# Saturday, January 14, 2006

I think reading Pauline literature is having an effect on me. I just wrote the following sentence in a rough draft of stuff working through 1Ti 5.17:

The elders who exert themselves in speaking and teaching, working hard to properly proclaim the gospel and to teach and edify believers under their care, are deserving of honor.

Look at how many times "and" occurs in that sentence, and then track the function of each "and":

  • Speaking and teaching:
  • properly proclaim the gospel and to teach ...
  • to teach and to edify believers

The last two are the ones that caught my attention. Look at that part of the sentence again:

working hard to properly proclaim the gospel and to teach and edify believers under their care

The same exact word -- and -- occurs, here within a few words of each other, but they're functioning just a little differently. The first functions to join the two dependent clauses.** The first "and" joins clauses at a different level than the second "and" even though their functions are incredibly similar. The first one joins larger clausal units, both of which happen to have infinitive verbs. Like this:

working hard
     to properly proclaim the gospel
     and
     to teach and edify believers under their care.

The second "and", instead of joining clauses, joins two infinitive verbs, "to teach" and "(to) edify"; with "believers" as object of the verb and the prepositional phrase "under their care" providing further specificity:

working hard
     to properly proclaim the gospel
     and
     [to teach {and} (to) edify] believers under their care.

The two clauses joined by the first "and" each describe different aspects of the justification for honoring elders -- they work hard in preaching/speaking and also in teaching (as 1Ti 5.17 states). The second "and", however, is a little different even though it joins two infinitive verbs; the verbs are apposition and the function is essentially epexegetical with "edify" further explaining the teaching, at least as I saw it when I wrote the sentence.

I thought, upon noticing how I'd used "and" differently in such short space, that the same thing happens frequently in NT Greek with the word καὶ and its various usages. I don't have an instance of this sort of occurrence close to hand and need to take off (Amy's birthday is coming up; we're going browsing/shopping so I can at least have a clue as to what to get her). If you have a passage that, in the Greek, would function as a good example (NT or Apostolic Fathers or Josephus or Philo or Pseudepigraphal or whatever) send an email or leave a comment; I'll update the article at some future point. Or I'll dig around and find something.


** Don't assume too much linguistic preciseness in my use of terms like 'clause' and 'phrase' and even my categorisation of things like 'infinitive clauses'. Think of them as generally descriptive instead of technically precise, and you'll sleep easier.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, January 14, 2006 12:18:33 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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