Principles and Strategies for Analyzing NT Greek Discourse

Logos Bible Software is proud to sponsor a workshop on Friday, November 22, from 1:00 to 4:30 PM in conjunction with the ETS and SBL conferences. It will be held in the Hilton Baltimore Paca Room (third floor, page 6 of map). This interactive workshop introduces graduate students and scholars to the application of discourse studies to NT exegesis. It offers an accessible survey of foundational concepts, and it does not require a specialized knowledge of linguistics.

Each session will cover a different set of linguistic devices and apply this knowledge to exegesis of select NT passages.

Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
Keeping Track of Participants—Use of the Article with Proper Nouns.

It is commonly observed in grammars of NT Greek that the use of the article with definite nouns (especially proper nouns, such as names of people) is subject to variation. Curiously, the article is sometimes omitted, even though the noun remains definite. And there is further extensive inconsistency among the early manuscripts. Some explanations for this irregularity have been attempted by traditional grammars, but no firm rules have been established. The approach of discourse analysis, however, with its concern for the patterns of language above the level of the sentence, has been able to identify clear principles that govern the choice to use the article with a definite noun or to omit it. In this workshop session, there will be an introduction to the topic, presenting in clear and simple terms the factors involved; time will then be devoted to examining two passages of the NT to see how these principles operate in practice. The aim will be for participants to acquire a clear notion of the reasons for including or omitting the article and the impact of the variation on an author’s intended message. (60 min)

Stephen C. Carlson, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
Discourse Features in the Text of Galatians

Textual criticism is a discipline that requires painstaking, careful exegesis of the Greek textual tradition. Even the tiniest variant can affect the meaning of the text, so textual critics must be able to assess what that effect is in order to evaluate which reading more likely belongs to the author than to a scribe. In my doctoral work on the text of Galatians, I had to turn to the insights of discourse analysis for several variants where the traditional exegetical tools have not been so helpful, particularly those involving sentence connectors, word order, and certain uses of the article. This workshop takes a look at a select set of textual variants in Galatians and uses them to demonstrate the usefulness of discourse analysis in the exegesis of Galatians. (60 min)

Steven E. Runge, Logos Bible Software/ University of Stellenbosch
Understanding Greek Verb Forms Based on their Function Instead of their Translation

There are a number of differences between the Greek verbal system and the one we are familiar with in English. These mismatches between the languages have led to descriptions of the Greek system being framed in terms of the English one—largely based on how it is translated. This presentation will provide a functional overview of the verb forms in terms of what they do, regardless of how they are translated. Primary attention will be devoted to the tense forms in the indicative, describing their prototypical function in narrative and nonnarrative. Attention will also be given to the exegetical implications of finite vs. nonfinite verb forms. These principles will then be applied to a passage containing narrative and nonnarrative text types. Understanding the discourse considerations which guide selection of tense forms and moods will enable participants to better understand their prototypical functions, and to ascertain the exegetical implications of departures from these expected norms. (60 min)

Discussion and General Questions (30 min)

These sessions are not your standard academic papers, but interactive presentations designed to teach and foster discussion. Space is limited, so please RSVP if you plan on attending by emailing discoursegrammar@logos.com.

 

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