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Cohesive Chains in the Transfiguration Narrative of Matthew 17:1-13

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.53027    3,604 Downloads   4,320 Views  
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ABSTRACT

While much work in biblical studies has been offered in the form of theological exposition and historical critical speculation of literary origins of the gospels, few modern biblical studies scrutinize the language of these gospels from rigorous linguistic criteria. This paper takes a discourse analytic approach from the field of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) founded by M. A. K. Halliday. The notion of cohesive chaining is taken in order to evaluate the level of literary unity in the original Greek of the episode of the transfiguration narrative found within the Gospel of Matthew. Cohesive chaining will be defined; its function within the greater sociolinguistic theory of SFL will be examined, and then the concept will be directly applied. The study concludes with a unique contribution demonstrating how these cohesive chains are then unified via choices in verbal aspect as the grammar that not only solidifies semantic continuity among those chains, but contours the discourse using a scheme of markedness that signals the prioritization of its message. The hope of this study is to reinforce the recent paradigm shift of biblical research utilizing modern linguistic paradigms as tools to transform biblical interpretation and exegesis into a rigorously discourse-centered linguistic methodology.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Woods, J. (2015) Cohesive Chains in the Transfiguration Narrative of Matthew 17:1-13. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 302-318. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.53027.

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