what do you(υμεις) think?
It sounds like Runge is working for you, which is great. As I said earlier in the thread, I know that many people find his approach helpful. I take a different approach to reading Greek, so take what I say below with a grain of salt, as there is really no accounting for taste.
uberdwayne wrote:I've always wondered at the difference between και and δε and Stephen has put it well withing my scope of understanding. δε (I know, it looks funny as the first word of a sentence!), according to Stephen Runge, signifies another development in a narrative or epistle, and και signifies another "point" equal in discourse to the clause before it. so... if δε marks a new development within a discourse then και signals an equal idea within the clause and not signifying a new development.
That's one way of looking at one part of the distinction between δέ and καί. There is some truth to it. But:
1. the concepts of "new development" versus "equal idea" are too vague and subjective to be of much use. In most cases, one could argue effectively on either side whether the information being presented is new or equal.
2. There are zillions of exceptions to the rule. There are zillions of cases where καί clearly marks new information, and zillions of cases where δέ clearly presents information equal with what just preceded it. So, with so many exceptions, I'm not sure how helpful the distinction is.
3. Different authors has a clear predilection to use one connective more often than the other. Individual style drives these choices so much that again, a general rule like this is not really much help. I think that both Homer and Xenophon on the one hand, and Mark and John on the other, use δέ and καί pretty much in the same way, but the former two use δέ much, much more often. So for them, καί can be used as a way to break up monotony in a way it cannot be used for Biblical writers who use καί much more often, (probably due to influence from the Semitic languages.)
4. Without question--absolutely without question--there is often no difference in meaning between the use of δέ and καί. You will very often find the same author switching back and forth indiscriminately.
4b. Very often, a variant reading, or a Gospel parallel, or an intra-lingual version, will use δέ in one version and καί in another version of the same passage. If Runge is correct that there is a meaningful difference between new and equal information, different Ancient authors disagreed on which was which.
5. I am 100% convinced that the choice of δέ and καί in narrative was primarily stylistic, not semantic. The Greek had to deal with a situation we do not have to face. He couldn't just string sentences together without connectives like we do. He had to use the connectives over and over again, and so he developed an ear for doing so in a way which sounded good and avoids monotony. It's just like the tenses. After a string of aorists, the author would throw in a historical present or a perfect to break things up. Same with the use of καί after a string of δέ's. I'm less convinced, because I cannot prove it, but I think there are also simply times where δέ would not flow as well within a given cluster of syllables, so the author (subconsciously?) chose a different connective. Sometimes this would be καί.
6. I think Smyth's explanation of the difference between δέ and καί is both more accurate and less verbose. I don't see a reason to invent new jargon when Smyth's classes of particles do the job just fine. The most important thing that Smyth says about these classes is "These classes cannot always be sharply distinguished: some particles fall under two or more classes." I am 100% convinced that both δέ and καί in writers ranging Homer to the Greek NT, can mean the same thing not only as each other, but even mean the same thing as, say, οὖν or γάρ or ἀλλά, if the context supports it. In fact, it is always the context, never the particles themselves, which determine the ultimate meaning of a text. Particles don't have meanings. Meanings have particles.
7. I am skeptical of this whole "information theory" approach to analyzing Greek, because I don't think people naturally write or read this way. I don't think people pause to consider whether they are giving or hearing "new information" or "back ground information." Approaches like Runge's, I think, see Greek as something to be broken up and analyzed instead of something to be internalized through natural fluency. Again, it is largely a matter of taste whether an approach like this will serve you well.
Does Runge address the issue of variant readings?