Thanks for taking the time to reply in detail. Rather than going at this point by point again let's try to summarize what I feel is the position.
You appear to be saying that
Firstly: a reference text that represents the "true Bible" can be readily arrived at;
Secondly: a non-contradictory reading of that reference text can be readily arrived at;
Thirdly: there is some significance to be attached to these two observations
I deny all three points.
Firstly, I note you intend to use the "King James" translation of the Bible as your reference text. This is, of course, based on source texts and in some places it is not clear what source texts, or what readings of certain source texts, were used to compile this version. It is certainly based on a resolution of a number of source texts. Whether this resolution was readily arrived at, or is a reasonable one, or is the best one, is a matter for much dispute. However, you have decided, for your own unstated reasons, to accept this as a reference text. I deny it is the most suitable such text, but it is your choice.
Secondly, your statement that "the existence of a consistent, non-contradictory interpretation is a fact" seems to be based on the assumption that the King James translation is such an interpretation. I would deny it, as there are numerous inconsistencies in its translation, but, as you shall see, it is of no signifance whether or not it is self-consistent.
Thirdly, should any significance be attached to the self-consistency of your translated text? The canon of the Bible has been selected from among many texts through great and heated debate which has led to schism and separation - those books which were rejected from the western canon were rejected in great part because they contradicted other texts, or because their interpretation contradicted other interpretations. In other words, the canon has been selected to have as few contradictions as possible. Moreover, your preferred translation was also compiled by scholars commited in principle to a Biblical text free of contradiction.
That a version of texts selected for consistency, translated by those committed to consistency, results in a consistent translation is hardly a matter for wonder, unless your awe is particularly easily inspired.
Now to a few details:[b] [QUOTE]Yet those words still have known definitions.[/b][/QUOTE]
My point was, and remains, that they do not.[b] [QUOTE]Though there is discussion over which of those definitions is correct, the correct definition still exists. To claim otherwise is to claim that the word is in actuality just a random assortment of letters with no intended meaning.[/b][/QUOTE]
I simply claim that the orginal intention of the author in many cases can no longer be readily arrived at. That the author had an intention, I do not doubt, but it is lost to us.[b] [QUOTE]Again the presence of debate does not negate the facts. Though there is a difference of opinion regarding which arrangement is correct, the arrangement itself still exists.[/b][/QUOTE]
Your argument here is not meaningless, but simply pointless, as one cannot readily identify any one arrangement as the authors original intention, the existence of any one arrangement is as significant or insignificant as any other. If I translate "en arche en ho logos" - in the beginning was the word, as "A long time ago there was a logo" it is surely a fact, by your lights, that my arrangement of words, use of definitions, and my intepretation exists. So what?[b] [QUOTE]The difficulty to discover which grammatical structure is used does not negate the fact that such a structure is indeed utilized.[/b][/QUOTE]
I really don't the point you are trying to make - it is not a fact that the text in some places uses any one grammatical structure. The most you can mean is that "a given structure is possibly utilized" which is very different.[b] [QUOTE]Parataxis simply refers to the coordination of grammatical elements such as phrases or clauses without the use of coordinating elements such as conjunctions. (Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary)[/b][/QUOTE]
Thank you - I think I know what parataxis is without referring to Webster's, which in this case, to my mind, gives a fairly poor definition anyway. The imporant point is that the semantic significance of the coordination is entirely a matter for interpretation.
Take my example "You toucha my car. I smasha your face." These sentences, coordinated by parataxis, have a wide range of possible semantic resolutions, among which are ...
If you toucha my car, as a result of that action, I will smasha your face.
You habitually toucha my car. I habitually smasha your face. These things are not connected except that they are both things we habitually do.
You toucha my car. Then I smasha your face. That is the order in which these events will happen - I am not smashaing your face because you touchad my car, it is just the temporal order in which the events will occur.
The Bible is full of such parataxic constructions.[b] [QUOTE]In the case of Romans 13:1, the verse does not display true parataxis. The two phrases are divided by a coordinating element, the colon.[/b][/QUOTE]
It does indeed show true parataxis - the colon is merely in the translation.[b] [QUOTE]However, even if this verse did show true parataxis, there is more to grammar than just parataxis and hypotaxis. For instance, formality, genre, and punctuation must always be taken into consideration.[/b][/QUOTE]
Of course, though be careful when attempting to read anything into these things in translation - especially 17th century English punctuation!
Let me give you an example of the difficulty in translation. Given the KJV English translation could you readily stylistically identify the writer of the Gospel of John from the writer of Peter's letters or Paul's letters. Yet their styles in Greek are extremely personal and individual in their mannerisms, tone and diction.
Further, one must wonder how different Western theology would have been if we had, since the early church, dropped the formality and addressed god as "Daddy" as Our Lord instructed us?
[b] [QUOTE]I am not the one arguing that the mere presence of debate necessitates the inexistence of fact.[/b][/QUOTE]
Nor am I - simply that the presence and nature of the debate negates any significance your purported facts may have.
[This message has been edited by Mister Pamboli, 07-13-2002]