constituent order in the Hebrew text, it
does not represent a valid source of of data for discussions of NT Greek
constituent order. The word order of the verbatim LXX quotes in Hebrews may
be acceptable by Hellenistic Greek standards, but the word order isn't a
reflection of anything Greek, Hellenistic or otherwise, when it follows the
order of the Hebrew text.

Mark my well respond that I have just "missed the point" of his argument but
I think not. I am simply rejecting his presuppositions at several levels. I
think that any theory that does not distinguish between Hellenistic Greek
constituent order patterns and OT Hebrew patterns isn't a theory that has
much utilitarian value.

I hope I have caught the general drift of Cindy's remarks and if so I agree
with her as always :-))))


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

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