Friday, November 27, 2020

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

 [First posted in AWOL 25 July 2016, updated 27 November 2020]

Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL)
Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics
Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL), in conjunction with the Centre for Biblical Linguistics, Translation, and Exegesis at McMaster Divinity College and the project ( is a fully refereed on-line and print journal specializing in widely disseminating the latest advances in linguistic study of ancient and biblical Greek. Under the senior editorship of Professor Dr. Stanley E. Porter and Dr. Matthew Brook O'Donnell, along with its assistant editors and editorial board, BAGL looks to publish significant work that advances knowledge of ancient Greek through the utilization of modern linguistic methods. Accepted pieces are in the first instance posted on-line in page-consistent pdf format, and then (except for reviews) are published in print form each volume year. This format ensures timely posting of the most recent work in Greek linguistics with consistently referencable articles then available in permanent print form.
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Academic and intellectual communities are known for various areas of subject expertise. When one thinks of Greek grammar, including that of the New Testament, one thinks of Germany, and possibly Great Britain, but rarely Canada. An examination of recent trends regarding the study of ancient languages, especially Greek, in various institutions within Canada serves in this paper as an analogy for the study of other, related subjects, indicating some possible reasons why our field of biblical studies is increasingly an embattled subject and what we can do to address some of the issues involved.
Keywords: Greek, grammar, linguistics, traditional grammar, modern linguistics, rationalism, comparative historicism
Paul L. Danove
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
This article investigates the licensing properties of the cognate nouns of verbs that grammaticalize communication in the New Testament. The preliminary discussion reviews the semantic, syntactic, and lexical requirements of the fifty verbs of communication that have cognate nouns in the New Testament and develops general characteristics of the verbs’ sixty-four cognate nouns. The investigation of the cognate nouns describes their licensing properties, resolves their occurrences into six distinct usages, specifies all observed lexical realizations of required complements, and identifies the conditions for polysemy.
Keywords: cognate, communication, grammaticalization, noun, verb


 vol. 8 (2019)
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
This review article examines two major works comprising a total of six volumes on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). One is a collection in five volumes of selected works representative of the history of SFL from its origins to the present, co-selected by one of the major figures in this linguistic model. The other is a singlevolume handbook to SFL with essays by a wide range of SFL practitioners on an equally wide array of topics.
Keywords: Systemic Functional Linguistics, linguistics, grammatics, grammatical description, context, register, genre

Zachary K. Dawson
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
A wave of research that began in the late 1970s and culminated with Richard Burridge’s What Are the Gospels? in 1992 effectively established the consensus that the Gospels are to be classified as ancient βίοι. In this article, I respond to Burridge’s work to demonstrate that his approach to genre is problematic in several ways, which calls the foundation of the current consensus into question. Following this ground clearing exercise, I articulate a way forward in how to understand the relationship between the Gospels’ genre and their social purpose, which is more in keeping with modern genre theory, especially as it is envisioned by systemic-functional linguists. The last section of the article then demonstrates the potential benefits of using Systemic Functional Linguistics genre theory by means of a sample genre analysis of the Lord’s Prayer in Matt 6:7–13, which demonstrates how to understand the social function of genres and opens an avenue for fresh research into the question of Gospel genres.
Keywords: genre theory, genre criticism, gospels, Systemic Functional Linguistics, register, βίος, ancient biography

David I. Yoon
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
Interpreters may tend to reach conclusions on the topic or subject matter of a text without having any criteria for how to determine it. Systemic Functional Linguistics offers a method by which one can determine what the text is about, including at the various levels of clause, clause complex, and discourse. The basis of analyzing the ideational meaning of a text (i.e., the subject matter) is the transitivity network, which exists at the clause level. This article outlines a method for analyzing transitivity in Koine Greek to determine the subject matter of the body of Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Keywords: Galatians, transitivity network, ideational metafunction, field, participant, process, circumstance, verbal aspect, case, the law, subject matter, topic, theme

Ji Hoe Kim
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
This paper explores how Hallidayan systemic-functional theory and method can advance current discussions of orality and textuality in Gospel Studies. Theoretically, the Hallidayan view challenges Kelber’s view of the discontinuity between oral and written media, establishing a continuum between spoken and written language. An application of Halliday’s method for measuring the degree of orality in a text demonstrates its relevance for Greek texts. As far as the Temple cleansing episodes are concerned (Matt 21:12-17; Mark 11:15–19; Luke 19:45–48; and John 2:13–22), the data conform to the general consensus that Markan language is more spoken language.
Keywords: spoken and written language, Halliday, Systemic Functional Linguistics, lexical density, grammatical intricacy, oral tradition
vol. 1 (2012)|vol. 2 (2013)|vol. 3 (2014)|vol. 4 (2015)|vol. 5 (2016)|vol. 6 (2017)|vol. 7 (2018)|vol. 8 (2019)|vol. 9 (2020)

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