Volume 6 (2017)
Jonathan M. Watt
Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, USA
A common closed-class feature of languages, prepositions connote spatial and logical relationships, often (though not always) preceding the noun to which they specify that relationship. Their use is highly idiomatic to a given language, such that their meaning may be best connoted by something other than a general translation equivalent. It is widely theorized that case-marking historically preceded the rise of prepositions, though in Hellenistic Greek (as in earlier forms of English) these have been employed simultaneously. Cross-linguistic consideration of this basic feature of language can be a helpful step toward understanding the role of prepositions in the Greek of the New Testament. (Article)
Keywords: Greek, ad/pre-positions, cross-linguistic, diachronic, mono/poly-semy
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Greek prepositions belong to a class of words that are usually called particles. These function words are morphologically invariable and enable their function by indicating some kind of relationship between larger units. This means that prepositions are part of a larger category of words that include not only prepositions but conjunctions, adverbs, and possibly other lexemes. Systemic Functional Linguistics does not have an explicit theory of the preposition. However, prepositions are important within both syntagmatic and paradigmatic structure, and function at various ranks and as components of various structures at those ranks. In this paper, I discuss five topics regarding prepositions: word groups and phrases, types of prepositions, prepositions and other relators, the meaning of prepositions, and the function of prepositional groups within SFL architecture. (Article)
Keywords: Preposition, Greek, Systemic Functional Linguistics, conjunction, adverb
Laurențiu Florentin Moț
Adventist Theological Institute, Cernica, Romania
Semitic influence on New Testament Greek prepositional use has been proposed by various scholars.At times, it turns out that the examples these scholars emphasize are quite unconvincing, many times because their methodologies seem unclear. This article proposes the use of the Second Language Acquisition approach in assessing the degree of Semitic influence on the New Testament Greek prepositions uses and applies it in the case of the prepositional irregularities found in the book of Revelation. Error Analysis is a method whereby the source of a linguistic irregularity is identified and the irregularity is explained. The question of this research is, what is the source of Revelation’s prepositional irregularities? The paper discusses the usage of prepositions such as εἰς, ἐν, ἐκ, µετά, ἀπό, and ἐπί in the book of Revelation, the New Testament, and the Greek language at large. Unclear terminology and inaccurate methodology are two factors that led to the conclusion that the source of the irregular prepositional use in Revelation is mainly Semitic. This paper uses the terminology of Second LanguageAcquisition and its findings drawn from empirical studies about linguistic transfer and facilitation from the mother tongue into the second language. In light of Second Language Acquisition, there seem to be strong arguments thatconfirmtheGreekhypothesisandinformtheSemiticexplanation for virtually all of John’s peculiar prepositions. (Article)
Keywords: Prepositions, Greek, Semitic influence, second language acquisition, Revelation
Jacob Bullock
Pacific Institute of Languages, Arts, and Translation Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Relevance Theory offers historical-grammatical interpretation a model of human communication that aids in clarifying the reason modern audiences inappropriately apply their own context to a biblical text. Hill’s matrix, drawing on the model proposed by Relevance Theory, is a tool allowing expositors to explore the inappropriate context readers apply to the biblical text. Hill’s matrix can aid interpreters in the discernment of assumptions as appropriate or inappropriate to apply to a text in a search for authorial meaning. Applying Hill’s matrix to Acts 12:15 an exegete can identify both inappropriate assumptions modern American readers bring to the text as well as those contextual assumptions needed to find authorial meaning which are missing from modern readers’ context.
Keywords: Acts 12, historical-grammatical, New Testament backgrounds, interpretation, Relevance Theory, angel, communication theory.
Ryder A. Wishart
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This review article critically engages two recent monographs that utilize Charles Ruhl’s theory of monosemy to analyze the New Testament. After outlining Ruhl’s theory, I discuss how Gregory Fewster attempts to model monosemy within the linguistic framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics, and how Benjamin Lappenga does so within the framework of Relevance Theory. Each makes important contributions, but I argue that neither has significantly improved on Ruhl’s original model and that some of the modifications of Ruhl’s theory end up being unhelpful or unclear. Nevertheless, both authors have persuasively exhibited the usefulness of a monosemic approach to studying biblical words and texts.
Keywords: Monosemy, Gregory P. Fewster, Benjamin J. Lappenga, Charles Ruhl, Lexical Semantics
Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Arizona Christian University, Phoenix, AZ, USA
This article responds to the article by Madison Pierce and Benjamin Reynolds on the use of the perfect tense-form in John 3:13. While we commend their treatment of verbal aspect in their analysis, we offer several points of correction on several issues, including the semantics of the perfect tense-form, the use of the aorist participle, and the conditional clause.
Keywords: Greek tense-form, perfect tense-form, stative aspect, aorist articular participle, conditional clause