Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Desmond C. Derbyshire


This study addresses some of the problems of the Book of Romans in Koine Greek as a source text for a translation, particularly into non-Indo-European languages which do not share common cultural, grammatical or rhetorical conventions with the original audience for which Romans was written. A basic question broached was, "What is argumentation - as a discourse genre, as an act, as a pattern of grammatical reflexes?"

The discourse grammar model of Dr. R. E. Longacre was the main point of departure. Important secondary sources were the work of Teun A. van Dijk on macrostructure; the semantic structure analysis method for Koine Greek developed by John Beekman, John Callow, and Michael Kopesec; and the work of Stanley K. Stowers on Paul's use of the diatribe, a well known conventional didactic framework of his day.

Chapter I is a brief introduction. Chapter II, using Dr. Longacre's typology as a point of departure, examines the essential characteristics of argumentation as a genre and as an act clearly distinguishable from straightforward exposition. Chapter III makes use of van Dijk's concept of macrostructure and information reduction rules by which the macrostructure of a text is discovered. A particular case of the use of the subordinating particle 'gar' is examined in some detail. Chapter IV presents a profile of Romans, that is, the charting of the grammatical reflexes showing mounting tension, climax, and declining tension of the discourse, after the Longacre model. Chapter V looks more closely at the grammatical characteristics of exposition and argumentation in Romans. Chapter VI is based completely upon the work of S.K. Stowers and shows some of the conventional rhetorical devices used in Romans. Chapter VII gives a brief summary of the study, and presents some conclusions drawn from it.

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