George Guthrie text-lingusitics

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Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 640
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

George Guthrie text-lingusitics

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » August 15th, 2016, 2:14 pm

Search google: discourse analysis george guthrie and you will discover that Dr. Guthrie appears to have a notable interest in this topic. So why is it that I have been using his commentary on 2nd Cor BECNT 2015 (library copy) for several months now and have yet to detect the slightest influence from text-lingusitics. This morning I searched the author index and bibliography looking for names of authors associated with biblical text-lingusitics. The net result was one footnote citing Runge 2010 in support of what appeared to me a point on expository rhetoric.

Conspicuously absent were citations from any of the major players with the exception of S. Runge. I habitually trigger on anything remotely related to this topic in works on biblical exegesis. I haven't read the commentary cover to cover but what I have read is mainstream late 20th century North American Evangelical Exegesis of a very high quality. But I failed to detect any influence from discourse analysis.

I wonder if perhaps Dr. Guthrie has a different referent in mind when he talks about discourse analysis.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Joined: November 23rd, 2016, 9:21 am

Re: George Guthrie text-lingusitics

Post by fredrick.long » November 23rd, 2016, 10:27 am


I am new to the forum, and saw your post. Let me say a few words.

Unfortunately, there are about as many types of discourse analysis as there are practitioners. One would need to have a substantial introduction explaining what text-linguistics approach is being used, defining terms, etc. before utilizing it. The publisher probably would not allow this, since the discourse "jargon" would then extend into the commentary itself, and then you have a different sort of commentary. I know that Guthrie has been influenced by text-linguistics, but is not showing his hand, so to speak. It would allow him to discern unit divisions and cohesion and would improve his observation and assessment of interpretive options.

I used Guthrie's approach (as well as J.Louw and E. Nida, and Robert Longacre) for a master's thesis I wrote applying discourse analysis to a portion of Thucydides. The eclectic approach paid good dividends and informs much of what I do exegetically, even though I don't make it explicit. Exegesis is about observing, assessing, and deciding based on contextual evidence.

Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts are editing a forthcoming discourse analysis commentary series--I am slated to write on 2 Corinthians. This series would be the first one dedicated to writing whole volumes using discourse analysis explicitly. I envision spending some time explaining/justifying my particular discourse pragmatic approach in the introduction.

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