Logos is pleased to announce another first in the study of the biblical texts: a discourse analysis of the entire New Testament. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets bring the insights of discourse analysis to bear on every verse of the Greek New Testament, giving you instant access to rich discourse data absent from most commentaries and grammars.
Our understanding of the Greek New Testament is based almost entirely on English translations, but how would our understanding of the Greek text change if we read it for what it is—as Greek? With the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets, we can now get behind the words of the New Testament writers and discover the particular linguistic tasks that inform translation and interpretation. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets identify discourse markers and perform complex discourse analysis of the entire New Testament quickly, easily, and accurately, which makes them one of the most advanced tools for studying the Greek text of the New Testament.
The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets includes the entire Greek text of the New Testament marked up with more than twenty discourse devices, making discourse analysis easier than ever! The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets come with a general introduction to discourse grammar, where you’ll find an overview of each discourse device and numerous examples from the Greek text of how various New Testament authors used these devices to communicate. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets also include a built-in, easy-to-use glossary. By simply hovering over a discourse device, the glossary appears, allowing you to quickly access information about the device and about the text you’re looking at. With the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets, it’s also possible to search for all instances of a particular device, such as all cataphoric references in 1 John or all temporal frames in the Gospels. The search tool aids in discourse analysis of entire books—textual analysis that once took hours can now be
After examining the resources found in the [Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets], we believe that this tool can be a great help for . . . the world of Bible translation. . . . [The LDGNT] gives the translator a good understanding of the basic structure of the pericope, allowing a wiser, more focused concentration on further exegetical research. . . . As a training tool for many of the most important discourse features of New Testament Greek, the Introduction to the LDGNT contains an outline and description of the highlighting devices and word-order features. The descriptions are given in clear terminology without a lot of linguistic jargon, and the examples given are very helpful . . . we see great potential for the use of the [Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Datasets]. . . [We] have enjoyed using the HDNT/LDGNT for our own Bible study. We often find ourselves automatically opening it because we sense that we can more easily determine the theme and major emphases of a section that way.
—Ron and Donna Schumacher, Translation Coordinators, SIL Philippines
This resource is a tremendous help in discerning the author's original intent in communicating God's Word to his people. I have found it to be a great tool in developing sermon outlines based on the author's thought patterns and emphasis rather than on what makes a nice alliterated sermon outline so often produced by our 'Aristotelian' outlook. I recommend this tool to pastors, students and Bible teachers alike.
—Dr. Kenny Rhodes, Scofield Graduate School and Theological Seminary
I believe that Steve Runge’s Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament will be one of the most important helps to students, teachers and pastors in the past ten to fifteen years. This is a tool that will be of great help to those who are at work in the service of the kingdom. Anyone who teaches, preaches, or studies the Word of God should not be without it!
—Sam Lamerson, Associate Professor of New Testament, Knox Theological Seminary and Interim Preaching Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
Thank you for responding to our Lord’s call to work through all that relevant literature on behalf of us who are strung out along the way between none, little, and quite a bit of language study who truly need access to what you have been discovering way up the trail.
Steve Runge has a Master of Theological Studies degree in Biblical Languages from Trinity Western Seminary in Langley, B.C., Canada, a BA in Speech Communication from Western Washington University, and a Doctor of Literature degree in Biblical Languages from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, which was supervised by Christo Van der Merwe. In preparation for his doctoral research, Steve completed several years of study in the linguistic fields of pragmatics and discourse grammar. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwest Baptist Theological College, Trinity Western University, and Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) while completing his education. He presently serves as a Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software.
To find out more about the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, read Steve’s informative blog posts:
Linguists have found that although a tremendous diversity exists between languages, each language must accomplish the same set of basic tasks. For instance, if I want to tell you a story about the first time I went rock climbing, I must:
Once the scene is set and I begin to tell you the story, I must:
Regardless of whether I am speaking or writing, I still need to accomplish all of these tasks, as well as many others. We can use each of these tasks as a descriptive framework for the overall story. The choices we make about whether to follow these sets of tasks or depart from them all contain meaning. For example, if I choose to break the expected pattern in my story—by failing to note my fear of heights—then I must have done so for a reason. Once you determine my reason for breaking the pattern—for example, you are aware of my vertigo and wonder why I didn’t mention it—you will better understand the story, my motives for telling it, and meaning behind it.
The same principle applies when we study the Bible. We can study the linguistic tasks in the Greek text to better understand the story. These linguistic tasks are called discourse markers, and they help us determine the meaning of the Greek text. Normally, this process requires lengthy and tedious textual analysis. But now, the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament helps us identify these discourse markers in the New Testament quickly, easily, and accurately. We can now get behind the words of the New Testament writers and discover the presence or absence of particular linguistic tasks, which makes the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament an indispensible tool for studying the Greek text of the New Testament.
Let’s take a look at four of the discourse devices the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament helps us identify.
Forward-pointing devices slow the flow of the discourse by creating a break. They add the linguistic equivalent of a speed bump. These grammatically-based ‘speed bumps’ typically occur just before something surprising or important. An added speed bump attracts more attention to the break than it otherwise would have received had the device not been used. Some of these devices point forward very generically. Other devices work as part of a paired set, with one part referring ahead and the second part marking the intended referent.
For example, the writers of the New Testament use forward-pointing devices to highlight a contrast, like the μεν/δε set in Matthew 9:17.
τοτε λεγει τοις μαθηταις αυτου ο μεν θερισμος πολυς οι δε εργαται ολιγοι
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Without the use of μεν, the initial statement about the harvest sounds like a complete thought on its own, rather than a discourse device that indicates a great need. Jesus’ call for more laborers conveys greater urgency because μεν is found at the beginning of the statement. Unfortunately, the forward-pointing device is obscured in the English translation.
Other forward-pointing devices indicate the presence of meta-comments, attention-getters, redundancy, quotative frames, and tail-head linkages. Remember, these discourse devices are often obscured by English translations and can take hours to find for the most advanced Biblical scholars. Now, with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, these discourse devices are readily apparent, allowing you to work quickly and easily with the text and saving you hours of research and textual analysis. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament does it all for you!
Other discourse devices attract the reader’s attention to added information. For instance, in Matthew 22, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about resurrection.
εν εκεινη τη ημερα προσηλθον αυτω Σαδδουκαιοι λεγοντες μη ειναι αναστασιν και επηρωτησαν αυτον
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question,
This additional participial clause does not distinguish to which Sadducees Jesus is referring. Rather, the overspecified noun phrase is included to provide crucial thematic information about the participants.
The same thing happens in the parable of the prodigal son, when the eldest son uses an overspecified noun phrase to refer to his brother in his speech to his father.
οτε δε ο υιος σου ουτος ο καταφαγων σου τον βιον μετα πορνων ηλθεν εθυσας αυτω τον σιτευτον μοσχον
But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!'
These discourse devices are clearly marked in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. When the writer draws your attention to particular participants in a discourse, you’ll be able to spot them more easily with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Remember, these discourse devices are obscured by English translation and require extensive research and textual analysis to find in Greek.
Working with the Greek text requires the ability to identify main clauses and subordinate clauses, and determine the relationships between these and other clauses. The task of identifying the writer’s emphasis in the text can become lost in clausal outlines. Fortunately, the clause outline in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament breaks the sentences of the Greek text into more manageable portions for consideration of the annotated discourse features. In fact, the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament places each individual clause on its own level in the outline, so that subordinate clauses are indented to represent their subordination. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament provides you with the powerful tools to identify and understand clausal relationships, so you can understand the text more accurately.
For example, James 1:23 contains a conditional clause placed before the main clause, thereby establishing a new frame of reference for what follows. The frame of reference is in brackets, and emphasized elements are bolded.
οτι [ει τις ακροατης λογου εστιν και ου ποιητης] ουτος εοικεν ανδρι κατανοουντι το προσωπον της γενεσεως αυτου εν εσοπτρω
For [if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer], he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
James wants to talk about a specific kind of person. The conditional frame of reference introduces this person, reiterating him using the redundant thematic demonstrative ουτος that could be rendered something like, ‘If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this guy…’ The most important quality of ‘this guy’ is that he hears without doing. The words ακροατης λογου are fronted for emphasis and function as the point of a point-counterpoint set, while ου ποιητης functions as the counterpoint in the set and is also emphasized. As important as ‘a hearer of the word’ and ‘not a doer’ are, what James says about this kind of person is more important in the larger context of the verse. The scope of the emphasis regarding the qualities of hearing and doing is limited to the fronted conditional clause. This textual analysis can be accomplished quickly and accurately with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament.
A frame of reference sets the scene for the clause that follows by providing a starting point. It also provides relates what follows the frame to what precedes the frame. A frame of reference accomplishes two primary tasks, according to Levinsohn (2000: 8):
The most frequently utilized frame of reference is the ‘topical frame’, which typically involves fronting the grammatical subject of the clause. Fronting the topical element draws attention to it, but since it is not the most important element in the clause the fronting does not result in emphasis. Here is an example from 1 Peter.
1 Peter 1:24b-25
εξηρανθη ο χορτος και το ανθος εξεπεσεν το δε ρημα κυριου μενει εις τον αιωνα τουτο δε εστιν το ρημα το ευαγγελισθεν εις υμας
The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
The first clause uses the normal order, placing the subject after the main verb. The second and third clauses front the subject to create topical frames of reference, which have the effect of sharpening the contrast by attracting extra attention to the switches of subject.
Other frames of reference are easily discernable with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament as well, such as temporal frames, spatial frames, conditional frames, comparative frames, and reason/result frames.
What’s more, with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, you will be able to easily distinguish circumstantial participles by using discourse markers to identify circumstantial frames of reference. For example, nominative circumstantial frames have the same grammatical subject as the main verb of the clause. The use of the participle backgrounds the action in order to ensure that primary attention remains focused on the main action. Several actions are backgrounded in Acts 9:1-2 to provide introduction to the main action of 'asking.'
ο δε Σαυλος ετι εμπνεων απειλης και φονου εις τους μαθητας του κυριου προσελθων τω αρχιερει ητησατο παρ' αυτου επιστολας εις Δαμασκον προς τας συναγωγας…
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus…
All of the major translations render προσελθων as though it were a main verb, whereas in Greek ητησατο is the only main verb of the complex clause that spreads over the two verses.
Using the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, you can accomplish the same analysis for circumstantial frames in other cases. Here are examples in the dative case:
Και εμβαντι αυτω εις το πλοιον ηκολουθησαν αυτω οι μαθηται αυτου
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
Και παραγοντι εκειθεν τω ιησου ηκολουθησαν αυτω δυο τυφλοι κραζοντες και λεγοντες ελεησον ημας υιε Δαυιδ
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
Since the subject of the participle is different from the subject of the main clause, nominative participles are not an option. Since the same person participates in both the main clause and the participle, the participle takes the case that is used to refer to the person in the main clause. However, the backgrounding effect of the participle remains the same, regardless of the case that it occurs in.
Remember, with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, you can accomplish complex discourse analysis of the entire Greek New Testament with the click of a mouse. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament enhances your exegesis, interpretation, sermon preparation, and research pursuits.