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The Exegetical Significance of Meta-Comments for Identifying Key Propositions. Steven Runge Discourse Grammar and Biblical Exegesis Consultation Providence, RI, November 19-21, 2008. Introduction. Tendencies in communication: Communicate intended content Efficient and focused

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the exegetical significance of meta comments for identifying key propositions

The Exegetical Significance of Meta-Comments for Identifying Key Propositions

Steven RungeDiscourse Grammar and Biblical Exegesis ConsultationProvidence, RI, November 19-21, 2008

introduction
Introduction

Tendencies in communication:

  • Communicate intended content
  • Efficient and focused

E.g., “I appreciate your research.”

www.ntdiscourse.org

glossary definition
Glossary Definition

Meta-comment—When a speaker stops saying what they are saying in order to comment on what is going to be said, speaking abstractly about it.

www.ntdiscourse.org

glossary definition1
Glossary Definition

Meta-comment—When a speaker stops saying what they are saying in order to comment on what is going to be said, speaking abstractly about it.

E.g., “I want you to know that I appreciate your research.”

www.ntdiscourse.org

glossary definition2
Glossary Definition

Meta-comment—When a speaker stops saying what they are saying in order to comment on what is going to be said, speaking abstractly about it.

E.g., “I want you to know that I appreciate your research.”

  • Interrupts the flow of the discourse
  • Attracts extra attention to the proposition that follows.

www.ntdiscourse.org

english meta comments
English Meta-Comments
  • “It is very important that you understand that …”
  • “I want you to know that …”
  • “Don’t you know that…”
  • “Of all the things that you have learned so far, the most important one is that…”
  • “If you remember nothing else that I say, remember that…”

www.ntdiscourse.org

english meta comments1
English Meta-Comments

“You look down, they know you're lying and up, they know you don't know the truth. Don't use seven words when four will do…He's got to like you then forget you the moment you've left his side. And for God's sake, whatever you do, don't, under any circumstances...”

Brad Pitt as “Rusty” in Ocean’s Eleven

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greek nt meta comments
Greek NT Meta-Comments
  • λέγω ὑμῖν “I say to you…”
  • λέγω ὑμῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν “I tell you the truth…”
  • γινώσκετε ὅτι “We know that…”
  • οἴδαμεν “I ask that…”
  • οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν “I want you to know…”
  • ἀγνοεῖτε “Don’t you know…”

www.ntdiscourse.org

greek nt meta comments1
Greek NT Meta-Comments
  • λέγω ὑμῖν “I say to you…”
  • λέγω ὑμῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν “I tell you the truth…”
  • γινώσκετε ὅτι “We know that…”
  • οἴδαμεν “I ask that…”
  • οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν “I want you to know…”
  • ἀγνοεῖτε “Don’t you know…”

Often co-occur with vocatives/nominatives of address:

E.g. “I want you to know, brothers, that…”

www.ntdiscourse.org

romans 12 1
Romans 12:1

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conventional explanation
Conventional explanation

Form critical classifications

  • disclosure formulas
  • request formulas
  • hearing forms
  • petition formulas
  • introduction formulas

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problems with conventional explanation
Problems with conventional explanation
  • Collocation of words, not the usage
    • Sometimes significant, other times not
    • Variations of form are questioned
    • Expressions with comparable effects are excluded

www.ntdiscourse.org

problems with conventional explanation1
Problems with conventional explanation
  • Collocation of words, not the usage
    • Sometimes significant, other times not
    • Variations of form are questioned
    • Expressions with comparable effects are excluded
  • Found outside of Greek epistolary literature
    • The same forms with same effect found in narrative
    • Same kind of device found in many languages

www.ntdiscourse.org

problems with conventional explanation2
Problems with conventional explanation
  • Collocation of words, not the usage
    • Sometimes significant, other times not
    • Variations on form are questioned
    • Expressions with comparable effects excluded
  • Found outside of Greek epistolary literature
    • The same forms with same effect found in narrative
    • Same kind of device found in many languages
  • Usage and distribution suggest broader function

www.ntdiscourse.org

discourse explanation
Discourse explanation

Meta-comment—When a speaker stops saying what they are saying in order to comment on what is going to be said, speaking abstractly about it.

www.ntdiscourse.org

discourse explanation1
Discourse explanation

Meta-comment—When a speaker stops saying what they are saying in order to comment on what is going to be said, speaking abstractly about it.

Meta-comments have the effect of attracting extra attention to the proposition that follows

  • Not needed to process what follows
  • Usage where it is not semantically required brings about the pragmatic effect.

www.ntdiscourse.org

romans 12 3
Romans 12:3

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galatians 1 9
Galatians 1:9

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james 1 16 17
James 1:16-17

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mark 13 14
Mark 13:14

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luke 4 24 25
Luke 4:24-25

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matthew 15 10 11
Matthew 15:10-11

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matthew 11 15
Matthew 11:15

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