Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics / Discourse Analysis of Biblical Literature: What It Is and What It Offers

By Howard, David M., Jr. | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics / Discourse Analysis of Biblical Literature: What It Is and What It Offers


Howard, David M., Jr., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics. Edited by Robert D. Bergen. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994, 560 pp., $40.00 paper. Discourse Analysis of Biblical Literature: What It Is and What It Offers. Edited by Walter R. Bodine. SBLSS. Atlanta: Scholars, 1995, $29.95 paper.

Biblical scholars have long studied the Bible through the lenses of outside disciplines, ranging from the folklorist studies of the brothers Grimm to which Gunkel was indebted to the myth-and-ritual approaches of Frazer and others that informed the work of many Biblical scholars early in this century to the "new archaeological" approaches so influential today to the sociological approaches of Weber and others influencing Gottwald to Derrida's deconstructionist approach, which informs the work of too many Biblical scholars today. Happily, the field of general linguistics is now making its presence felt in Biblical studies as well, with considerably more profit than many other approaches offer. After all, Biblical texts consist in the first place of words, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and texts, the relationships among which are accessed directly by linguistic approaches. This is one area where evangelical scholars-both Biblical and otherwise-are among the first-rank scholars in their disciplines; the field lends itself well to holistic analyses of texts, which evangelicals are prone to welcome.

Both volumes reviewed here are mere entrees into various linguistic approaches as they are useful in Biblical studies. Both are valuable starting points for exploring the great potential of linguistic study of Biblical texts. Unlike another valuable volume edited by Bodine, Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew (Eisenbrauns, 1992; reviewed in JETS 39/2 [1996] 343-345)-which contains essays on all the major aspects of linguistics: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse analysis, historical/comparative linguistics and graphemics, but which does not venture into any great depth in any one area-these two volumes attempt to introduce the reader to only one subdiscipline of general linguistics: discourse grammar, which is the study of language units larger than the sentence. Essays in the first volume originated in a Summer Institute of Linguistics conference in 1993 and those in the second in the SBL's Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Section in 1988. Both are able to accomplish much in terms of displaying the theory and practice of a particular linguistic approach. The most valuable theoretical essays in these two volumes are Bodine's introductory essay in the volume he edited and K.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics / Discourse Analysis of Biblical Literature: What It Is and What It Offers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?