Re: [XTalk] Response to Robbins (Part 1)
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Vernon K. Robbins" <relvkr@L...>
> Dear Chris,requirement
> You, S. Porter, Ben Witherington III, and others are setting up a
> 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
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
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.
an open to the possibility that someoned described his own
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 fromsome
> narration" to first person plural "we" when a sea voyage begins inall the
> texts you cite: Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon; The Voyageof Hanno
> the Carthaginian; The Third Syrian War; and Dio Chrysostom. You(as
> before you) are interested in "disqualifying" these changes innarration, in
> one way or another, from being a "literary convention." This is,as
> indicated before, an "exclusionary" strategy of great interest tocertain (but
> not all) historical, literary, and theological interpreters.As I indicated above, I am open to the possibility that your
convention existed as well, but these examples do not make that case
because they are easily explained by established, existing practices.
>narration" in these
> I simply am interested in the "presence" of this "change of
> four texts (and others) in a context of the "formulaic presence offirst person
> plural narration for sea voyages in Homer's Odyssey" (a text withongoing
> presence and influence during the Hellenistic period) and thepresent 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, ineach
> when a sea voyage begins, shows a relation to "first person pluralsea voyage
> narration in other Mediterranean literature" that a carefulinterpreter should
> acknowledge and use in a context of interpretation. Instead ofusing
> "disqualifying" strategies, which I previously called"exclusionary"
> (another name for this kind of interpretive activity), I aminterested in
> "including" this other literature in an environment ofinterpretation where I
> am trying to understand the "social and rhetorical power" of theActs 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
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
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,
one exists, I responded to that in "Part 2."
Thank you again for your responses to my posts.