This weekend is the annual meeting for the Society for Biblical Literature, held this year in San Diego and preceded as usual by the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) National Conference. ETS/SBL is a significant annual event for Logos, both for marketing our product but also for presenting scholarly research on a variety of topics. Rick posted previously about several ETS talks by Logos folks (and it’s not too late to catch a couple of them if you’re there).

At SBL this year, i’ll be giving two talks:

“So, Brothers”: Pauline Use of the Vocative
Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics
Saturday (11/17), 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Betsy A – GH
Abstract: Use of the vocative by New Testament writers represents a pragmatic choice, yet there is little understanding of what motivates its use, or of its exegetical value. Most descriptions cast it as a structural marker of discourse units, corresponding to paragraph boundaries. However, many vocatives in the Greek New Testament text occur within paragraphs, calling the traditional account into question. This paper will review previous work on vocative use in the Greek New Testament, and briefly describe its discourse function based on its similarity to pragmatic markers in other languages. Representative examples from the Pauline corpus will be examined to demonstrate the exegetical value of careful attention to vocative use.
[This is joint work with my colleague Dr. Steven Runge, Logos scholar-in-residence.]
Integrating Greek and English Digital Resources
Computer Assisted Research Group (CARG)
Monday (11/19), 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: 22 – CC
Abstract: Common corpora and data standards help advance research, by providing a shared focus for researchers and elevating the baseline from which investigation begins. Several digital resources specifically designed for GNT study (for example, the Louw-Nida lexicon, the Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, and the ESV English-Greek reverse interlinear) can be usefully integrated with other English resources and corpora to provide benefit to English-speaking Bible students as well. Examples include WordNet (a semantic lexicon), PropBank (a corpus annotated with verbal propositions and their arguments), and FrameNet (corpus-supported semantic “frames” for concepts). The resulting hybrids may also be more broadly useful for the study of other Hellenistic corpora, and may point toward the development of new resources for Biblical scholarship. This paper will briefly overview some of these digital resources, and describe ongoing work at Logos Research Systems to integrate them. The paper will also propose several practical steps to facilitate greater integration of resources from the community of biblical scholars with those from the computational linguistics community.

I’m excited about my collaboration with Steve on the first talk, which (without giving too much away in advance) allowed for a nice hybrid of data-driven syntax searching and discourse analysis of vocative function.

Note that, while the abstract for my CARG talk is worded rather broadly (these got submitted quite a while ago), the real focus will be on Louw-Nida and WordNet integration. In particular, i don’t expect to have much to say about PropBank and FrameNet.

Steve will also be giving an additional talk:

Quotation of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the New Testament: With Emphasis on the Quotation in Matthew 13:14-15
Greek Bible
11/17/2007, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Torrey 1 – MM
Abstract: Matthew’s quotation of Isa 6:9-10 in Mt 13:14-15 betrays some intriguing elements which are different from his quotations in other parts. First, though usually deviating from the LXX for the so-called fulfillment quotations, he adopts the verbatim of the LXX in Mt 13:14-15. Second, the fulfillment introductory formula in this passage is different from the one frequently used in the Gospel; it is modified by omitting the conjunction i;na (in order that) which clearly points to the purpose of the quoted OT passage. Finally, this is the only instance in which the fulfillment quotation is presented not as coming from his hands but from Jesus’ mouth. Why did Matthew decide to deviate the common way to quote the OT? This study purports to examine this problem by looking at the context of Mt 13:14-15. The study will also compare the quotation of Isa 6:9-10 in Matthew with that in other NT books, especially in Mark 4:12 and Jn 12:40 where the verbatim departs from the LXX. The study will investigate how Matthew, different from other Gospel writers, quotes Isa 6:9-10 according to his own purpose.

I’ve given talks at the two previous meetings, which i particularly enjoyed since i was then very much an amateur and newcomer to the field of academic Biblical studies (not that my employment at Logos makes me a professional scholar!). I still think they represent good work that i hope to extend further.