Vasileios Tsialas wrote:Wallace’ statement is misleading and seems fundamentally baseless because the definition of “Trinity” evolved during three centuries. Hence, if we don’t have a standard doctrine, how can we have a standard pattern of expression with standard meaning? Of course, we cannot. And can we speak of a “Trinity” in the NT? I believe the vast majority of experts in Biblical Studies and Patrology would deny that.
I should say first off that I have no theological interest here. Perhaps Wallace does. I don't know. But that's never been my interest. I'm a linguist, not a theologian. I'm only interested in whether or not Sharps rule is part of the structure of the language.
I certainly agree that Wallace's statement is odd and rather silly, but I think by commenting on your previous statement, I can express my point a little better...
Vasileios Tsialas wrote:It is a logical tendency in the Greek language, not an absolute rule. It cannot be an absolute rule when it has exceptions, when it is so complicated in order to avoid (unsuccessfully) exceptions; it cannot be an absolute rule in a developing lingua franca spoken mostly by multinational groups, and when it overlooks overwhelming historical data in the case of theology.
I also am at a complete loss as to why you think that the existence of exceptions bars the possibility of having a grammatical rule--I've never argued for an absolute rule. I'm yet to find a grammatical rule that fits your requirements of being exceptionless. Moreover, if the exceptions are generally principled in their existence, then I really don't know what the problem is. Your phrase "logical tendency" is key here. The Granville Sharp Rule clearly has absolutely nothing to do with logic. Many languages have no equivalent to it. So if this logical tendency is limited only to Greek then it is, by definition, bound by either (Ancient) Greek grammar or by Greek lexicon (which I wouldn't make a distinction between anyway).
In grammar and semantics, linguists talk about "prototype theory
." Your "exceptions" are a great example of non-prototypicality. Sharps rule describes two coordinated singular, common, nouns sharing an article. That's the basic morpho-syntactic conception. When you add semantics to it, things change. The prototypical instance of the rule is always going to involve two common nouns with no inherent relationship to each other. Phrases like "lord and savior" and whatnot *can* be related. But in terms of their inherent semantics, any relationship is created by discourse context, not by definitions in the lexicon. However the situation is precisely distinct with του πατρός και υιού. The vast majority of the time, these two words are going to be in opposition to each other by their very nature. While "lord" and "savior" have no relationship in the lexicon, "father" and "son" have a clear relationship in the lexicon as closely related kinship terms. I'm not saying it would be impossible for a father to be the same person as the son. I'm saying that it's far less likely right off the bat and that's going to be dependent on the speaker and hearer's mental conceptions of the participants involved in the text.
David Lim wrote:But if exceptions are based on the context, it cannot be a grammatical rule but rather a semantically based principle, can it?)
What's the difference between a grammatical rule and a semantic principle, particularly when that semantic principle is language specific? If a semantic principle is limited to a single language and works, say, 85% of the time (that's just a number I've thrown out, I'm not interested in this issue enough to do any counting), and if a grammar consists of the whole system of a language and it structure, then how is this semantic principle not part of that grammar?
Fundamentally, my point is that considering just how systematic the non-exceptions are. I am willing to say with a fair amount of confidence that the exceptions, if you (found and) dug through enough of them, are equally systematic.