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Conjunctions

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Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:44 pm

In a recent discussion on another forum, I presented the argument that the conjunction "for" (gar) in Mark 9:49 must be understood as a contrasting conjunction. While its normal function isn't that of contrast, this case seems to be an exception.

For everyone will be salted with fire. πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ ἁλισθήσεται

My position is this. The contrast is the fires of hell verses the fire of discipline.

Would like some feed back on this thought.

Thank You in advance.

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Re: Conjunctions

Postby Bert » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:51 pm

You mean the fire of discipline because of the "plucking out of the eye"? I don't think it is the GAR that makes this contrast but the wording of verse 47. There it compares what happens if you practice self disciple with what happens if you don't.
This is a matter of interpretation though. I am not convinced that salting with fire refers to hell fire at all. The next verse says that salt is good. Isn't Hell fire meant as punishment and noy as purification?
Compare what it says in Num 31:23 everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.
GAR would then just give an explanatory note, not a contrast. (Exactly the way "for" does in English.) For everyone (who believes in me) will undergo purification of salt (or fire?)
I am taking a bit of liberty with "everyone" but I can't make much sense of this passage unless the Lord is speaking of his followers.
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:32 am

Bert

Thank You for your reply!

I have studied several different arguments on this text. It is at best an interesting study.

The function of a conjunction as I understand it, is to connect two ideas in one form or another. If a conjunction is subordinating, I believe that a contrast could be in sight.Also the conjunction " gar" functions to bring previous ideas into the reason for the action.

For example:

Jill came tumbling after Jack had fallen.


In this case we see a contrast.

While the conjunction "for" (gar) points to a reason, could it not also point to a reason that would be for the purpose of contrast in a subordinating setting?

In this text, we see the previous idea of hell.

44 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.


When the writer wrote verse 49, did he have this idea in mind?

verse 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.

If everyone is salted with fire, I believe that the fire of hell could be included in this idea. I believe that this idea could be reaching back to the idea of hell fire and at the same time reaching forward to salt being good.

In The Old Testament, salt was used to purge the enemy in battle as the Israelites would pour out salt upon the land. This would cause the crops to die and the livestock to perish. I believe that is a typology of sin. This in our eyes isn't a nice thing to do but It parallels the idea of eradicating sin from the cosmos. But from a Biblical perspective the eradication of sin is good.

Salt also carried many good qualities and in Roman times was considered very valuable and was apart of their wages.

I believe that the idea of salt in this verse could carry both meanings.

Thanks again for your post.

GTM
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby Bert » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:37 pm

I'm not sure what you are trying to show with the Jack and Jill example; I don't see a contrast there either.
A conjunction indeed connects two ideas, two parts of a sentence etc but that doesn't mean that conjunctions show contrast.
One conjunction that usually shows contrast is but. Jill came tumbling but Jack did not.
Your explanation of what salt refers to may be correct, however the contrast is not shown by the word GAR but by the context.
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:11 pm

Bert

Thank you for your input. I am not use why this one was a problem for me. Maybe it is old age. :D

Your answer seems to be the norm on this one.

God Bless

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Re: Conjunctions

Postby oberon » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:48 pm

I just ordered my own version of Denniston, but it has yet to arrive and I am away from my university's library. Darn.

GTM wrote:Bert
If a conjunction is subordinating, I believe that a contrast could be in sight.


I will come back to this later (inshalla), but my first impression is far less a contrast than an addendum. In other words "and the fire doesn't die... oh yeah, and you know (by the way) everyone will be salted with fire...
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:08 pm

oberon
It is good to hear from you. Haven't read your works for sometime now. Must be you were taking a sabbatical.

Looking forward to your input.

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Re: Conjunctions

Postby oberon » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:45 am

GTM wrote:oberon
Must be you were taking a sabbatical.

Something like that. I'm in the midst of a rather large conflict.

Now, as for the issue at hand: For (gar) everyone shall be salted with fire.

I have taken the time to look through a number of grammars I own. I do not own Schwyzer's Griechische Grammatik, unfortunately, which is probably the most complete and thorough greek grammar around, but I finally got my own copy of Denniston's The Greek Particles which may be of more use here. I also looked through a couple of NT grammars (Funk's translation of Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch and Wallace's Greek Grammar), just to make sure that Denniston's work (which focuses on classical greek) isn't missing any nuances of Koine.

gar is perhaps THE most common greek particle, and it stands to reason that it is fairly flexible. However, I haven't found any indication of a contrastive usage. In fact, one of the most common usages (see dennistion 58 on gar II) seems to fit quite well here: explanatory. This usage is common "after an expression denoting the giving or receiving of information" which is pretty much the situation in Mark. The gar adds to what has already been stated.
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:32 am

oberon

Thanks for your response.

Here is what I have so far.

Wallace, Beyond Basics
On Page 669 Wallace deals with conjunctions in various forms and page 670 at the very top of the page he deals with subordinate conjunctions which in his list he includes oti, ei, kathos, gar, hote.

on the Following page he says.

The logical category includes uses indicating a movement of thought in the passage in terms of addition, contrast, conclusion, transition, or other such relationships.

Is he saying that gar could conceivably be used to make a contrast?

As far as Mark 9 is concerned, what role does context play in the preceding clauses in relationhip to gar? Does gar reach back to a subordinate clause and then complete the idea after and if so could that conclusion be in the form of a contrast?

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Re: Conjunctions

Postby oberon » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:55 pm

GTM wrote:Wallace, Beyond Basics
On Page 669 Wallace deals with conjunctions in various forms and page 670 at the very top of the page he deals with subordinate conjunctions which in his list he includes oti, ei, kathos, gar, hote.

Is he saying that gar could conceivably be used to make a contrast?


I think a lack of dedication to the usage of particles is a major weakness of Wallace's book (although he does a thorough analysis of case semantics). However, if we look beyond the preface you quote, on page 671 Wallace directly discusses "contrastive conjunctions." gar is not listed as one of the particles in this section (which includes alla, plen, kai and de.

So I would say no, Wallace does not include gar as a contrastive particle. Rather, he lists this particle under "explanatory conjunctions" (p. 673).

As far as Mark 9 is concerned, what role does context play in the preceding clauses in relationhip to gar? Does gar reach back to a subordinate clause and then complete the idea after and if so could that conclusion be in the form of a contrast?


I think the best way to analyze the use of gar in Mark 9 is to see it as explaining/adding to Mark 9:47-48. Rather than a contrast, gar is an addendum or a further explanation.
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:09 am

oberon

Below is a link to Galatians. My emphasis is on verse 5-6

Here is a cut and paste. Just looking for your opinion on this one. Is gar a contrast in tis text?

gar "but" - for. Cause/reason seems unlikely, better contrastive, so Dunn, Ridderbos. Longenecker suggests an unusual usage "similar to the conjunction oJti, introducing a series of abbreviated statements of significance" ("dogmatic abbreviations", Betz), here in v5-6, summarizing Paul's proposition outlined in 2:15-21. The two positive statements in v5-6 establish "a sharp disjunction between seeking justification en nomw/ (in law) and seeking it ek pistewV (from faith)", Bligh. "With us things are entirely different", Martyn.


http://www.lectionarystudies.com/studyn ... 8cben.html

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Re: Conjunctions

Postby oberon » Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:19 pm

GTM wrote:oberon

Below is a link to Galatians. My emphasis is on verse 5-6

Here is a cut and paste. Just looking for your opinion on this one. Is gar a contrast in tis text?

gar "but" - for. Cause/reason seems unlikely, better contrastive, so Dunn, Ridderbos. Longenecker suggests an unusual usage "similar to the conjunction oJti, introducing a series of abbreviated statements of significance" ("dogmatic abbreviations", Betz), here in v5-6, summarizing Paul's proposition outlined in 2:15-21. The two positive statements in v5-6 establish "a sharp disjunction between seeking justification en nomw/ (in law) and seeking it ek pistewV (from faith)", Bligh. "With us things are entirely different", Martyn.


http://www.lectionarystudies.com/studyn ... 8cben.html

GTM


First, I would be interested in the full citations to Dunn and Ridderbos, if you have them. Second, as far I can tell (from my own study and from every work of scholarship I know of on the subject from Schwyzer, Smyth, and Denniston to Wallace and Funk's translation of Blass and Debrunner) gar is never constrastive, but is used for confirmation, explanatory, and answering (of question) purposes. The gar of Galations seems to fit well into the explanatory category.
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Re: Conjunctions

Postby GTM » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:04 pm

Oberon

Thank You for your post.

Most likely I am just looking at this conjunction wrong. I know that when there are dependent clauses, the conjunction gar can be used to complete the dependent clause with the rest of the idea which follows the conjunction. That being said, the following idea can be a contrast which incorporates the dependent clause or clauses in its conclusion. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is a function of "gar". In Mark 9:49 the idea of everyone being salted with fire isn't complete unless we reach back to the previous ideas and there seem to be two that trail behind this verse. One is the fire of hell and the other is the fire of life that transforms the heart of the believer. If both of these ideas are apart of that which follows then it might not be a contrast but is certainly seems to be two different ideas in the same phrase. The question is, what do we call it"?

Also I understand that context plays a crucial role in this text and maybe I am confusing the two grammatical functions.

I understand the normal use of the conjunction "gar" but for some reason, I struggle with this text. The writer uses the term "all" which seems to include everyone but maybe that is wrong also. But if "all" refers to everyone then the idea that follows must by nature of the term, demand consideration of both ideas.

Maybe I suffer from gar block :D

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