Thursday, May 4, 2017

Semantics And The Greek New Testament (Part 3)

Part 1 is available here, and Part 2 here.

AP and TWH: Once you've done everything we discussed in Part 2, you still have to analyze the each lexeme in the contexts in which it is found. For the purposes of this post, we thought it might be helpful to highlight the analysis of Israel Muñoz Gallarte. He's recently published an analysis of πίστις in the Festschrift for David Alan Black (available here). The title of his chapter is "The Meaning of πίστις in the Framework of the Diccionario griego-español del Nuevo Testamento." He focuses only on the following letters of Paul: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. When you consider how thorough this methodology is, you understand why he limited his study to just these letters––and even that was a lot to bite off in such little space, though he did so exceptionally well. He makes sure to remind his readers that for the DGENT, they will definitely be considering every use of πίστις in the NT (245 total).

Muñoz begins by surveying the what's been said of this lexeme in the following dictionaries: Louw-Nida, Thayer, and BDAG. The reason for this? ––So that readers can see the difference between the DGENT and other dictionaries and what the DGENT contributes to the field of New Testament semantics. He also references one dictionary that doesn't really receive as much attention as it should because it's written in Spanish, but one worth drawing our readers' attention to. That resource is the Diccionario Griego-Español (or DGE) edited by F. Rodríguez Adrados et al. (Madrid 1980–2009). If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. And you can even get a sample of it online (see here).

According to Muñoz, here's what the DGENT offers:
"What sets the DGENT apart from other lexicons is it follows a strict semantic methodology. In the case of πίστις, we would deal with the lexeme by concentrating heavily on the aspectual qualities of the term in the contexts where it occurs. After reading the passages in which πίστις occurs, we uncover its basic meaning using the methodology of the DGENT––a frame of mind related to a term with a complex formula. In this sense, we understand that the lexeme would denote a not-permanent State (State) that is manifested (Relation) in the conduct (Act) related (Relation) to an object (Object). The first sememe of πίστις could be defined like “State of intellectual and active adhesion to someone or something.” Right after that, the dictionary would propose the following translations: “faith” and “conviction.” Then, to highlight the contexts in which πίστις appears, the DGENT would distinguish between the following categories." 
For that first sememe, he identifies the following categories:
1. "related to adhesion to God, Jesus, and their message" 
2. "related to a conviction in something else" 
3. "in the figurative sense"
For the second sememe, you basically find the use of πίστις as an attribute related to God.

Muñoz points to a third sememe in Pauline passages  that also contain ὑπακοή and δίκαιος (and their compound forms). Of this sememe, he says that it "changes the inner aspect of πίστις to mark when the state of adhesion is a response to a previous action." Think about the use in Rom. 1:5: "through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith (εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως) among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name." Can you see the difference between this use and say an example of the first sememe? Here is Rom. 4:20: "He grew strong in his faith (τῇ πίστει) as he gave glory to God."

The fourth and final sememe deals with πίστις in relation to a set of beliefs. This one is found in places Gal. 1:23, where Paul talks about people who refer to him "proclaiming the faith" (εὐαγγελίζεται τὴν πίστιν).

Does the DGENT make a notable contribution to the field of New Testament lexicography? There's no question that it does. Here are the principles that Muñoz points out as guiding the team working on the dictionary:
1. "The systematic distinction in the redaction of lexemes between meaning and translation."
2. "The construction of the definition of a given lexeme depending entirely on the text."
3. "The explanation of what contextual factor or factors contribute to the change in meaning of a given lexeme."
4. "The verification of all contexts where the given lexeme appears in the whole corpus." 
By the way, you can see a sample of the fifth volume of the DGENT by clicking here.

No comments:

Post a Comment