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Re: [XTalk] Response to Robbins (Part 1)

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  • laymantwo <laymantwo@yahoo.com>
    ... requirement ... I am sorry if that is the case, but I suspect it is not. In order for me to believe that there existed literary convention for describing
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 17, 2003
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      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Vernon K. Robbins" <relvkr@L...>
      wrote:
      > Dear Chris,
      > You, S. Porter, Ben Witherington III, and others are setting up a
      requirement
      > for my thesis that it is not necessary for my thesis to meet.

      I am sorry if that is the case, but I suspect it is not. In order
      for
      me to believe that there existed literary convention for describing
      extended sea-voyages in the first-person plural, I have to have some
      evidence that such a convention existed.

      From what I have learned about many of your examples--Hanno/Third
      Syrian War/etc--they do not provide any evidence that their use of
      the
      first-person plural was due to the presence of a sea-voyage. Rather,
      they seem to be explained by established literary conventions--using
      "I" or "we" to describe one's own experiences or the experiences of a
      fictitious main character.

      I do not think that this makes me 'exclusisionary' or unreasonable.
      I
      an open to the possibility that someoned described his own
      experiences
      in the first-person because they were his own experiences AND they
      were describing a sea-voyage, but I have seen no reason to do so.

      > I am grateful that you acknowledge that there is a "change from
      some
      kind of
      > narration" to first person plural "we" when a sea voyage begins in
      all the
      > texts you cite: Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon; The Voyage
      of Hanno
      > the Carthaginian; The Third Syrian War; and Dio Chrysostom. You
      (as
      others
      > before you) are interested in "disqualifying" these changes in
      narration, in
      > one way or another, from being a "literary convention." This is,
      as
      I
      > indicated before, an "exclusionary" strategy of great interest to
      certain (but
      > not all) historical, literary, and theological interpreters.

      As I indicated above, I am open to the possibility that your
      purported
      convention existed as well, but these examples do not make that case
      because they are easily explained by established, existing practices.

      >
      > I simply am interested in the "presence" of this "change of
      narration" in these
      > four texts (and others) in a context of the "formulaic presence of
      first person
      > plural narration for sea voyages in Homer's Odyssey" (a text with
      ongoing
      > presence and influence during the Hellenistic period) and the
      present of "we
      > passages" in Acts that are closely related to sea voyages.

      Should not the focus be on the "reason" for the "change in narration"
      than its mere presence? In each of the examples I discussed, the
      "reason" for the change is apparently other than the mere presecence
      of sea-voyage adventure.

      For example, I am very skeptical that the author of the Third Syrian
      War would have used the term "we" to describe his enemies had they
      been the one's attacking by sea? And would he had described his
      people as "they" if they had been on land? I think not.


      > The abrupt changes to "we narration" in Acts 16, 20, and 27, in
      each
      instance
      > when a sea voyage begins, shows a relation to "first person plural
      sea voyage
      > narration in other Mediterranean literature" that a careful
      interpreter should
      > acknowledge and use in a context of interpretation. Instead of
      using
      > "disqualifying" strategies, which I previously called
      "exclusionary"
      strategies
      > (another name for this kind of interpretive activity), I am
      interested in
      > "including" this other literature in an environment of
      interpretation where I
      > am trying to understand the "social and rhetorical power" of the
      Acts of the
      > Apostles to entice people into its worldview.

      I have no problem with "including" another convention if that
      convention is established in the first place. I do not believe such
      is the case here. It seems that Hanno was written in the
      first-person
      plural because it was written from the point-of-view of the
      participants. It seems that the Third Syrian War is written in the
      first-person plural because the author's side was attacking by sea
      and
      the enemie was active mostly on land (although there is a "they" used
      for some of their action at sea).

      As for whether there is evidence in Acts of such a conventio,
      assuming
      one exists, I responded to that in "Part 2."

      Thank you again for your responses to my posts.
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