Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Diving Deep into Rom. 12:9-21

 This morning I felt led to contribute to North Carolina's obesity epidemic. 

Yes, scholarship is important, but sometimes it gets trumped by more importanter stuff (like grammar). After stuffing my face fueling the tank, it was time to get down to business, as in asking "What in the world is going on in Rom. 12:9-21?" This passage will be our focus today in Advanced Greek Grammar. 

We'll start by examining two very important and unusual textual variants. Did Paul write to kurio ("the Lord") or to kairo ("the time") in verse 11? And is the humas ("you") in tous diokontas humas ("those persecuting you") original? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Then we will look very carefully at how Paul's wonderful description of love here is arranged. Remember, this "love passage" is rivalled only by the magnificent "Ode to Love" in 1 Corinthians 13, which is rendered as poetry in the ISV:

But back to Rom. 12:9-21. Now you try and tell me that these patterns -- assonance, homoioarcton, homoeoteleuton, paronomasia, isocolon -- aren't intentional! 

By the way, the great and good Keith Elliott of Leeds (UK), textual scholar par excellence, will be joining the class via Zoom. 

Let me tell you, if you haven't read Keith's essay on thorough-going eclecticism in my book Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism, where have you been? 

Yes, the subject is difficult, but how can we possibly interpret the text of the New Testament if we aren't sure about which words are in the text to begin with? I also appreciate the fact that Keith is an outside-of-the-box thinker who is unwilling to blindly follow any one group of manuscripts. Above all, he always pays close attention to the internal evidence, that is, to an author's style and the way that style informs our textual choices. It will be fun to hear what he has to say about the two variants I mentioned above. 

Anyhoo, it's shaping up to be a great day in the Forest of Wake.