Monday, July 25, 2016

Open Access Journal: Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL)

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL)
Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL) is an international journal that exists to further the application of modern linguistics to the study of Ancient and Biblical Greek, with a particular focus on the analysis of texts, including but not restricted to the Greek New Testament.

The journal is hosted by McMaster Divinity College and works in conjunction with its Centre for Biblical Linguistics, Translation and Exegesis, and the organization ( in the hosting of conferences and symposia open to scholars and students working in Greek linguistics who are interested in contributing to advancing the discussion and methods of the field of research. BAGL is a refereed on-line and print journal dedicated to distributing the results of significant research in the area of linguistic theory and application to biblical and ancient Greek, and is open to all scholars, not just those connected to the Centre and the project.
Volume 4 (2015)

Joseph D. Fantin
Dallas Theological Seminary
It is agreed that both context and Greek studies are essential components of the exegetical process. This article explores the function of language itself within society. The focus is not on the typical “meaning” of language as an information carrier but rather on the meaning that the use of particular linguistic elements brings to the communication situation. In other words, I will consider language itself as a social phenomenon. In order to achieve this goal, using Acts 21:27–40 as a test case, I will first consider selective elements of the social and historical context that when understood will contribute to recreating the context of the passage (cognitive environment). Then, with this contextual information activated in the exegetical process, I will consider the social impact of this information on two recorded speech incidents from Acts 21:27–40 resulting in a better understanding of the passage. This will demonstrate that in addition to the informational linguistic meaning, an understanding of the social use of language itself is a valuable tool for understanding the biblical text.
Keywords: Acts 21:27–40, exegesis, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, New Testament backgrounds, New Testament contexts, cognitive environment, Greek, relevance theory
Jonathan M. Watt
Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, USA
A sociolinguistic approach to Paul’s language usage in the Jerusalem arrest narratives of Acts 21–22 offers inferences with regard to his specific language choices between Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic during his interactions. However, modern language studies show considerable inter-language penetration that, by implication, complicate conclusions one may reach with regard to the NT situation.
Keywords: sociolinguistics, multilingualism, linguistic repertoire, code-switching, cross-linguistic penetration
Hughson T. Ong
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article discusses three distinct types of discourse analysis models—Social Identity Theory and Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT), Conversation Analysis (CA), and SFL Register Analysis—and applies them individually to the text in Acts 21:27—22:5 to examine various aspects and elements that comprise the context of situation of the incident of Paul’s arrest in the temple. The main objective is to showcase the relevance and utility of sociolinguistic theories in New Testament exegesis.
Keywords: Acts 21:27—22:5, sociolinguistics, exegesis, discourse analysis, social identity theory, speech or communication accommodation theory, conversation analysis, register analysis
James D. Dvorak
Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, OK, USA
This article approaches the topic of persuasion from a social perspective rather than rhetorical or socio-rhetorical. This is because, at heart, persuasion—of others or of self—is ultimately a social action in which values are negotiated. Dvorak argues that to analyze the persuasiveness of a discourse requires a sociolinguistic model, and the model that is best suited for the job is Appraisal Theory, which is built upon the theoretical foundation of Systemic Functional Linguistics.
Keywords: persuasion, appraisal, evaluation, 1 Corinthians, values, power, discourse analysis
Volume 3 (2014)

Paul L. Danove
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
Τίθημι and its compounds present the broadest range of licensing properties of any set of verbal compounds in the Septuagint and New Testament. This article resolves the occurrences of τίθημι and its twenty compounds into twenty–six distinct usages. The discussion of each usage “derives” the event that the verbs grammaticalize, specifies the conceptualization of the event associated with each usage, describes the syntactic and semantic requirements for verbs with the usage, identifies the observed lexical realizations of required complements, and illustrates occurrences of the verbs with the usage. The discussion then summarizes the relationships among the usages, proposes a further basis for relating the events, and notes the possibility of polysemous interpretations of verbal occurrences.
Keywords: event, lexical, semantic, syntactic, usage, verb
James D. Dvorak and Ryder Dale Walton
Oklahoma Christian University
Too often, study of the biblical text degenerates into rudimentary word studies, leaving aside larger syntactic and logical connections. This paper proposes that careful study should include considerations of genre, register, prime, subsequent, theme, rheme, topic, and comment. To demonstrate this, it applies a Systemic Functional approach to Mark 2:1–12 and the book of Jude.
Keywords: Exegesis, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Prime, Subsequent, Theme, Rheme, Topic, Comment, Process Chains, Semantic Shift, Cohesion, Coherence, Linearity, Genre, Register
S. M. Kraeger
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, USA
Ever since the advent of the printing press, the Latin West and its lexicographic inheritors have used the first person singular indicative verb form (e.g., λύω) as the lemma of the Greek verb. There are historical reasons for this. These historical reasons for using the indicative form, however, are not coextensive with those by which modern lexicographers operate. This issue significantly overlaps with pedagogical concerns. The present article seeks to sketch a basic history of Greek verbal treatments toward a reevaluation of lexicographic and pedagogic practice regarding the ancient Greek verb.
Keywords: Lexicography, Pedagogy, Verb, Lemmatization
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
This paper emphasizes the importance of both methodological and pedagogical dimensions of elementary Greek grammars, and then briefly surveys several different approaches found in current gram- mars. The paper takes what is called the usage-based approach, in which grammar is introduced roughly according to frequency of use so that students are reinforced in learning the grammar that appears most frequently in the Greek New Testament. Porter, Reed, and O’Donnell’s Fundamentals of New Testament Greek is used as the example of such an approach.
Keywords: Greek, grammar, elementary, usage-based approach, morphological approach, descriptivism, progressivism, immersion
Volume 2 (2013)

Paul L. Danove
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
This article develops five features that describe the conceptualizations of the event of transference grammaticalized by New Testament verbs, and uses these features to formulate a model of the possible New Testament usages of transference. The discussion resolves all New Testament occurrences of verbs that designate transference into one of eighteen usages with distinct feature descriptions, and considers the usages of transference predicted by the feature model but not realized in the New Testament.
Keywords: feature, transference, semantic, syntactic, verbal usage

Volume 1 (2012)

Wally V. Cirafesi
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article argues that the construction ἔχειν πίστιν in Hellenistic Greek is a nominalized ideational metaphor that is semantically related to the finite verb πιστεύειν. Therefore, when the construction possesses a genitive modifier, the function of the genitive is disambiguated as denoting the object of πίστιν. This understanding of ἔχειν πίστιν + the genitive has significant implications for interpreting the construction in Mark 11:22, Jas 2:1, and Hippolytus‘s De Antichristo 61:26. (Article)
Keywords: πίστιϛ Χριστοῦ, Greek linguistics, nominalization, grammatical metaphor, Mark 11:22, Jas 2:1, Hippolytus
Gregory P. Fewster
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Adapting Michael Hoey‘s lexical priming theory, this article provides a new rubric for the evaluation of intertextuality in the New Testament. This article tests the veracity of the claim that the lexeme ματαιότηϛ functions to invoke the language of Ecclesiastes. Romans 8 mirrors some of the language of Ecclesiastes, while Eph 4:17 has strong ties to Rom 8, creating an intertextual chain via the lexeme ματαιότηϛ. (Article)
Keywords: ματαιότηϛ, intertextuality, priming, Romans 8, 2 Peter 2, Ephesians 3
Hughson Ong
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article relates to the criteria of language authenticity in historical Jesus research and inquires into the lingua franca of Je- sus’ social environment. It demonstrates via sociolinguistic principles that Palestine was a multilingual society, establishes that various so- cial groups necessitate the use of language varieties, and addresses the issue of language choice—the occasions and reasons multilingual people use their native tongue over and against their second language. The objective is to show in four “I have come” sayings in the Synop- tics that, with high probability, Jesus’ internal language was Aramaic, and his public language was Greek.
Keywords: Historical Jesus, Greek language, sociolinguistics, Mark 2:17, Mark 10:45, Luke 12:49–51, Matt 5:17
Steven E. Runge
Logos Bible Software | Stellenbosh University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
This study applies the cognitive model of Chafe and Givón, and the information-structure model of Lambrecht as applied by Levinsohn and Runge to the Markan explanation of the Parable of the Sower (4:14–20). The primary objective is to identify and analyze other linguistic devices, besides demonstratives, which might clarify the apparent prominence given to the unfruitful scatterings in Mark’s account. This study provides the necessary framework for comparing Mark’s pragmatic weighting of saliency to that found in Matthew and Luke’s accounts in order to determine whether Mark’s version is con-sistent with or divergent from the other traditions.
Keywords: saliency, information structure, Mark 4:14–20, Matt 13:19–23, Luke 8:11–15, οὗτος, ἐκεῖνος

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