Daily Gleanings: Lingusitics (5 November 2019)

Kris Lyle has a substantive but accessible discussion of the (non‑)use of linguistics in recent biblical studies. In particular, Lyle takes aim at the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

Lyle makes the point that

for biblical language lexica [advances in modern linguistics] mean[] we’re able to do a lot more than record collocational patterns and provide target language glosses.

But despite the aims of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew to take special account of modern linguistic advances,

in the end, we are left with much of the same when we consult the pages of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew: English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements.

Lyle thinks “it would indeed be a very inconvenient way of studying a Hebrew text to look up the meanings of all the words in this large and exhaustive work.”

If one uses the Logos edition when working through a Hebrew text, this inconvenience vastly dissipates.

But Lyle’s summary of the Dictionary‘s contents as mainly involving “English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements” seems pretty fair.

And even though this emphasis doesn’t put the Dictionary at the forefront of linguistically-informed lexicography, it certainly does provide a huge reservoir of other kinds of valuable information about classical Hebrew.

For Lyle’s full discussion, see his essay now newly reposted at Koine Greek.

Daily Gleanings: Free Resources (27 August 2019)

One of the new elements in the second edition of Nijay Gupta’s Prepare, Succeed, Advance is a chapter on academic diversity. Wipf and Stock is offering this chapter for free on their website.

For Nijay’s comments on his process and practice for writing Prepare, Succeed, Advance and other works, see his post in the “Pro Tips” series.

HT: SBL


AWOL highlights Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (WiBiLex). WiBiLex describes itself as

the scholarly Internet Bible lexicon. These sites are presently developing as a project of the Germany Bible Society to become a comprehensive, freely available academic Internet lexicon about the entire Bible. Currently online are over 1000 Articles, especially referencing the Old Testament. At completion, the lexicon will contain over 3000 articles covering both the Old and New Testament.

Aubrey on theological lexica

Mike Aubrey has provided an excerpt from an essay of his in Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis (Lexham, 2016). The excerpt strives carefully to work out a middle ground that is neither wholly on the side of theological lexica nor on that of James Barr’s critique of them.

Instead, Mike suggests,

If the failure of theological dictionaries was the assumption that words and concepts are identical, then the failure of the structuralist semantics that dominated the field when James Barr wrote his critique was the assumption that words and concepts are dramatically different. If words mean anything at all, then there must be a substantive relationship between them and the concepts (both associative and denotative) they evoke mentally.

Particularly if language is indeed the medium and horizon of human hermeneutic experience (e.g., H.-G. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 401–514), then the question of theological (or other conceptual) lexicography would still seem to be quite appropriate to ask, albeit perhaps in a chastened fashion in the continuing wake of Barr’s critique.

For the balance of Mike’s reflections, see his original post.

Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (2016)

Rick Brannan posted a couple tweets recently about 2016 articles from the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (1, 2). The journal had apparently fallen out of my list of RSS subscriptions somehow, so I was grateful for the prompt. The full list of 2016 articles in JGRChJ is:

Seth M. Ehorn and Mark Lee, “The Syntactical Function of ἀλλὰ καί in Phil. 2.4”

Matthew Oseka, “Attentive to the Context: The Generic Name of God in the Classic Jewish Lexica and Grammars of the Middle Ages—A Historical and Theological Perspective”

David I. Yoon, “Ancient Letters of Recommendation and 2 Corinthians 3.1-3: A Literary Analysis”

Stanley E. Porter, “The Synoptic Problem: The State of the Question”

Greg Stanton, “Wealthier Supporters of Jesus of Nazareth”