cwconrad wrote: ↑
April 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Now the question becomes: "Who, precisely, are we
? If you're referring to those of us who are reading these texts today, we certainly differ widely in our experience of reading different kinds of Greek from different eras of antiquity. I think it's true that many of us on B-Greek are not very familiar -- in any meaningful measure -- with Greek texts outside of the Greek NT (and perhaps the LXX) and the relatively brief chronological range that those texts represent. But some of us have urged those seeking to read the GNT that they might have a better understanding of the text of the GNT by reading more widely in extra-Biblical Greek of antiquity. A language is shaped, in considerable measure, by its literary heritage. English speakers who have not themselves read any or much of Shakespeare or of the English Bible read and write English that has been impacted by Shakespeare and the English Bible. I think it's very hard to talk with much precision about what we can -- or should -- "expect" to find in a NT Greek text.
We in the broadest sense is a reference to all readers (and listeners) from the literary creation till our time, includes many such levels of engagement with the language, as you have described. The "me" part of the (greater or narrower) "we", was unaware that he was in fact supposed to be using epic grammar to read this phrase until a few days ago.
My "expectation" has been built up by my training and reinforced by my experience. I'm wondering if that self-confirming process is something that would benefit from being questioned.
No explanation is given in Acts 17:28 for the quote - neither of its grammar or of the significance that "Zeus" here in the Phaenomena
does not refer to an anthropomorphic deity of polytheism, but to the pantheistic world-soul of Stoic thinking. Perhaps either it was outside the contour and camber of the Christian message to go into details, or it was knowledge that it could be assumed on the part of the wider hellenistic audience. With thr poems of Homer toping the Times bestseller list of the day, and this Phaenomena coming in at third, the features of epic grammar are likely to be familiar. On a scale of high to low in the pastoral (escapist) erotic fiction, from Theocritus down to Longus, we see many similarities been the lower levels of literature and the Gospels, but even Longus occasionally includes some features from the higher registers of literature. This passage in Acts is a direct quotation, but if there were "inadvertant" inclusions of epic grammar, that might be "expected" in the New Testament too.