[b-greek] RE: Luke 18:11 -- Iver Larsen's suggestion

From: Steven R. Lo Vullo (doulos@appleisp.net)
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 22:12:49 EDT

on 9/10/01 5:46 PM, George Blaisdell at maqhth@hotmail.com wrote:

> The forms of discourse are well attested, both in the Hebrew and the Greek,
> and are are called chiastic, and the rules governing them are clear and
> objective. Chiastic verbal structuring of language was common and well
> understood in the 1st century and well before and after. See John Breck's
> "The Shape of Biblical Language", as but one book written on this. Examples
> abound in the Bible... OT and NT. The chiastic method is attuned to an
> oral and predominantly non-literate culture, lending oral structure to
> language that is not read so much as heard...
> Ain't no eisegetic voodoo to any of it! Just an ancient and eastern way of
> oral expression, so far as I know...


I think we are all aware, to one degree or another, of chiastic structure.
But I fail to see what chiasm has to do with a prepositional phrase
modifying two different verbs at the same time! Don't get me wrong, if you
can show me some clear examples, I would be more than willing to consider
them. Judging from your comments above, they should be ubiquitous. But just
because it may be unclear which verb a prepositional phrase is modifying
doesn't warrant saying "both."

A couple more comments on "Western ________ " (fill in the blank). First,
these appeals to "Western vs. Eastern" are so tired, worn out, and cliched
as to be utterly irrelevant. They should be unceremoniously buried in a
shallow grave along with the expression "don't go there." They have simply
become a prejudicial appeal that impresses only those who ride the same
hobbyhorse. They really express a thinly veiled (though perhaps not always
deliberate) ad hominem argument that says, "You just haven't been able to
get beyond your cultural prejudices." What needs to be dealt with is not
whether someone has an underlying prejudice (who doesn't?) but what the
evidence is in the Greek for what is being defended or denied. Why don't we
give one another the benefit of the doubt that we are all at least trying to
keep our presuppositions and biases in check?

Second, I think many have overlooked the fact that trying to find relevance
in more than one perspective at the same time, whatever its status in the
ANE, is itself a thoroughly modern idea, very popular in "Western" nations
right now. People who eschew "either/or" thinking are praised as
"enlightened" and are celebrated as "open minded." So let's not think that
such a perspective when applied to the Greek text may not itself express a
modern cultural bias.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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