Denny Burk, Articular Infinitives In The Greek Of The NT

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Denny Burk, Articular Infinitives In The Greek Of The NT

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » June 5th, 2017, 2:04 pm

Phil. 2:5 Τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, 6 ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, 7 ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος· καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος

Over the weekend I heard someone make reference to Denny Burk’s work on the articular infinitive. I found a paper in the Tyndale Bulletin 2004[1]. I find several weaknesses in the argument. The idea that we only need to discover one necessary function of a constituent and all the rest falls away. If it can be demonstrated that the article is a “function word” which is required for syntax then we can drop the question about anaphora. A general application of that “principle” would be disastrous.

RE: Burk’s response to N. T. Wright and the others.

The referent of μορφῇ θεοῦ does not need to be “the same thing” as the referent of τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ. Once again, Richard A. Hoyle[2] shows that the article is used for hearer old information or information which is active/accessible for the audience. The expression μορφῇ θεοῦ activates a scenario and τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ refers to something within that scenario. There is no need to argue that the two expressions are co-referential.

[1] Tyndale Bulletin 55.2 (2004) 253-274.

Denny Burk

[2] Chapter Six, Richard A. Hoyle, Scenarios, discourse and translation. SIL 2008
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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