Thursday, August 03, 2023

Understanding the GNT Use of Pas Qua Substantive

I favor a two-pronged semantic approach to understanding how GNT writers use "all" (πᾶς) substantivally. What I say below applies to other ways of determining the semanticity of words:

(1) Examine the cotext of particular texts or verses. By "cotext," I mean the literary context or surrounding words, verses, paragraphs, chapters (etc.) found in a scriptural work.

(2) Perform exegesis by undertaking an intertextual approach. That is, compare other texts written by the author/authors to ascertain how he/they employs a particular word in certain literary contexts. Then move from that author such as Paul or Peter to other relevant writers by extending your study to the LXX, papyri and writers like Josephus or Philo as well as the church fathers. The intertestamental literature can also yield helpful insights on a Greek word that occurs in the GNT.

For more on reading the Bible in this fashion, see Ernst's R. Wendland's essay in D.A. Black's (editor) Linguistics and NT Interpretation: Essays on Discourse Analysis (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992. Pages 101-143).

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