Saturday, March 25, 2017

Structure And Word Order In Luke 6:40

The following is taken from Thomas' book on Luke 6:40. You can find it on Amazon here.

TWH: The relationship of a teacher and disciple is very similar to the idea of one person leading another. It is to this relationship Jesus now turns. “An apprentice is not above his or her teacher; but each one, after having been fully trained, will be like his or her teacher” (Luke 6:40). This second unit consists of two maxims:
1. οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον· 
2. κατηρτισμένος δὲ πᾶς ἔσται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ.
Maxims dealing with likeness are present throughout the literature of different languages. George L. Apperson includes the following English maxims: “like cow like calf,” “like crow like egg,” “like father like son,” “like fault like punishment,” “like host like guest,” “like mistress like maid,” “like mother like daughter,” etc. (Apperson, Dictionary of Proverbs, 338–40). The most commonly referenced maxim from the first century similar to Luke 6:40 is Petronius’ qualis dominus talis et servus (Sat. 58), which translated means, “As the master is, even so is the slave.” Perhaps the only likeness proverb in the OT is in Hos 4:9 (καὶ ἔσται καθὼς ὁ λαὸς οὕτως ὁ ἱερεύς, LXX) pertaining to God’s judgment.

The structure and content of this unit bears some similarities with the previous one in 6:39b:
1. In each maxim, there are two participants—the former with two blind men and the present with a disciple and teacher. 
2.Both maxims consist of two parts—the former with two rhetorical questions and the present with two declarative statements. 
3.The second half of each maxim concentrates on the effect that the one participant has on the other. In the case of the two blind men, both will fall into a pit (εἰς βόθυνον ἐμπεσοῦνται); in the present maxim, the disciple will become like his or her teacher (ἔσται ὡς ὁ διδάσκαλος αὐτοῦ). 
4. Finally, both second halves are designed to be more inclusive than the first. For example, in the first maxim, one blind man attempts to lead another blind man, yet both will end up falling into a pit. In the second, both obviously cannot become like the teacher (since one is the teacher). Instead, the proverb extends beyond a single disciple to include each disciple (πᾶς).
The first half of the maxim consists of a negated stative verb (οὐκ ἔστιν), an anarthrous subject (μαθητής), and a predicate prepositional phrase (ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον), occurring in that order. Prepositional phrases can only be used as a predicate with a linking verb, written or implied. Proverbs and parabolic discourse alike often take the stative verb εἰμί since both attempt to show similarities between two persons or objects. In parables, one of the distinguishing features is the use of ὁμοία ἐστίν (Turner, Matthew, 296). With proverbs, the goal is to state a principle that communicates something that is generally true (even common) but not universal. They are basically warnings designed to lead someone to wise living. In cases like this, the verb serves as a linking verb (See Porter et al., Fundamentals of New Testament Greek, 72).

The maxim has the same word order in Matt 10:24. Οὐκ ἔστιν comes at the beginning of two other proverbs (Matt 13:57//Mark 6:4; Matt 15:26//Mark 7:27), as well as in Matt 18:14, when Jesus explains his illustration of a shepherd leaving all of his sheep to rescue one that is astray. The use in Mark 12:31 shows that the construction can appear at the end of a sentence. The use in material describing God as the God of the living and not the dead shows how the subject can be fronted if the author so chooses (Matt 22:32//Luke 20:38//Mark 12:27). In Luke 20:38, the subject θεός is placed before οὐκ ἔστιν. This construction is not prevalent in Proverbs (LXX) yet it does occur with great frequency in Ecclesiastes (LXX) and often maintains the same word order (i.e., the verb fronted before the subject and predicate). For example: οὐκ ἔστιν πᾶν πρόσφατον ὑπο τὸν ἥλιον (Eccl 1:9). Even John’s similar material with δοῦλος-κύριος has οὐκ ἔστιν preceding the subject and predicate. In demotic proverbs, the verb is always fronted. However, Nikolaos Lazaridis says the word order in Greek proverbs is more fluid. The word order, he writes, “mostly depends on the style of the text and what is to be emphasized in each sentence. In proverb literature, sentences are short and therefore the weight of focus is balanced and may fall on any of the words employed” (Lazaridis, Wisdom in Loose Form, 60).

Context is ultimately the deciding factor for determining emphasis, especially in short sayings like proverbs. In general, it appears that proverbial word order when using the stative verb is Verb + Subject + Predicate. Deviations from this order are often markers of emphasis. For example, in Mark 6:3, the position of οὗτός is definitely emphatic. If Luke 6:40 were a quotation from the LXX, it would be easier to determine if any emphasis were intended by the position of οὐκ ἔστιν. For example, in Rom 3:10–18, Paul might intend some amount of emphasis with the fronted οὐκ ἔστιν if he is not doing so solely for the purpose of repetition as a rhetorical device (cf. Eccl [LXX] 7:20 and Rom 3:10; Ps 52:3 [LXX] and Rom 3:10; etc.). However, there is no OT parallel and no deviation among the Gospel authors. So, it is best to determine that there is not any intended emphasis (although it is impossible to rule out).

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