Review of Runge's "Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament" Pt 13

As the title of this post points out, this is the 13thpost in my review of Steve Runge’s Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament.  At this point, I’m still thoroughly enjoying Runge’s.  Even so, life is catching up to me and the busyness is preventing me from being able to write on it as I wish I could.  I have several projects due both within and outside of my Ph.D. program, not to mention the fact of being a T.A., having 3 holidays right in a row to celebrate, and that I’m traveling to San Francisco for SBL (where I’m presenting a paper and presiding over a session) and Israel within the next 6 weeks.  I say all that to say that the 13thpart of my review is going to be necessarily basic and brief.  Basically, I’m going to do little commenting and critiquing and just give an example of each of the remaining portions of Part 3 of the grammar (Chapters 12-14).  As for the Part 4 of the grammar and its 4 remaining chapters, I will try to cover those in the near future, perhaps in a couple of posts bringing the review series to 15.  Anyway, I’m rambling on.  Here are the main thoughts of the last 3 chapters of Part 3, with little of my own commentary/ explanation to go along with them.

The “Circumstantial Frame”, which is also called a predicate participle or adverbial participle, is anartharous and functions “as the predicating verb in an independent clause” (243).  Basically, the main function of this frame is to draw attention to the verb that immediately follows by “backgrounding” the information.  “Anarthrous participial clauses that precede the nuclear [main] clause present information that is backgrounded.  This means that the information they convey is of secondary importance vis-à-vis that of the nuclear clause.  This claim does not hold for anarthrous pariticpial clauses that follow their nuclear clauses” (249).  There are 3 specific instances in which to look for this phenomenon, here are 3 examples, one each, that Runge gives (250ff):

If the subject of the participle is also the subject of the main clause, a nominative form typically is used.
Mt 28:17-29: 
17 καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.
18 καὶ προσελθὼν Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ [τῆς] γῆς.
19 πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος,
If the subject of the participle plays a nonsubject role in the main clause (i.e., in the dative, accusative, or genitive case), then the participle and its subject typically will agree in case with the other reference to the same participant in the main clause.
Mt 8:23:
Καὶ ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

Lk 8:27a:
ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑπήντησεν ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ἔχων δαιμόνια
If the subject of the participle is not involved at all in the main clause, a genitive form will be used for both the subject and the participle. This is generally called a “genitive absolute.”
Lk 4:40a, 42:
40a Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου [TPἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαιςTP] ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν·
42 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον· καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτὸν καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπʼ αὐτῶν.

Having rounded out my review of Runge’s “frames” at this point I want to say a few brief words about the content of chapter 13, which is “Emphasis” and chapter 14, which is “Left Dislocation”.

Runge’s definition of emphasis is “taking what was already the most important part of a clause and placing it in a position of prominence in order to attract even more attention to it” (269).  What is very important here is the fact that emphasis is “drawing extra attention to what was already the most important information in a given context” (269).  This varies greatly from the traditional understanding of emphasis, which typically is just a any device that gives parts of a sentence more significance.  “The primary way that emphasis is communicated in Koiné Greek is through restructuring the information of the clause to place the focal information in a specially marked position” (272).  For Runge, then, emphasis is adding to what is already important!  Here’s an example he provides (Ro 1:16-17):

16 Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον,

δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι.

17 δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται· 

[TP δὲ δίκαιοςTP] ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel,

for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in it from faith to faith, just as it is written,

“But [TPthe one who is righteousTP] by faith will live.”

Finally, in chapter 14, Runge discusses what he refers to as Left-Dislocation, which appears in many grammars under terms like pendent nominative.  Basically, “left-dislocation constructions are reserved for topic-announcing or topic-shifting contexts” (289); they “serve to streamline the introduction of an entity into the discourse.  They have the effect of either announcing or shifting the topic of the clause that follows” (290).  With that in mind, according to Runge, there are two basic uses of left-dislocation in the GNT:

§    streamlining the introduction of a complex entity into one clause instead of two;
§    thematically highlighting the introduction of an entity because of its significance to the discourse.

Here are a couple of examples from the NT, where the left-dislocation is marked by the symbol [LDLD]:

Mt 18:6:
[LD Ὃς δʼ ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων εἰς ἐμέ,LD] συμφέρει αὐτῷ ἵνα κρεμασθῇ μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ καταποντισθῇ ἐν τῷ πελάγει τῆς θαλάσσης.

“But [LDwhoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,LD] it would be better for him that a large millstone be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Mt 12:32:
καὶ [LD ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου,LD] ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ·

[LD ὃς δʼ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου,LD] οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι.

“And [LD whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man,LD] it will be forgiven him.

But [LD whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit,LD] it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the coming one!”

Well, that does it for this overview of chapters 12-14.  Certainly, much much more could be said.  So, if you’re interested, head on over toLogos and pick up your copy of Runge’s work right now!  Then, check out the preceding posts in this series of reviews by clicking the links below:

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