Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What grammar can do for you

As I've said before, I read grammars as a hobby. I recently finished Steve Runge's excellent Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament. I won't bore you with a bunch of excerpts, but you really should read it if you know any Greek. If you don't know Greek, it could help you, but most of it would just run past you.

Anyway, here is a gem that I pulled from the book:

To infer an imperative in [Ephesians 5] v. 22 is an interpretation, unsubstantiated by the grammar. The main command is 'be filled by the Spirit,' and there is not another until v. 25: 'husbands, love your wives.' The statements to wives regarding submission are illustrating mutual submission, not singling women out. The section on submission is grammatically subordinated to the command of v. 18b.—Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 267.

<idle musing>
Thank you, Steve! I don't understand why most English translations make a new paragraph and a new section heading after verse 24. Of course, I don't like the section headings in the first place; I find they distract from the text.

On a related note, I ran a little experiment on myself recently. I found that I read more scripture at a time in a text with no section headings. It still had versification, just not as prominent and the chapter divisions were there, just smaller. I averaged about twice as much reading as in the divided up Bible. Interesting isn't it?
</idle musing>

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