Words Unique to Luke?

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Thomas Dolhanty
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Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » October 17th, 2015, 2:32 pm

Does anyone know where I can find a list of GNT words unique to Luke? Expressions would be nice too, but probably too much to ask for.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 18th, 2015, 12:34 am

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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » October 18th, 2015, 10:03 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Holly.
You mean ... like as in "Rosebud"? :lol:

Sorry, but who could resist that with your one word floral response? That looks pretty interesting, and who can complain about the price at $2.64. Thanks. I'll order a copy.

I actually remembered the way to do such a query in BibleWorks, and think I have generated a pretty reliable list - though I haven't had a chance to check it in detail yet.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 19th, 2015, 10:21 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:your one word ... response
Yes, that was uncharacteristic of me - being both short and spot on the topic. :shock: Let me make it up to you here in this post. :lol:

I tried go work from the lower end of the vocabulary spectrum many years ago, but looking for unique words by book or authour. If you care to think about the question of "unique" with me for a moment, I'll tell you why I think that it is a naive quest - the limitations that I found this method raised.

While there is real and demonstrable value in memorising glosses for all the words in an authour (or a particular book of the New Testament) and then going on to search for synonyms, nuances, the range of grammatical constructions associated with the word (either conventionally or by special design of the authour) as a next stage of understanding the vocabulary used, there are a few perceptual distortions that can arise from seeing the vocabulary lists in a myopic context - both New Testament only (not the broader social and literary scene), authorship only (not also what others could understand) and only one work written (by this authour).

When we say "words unique to Luke", what does (can) that mean?

Known for and from his contribution to the New Testament, this Luke could easily be assumed to be all that that is all there was to the man, but having tried your hand at "Bluenose", you can easily realise that he must have written a great deal more and developed quite some skill in composition (with or without the ability to converse) to be able to write what we have had preserved and handed down to us as his writing. The Apocalypse could pass as Greek written down the way that it was spoken by someone without literary background in the language (or perhaps who couldn't write), Second Peter could be someone who was thinking in another language and struggling to "compose" as Bluenose or Titanic came across as, but Luke's works are polished and written by a capable hand at home with synonyms and nuanced expression. Such ability comes at the price of practice, and practice means that he must have written a lot (and read / memorised widely the works of others).

Let's ask a farcical question; Did Luke only know those words that are used in his writing(s) in the New Testament? Presumably not. While it could be assumed that a beginner in a language may know only the words which are in the writing tasks that they have completed as part of their learning / acquisition of the language, an educated, accomplished and (quite) polished authour such as Luke must have known more.

As I mentioned, choosing a passage, chapter, authour or a book, and memorising glosses for all the words in it, really does help one's reading. Fior instance, at present, I'm back in Colossians - as you can see from my own interest in ἐρεθίζειν and my interest in the other thread related to ὑποτάσσεσθαι. I'm still at the stage of reading with blanks for the unknown words (perhaps 1 word in 20 or 40), which I'm going through section by section and trying to look at the vague vocabulary. After trying my best to understand the Greek, only as a very last resort , I will "learn" the remaining unknown words, by acquiring an English gloss. I'm finding that the dual cycle of reading is working well for me. I read one chapter a day bareback (without aids), and then work through section by section (4 - 7 verses at a time) and try to learn all the unknown words according to as they seem most useful for getting the sense. At the moment I am cycling through chapter and am struggling with ἀπολήσθε τὴν ἀνταπόδοσιν τῆς κληρομίας - of course I can translate it, but I don't really understand it. When I finish what's unknown in chapter 3, I'll start cycling through chapter 4 for quick extensive reading bareback, while reading each section through in turn for intensive reading with aids.

Might I add that when you do get to you list of "words unique to Luke", most of them will probably be down in the ≤4 range of vocabulary. To get a fuller understanding of them, you may have to track down examples from outside the corpus.

To push the envelop of the question (to something I think is more reasonable), let me put to you another question about "unique"-ness.

Did the other authours of the New Testament understand the words used by Luke, but which they themselves did not use? Of course, seeing as we have no way to answer that question, it is to provoke thought, rather than to elicit an answer. Did other speakers of Greek, reading and listening to the Gospel understand all the words that Luke wrote, or only the highly educated? If we assume that all the words were understood by all people (including the authours) then there is no unique vocabulary in Luke, only incidental usage or non-use. If we assume that only persons with a literary background and a high level of education understood the words "unique" to Luke, then they are not unique to Luke, but were in common use among a certain group of people. If the words were obscure words taken from passages that nobody read and only Luke knew them, then it would be words unique to Luke, but picked up by him from other authours - and then not unique to Luke anyway, but used in other authours. I think that only in the case when Luke coined words, would we be able to say they were unique to Luke. I know what you mean by unique, but I'm asking you to think about the implications of mean what you mean about the meaning of "unique". Let's go on a little....

Beyond what you are trying to achieve, there is another unspoken methodological flaw in all these types of searches of uniqueness of usage based on some present data sets that can find words used per authour. Without also asking the question; Which words in which usages are unique to which authours?, which is - I feel - a better way of posing the question that you are asking (assuming that you are saying "What do I need to know to be able to read Luke fluently?"). That will allow you to isolate the meanings for the words that you want to learn, not just the words with some generic, etymological or most commonly used meaning.

As a quick example, look at these words;
[*]παραιτεῖσθαι is used 12 times in the New Testament, but only 4 times (L3+A1) in Luke. I guess that the single one-word gloss of convenience that one would learn for παραιτεῖσθαι would be "ask for", but that doesn't really help for reading Luke. Luke 14:18-19, are the only places in the New Testament where the word παραιτεῖσθαι is used in the sense "excuse oneself from accepting an invitation". Also, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον "have me excused" is a set phrase that would probably also need to be learnt. A search for "words unique in Luke" would miss this word, which would need to be known in this specialised sense, so that the your reading of the Gospel and Acts could be native-reader fluent and fully meaningful.
[*]προδότης (προδιδοῦν) If words were sorted according to meanings and lumping together the parts of speech that a particular meaning is to be found in, rather than alphabetically listing all words, and lumping together the meanings, as if they were somehow related. Is that understandable? Let me restate it. There are two meanings for προδιδοῦν "give previously" and "betray", there is one meaning προδότης "betrayer". If a dictionary listed words as προδότης (προδιδοῦν) betrayer (betray) in one entry and προδιδοῦν "give previously" in another entry, that would make a lot more sense. For learning the language, there is real or intrinsic relationship between words with the same meaning, rather then forms which are the same. For just looking up the language, a dictionary can be arranged based on forms as we have it. προδιδοῦν only occurs in one variant, and προδότης occurs in Paul as well, so neither of them would turn up in a words in Luke only, but they are both infrequent words, so may cause some trouble.

Searching for something vaguer, like words occurring less than 5 times in the New Testament, and greater than 2 times in Luke (Gospel + Acts), might produce additional words that could be mastered to improve your reading. If it were possible to search for words in a particular sense only in Luke, you could get a different (fuller definition of unique) list of unique words - which would add a lot to your reading experience.

I know that by volume, that is quite the opposite of the previous post, but I know you like to chatter away and shoot the breeze too.
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caseyperkins
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by caseyperkins » October 19th, 2015, 1:50 pm

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:Does anyone know where I can find a list of GNT words unique to Luke?
Hi Thomas,
My free iPhone program GreekKit can generate lists like this easily, and you can also customize the list to remove person names or words of certain parts of speech. It can also show you the exact locations of those words.

Casey
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » October 19th, 2015, 8:34 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:your one word ... response
Yes, that was uncharacteristic of me - being both short and spot on the topic. :shock: Let me make it up to you here in this post. :lol:
Holly is good.
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Thomas Dolhanty
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Re: Words Unique to Luke?

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » October 19th, 2015, 8:35 pm

caseyperkins wrote:
Thomas Dolhanty wrote:Does anyone know where I can find a list of GNT words unique to Luke?
Hi Thomas,
My free iPhone program GreekKit can generate lists like this easily, and you can also customize the list to remove person names or words of certain parts of speech. It can also show you the exact locations of those words.
Casey
Thanks Casey. I've downloaded it. I will give it a spin when I get a chance.
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