Thursday, March 27, 2008

JSNT on the rhetorical assumptions of indentations (or: how not to identify a hymn)

From JSNT:

In the vast field of scholarship surrounding New Testament hymns, consider the list of rationales that have been offered for construing a text as a poem or hymn. First, here are some of the rationales that should be discounted immediately, since they are vague and applicable to too many kinds of texts: parallelism,7 a series of threes (Lohmeyer 1927–28: 5-6), unusual vocabulary,8 figurative language (Bailey and Vander Broek 1992: 76-82), theological or Christological concepts,9 and my favorite, ‘it is a carefully constructed passage’ (Hooker 1975: 159).

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