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Thursday, April 20, 2006  

"Go Away" Again

In my previous post, we looked at the use of the Greek word hupago, meaning "to go away," in the Greek New Testament. This word was first brought to our attention when we searched for all the imperative verbs in the GNT-T and then clicked the Details button to get an Analysis of the Search results. By changing the sort order of the Analysis from "Alphabetical" to "Count down," we found that hupago is the fourth most frequently used command in the New Testament.

Since "Go Away!" seems a rather antisocial command to make, we selected the word hupago in the Analysis window and chose GNT-T from the Resource palette to search for every occurrence of that word in the tagged Greek New Testament. We then explored the use of this word by doing an Analysis of the new search, then customizing it to break down the results by Mood and Person. Doing so showed us that hupago is used as a command more often than in any other way, and that it is always used as a direct command ("Go away!") rather than as an indirect command ("Let him go away").

We've learned all this by using the Details to give us a bird's-eye view of this particular Greek word. Now we're ready to examine each occurrence of hupago in the imperative to see how it is used.

To do this, I'll go back to the Search window and constrain my search for hupago with a grammatical tag. I just need to make sure the cursor appears in the argument entry box immediately after the word hupago. Then I'll select "Verb. . ." from the "Enter Grammatical Tag" submenu of the Search window. In the dialog box, I'll choose "Imperative" from the Mood pop-up menu and click OK. My search argument should now look like this:

Note how Accordance automatically inserts the at (@) symbol, which joins a tag to the word with which it must be associated. Since Accordance has already done the work of setting up the proper search syntax, I just need to click OK in the Search window to perform the search.

A quick look through the search results reveals that hupago is not always used with the negative connotation that we often associate with the English phrase "Go away." When I saw the English gloss "to go away" in the Analysis window, I immediately associated it with the idea of saying to another person something along the lines of "Go away! Get out of here! Get away from me!" It was that negative association that led me to see the frequent use of hupago as somewhat surprising.

Certainly, in Matthew 4:10, hupago is used in this negative sense: "Go away, Satan!" But in most other instances, it is simply used to instruct someone to go somewhere else:

  • "leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother. . ."
  • "And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two."
  • "See that you don't tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest"
  • "Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you."
  • By searching for hupago wherever it appears in the imperative, we've been able to learn more about why this command appears so often. Occasionally, it is used to tell someone to "buzz off," but in most cases, it's just used to tell someone to go somewhere and do something. I guess the New Testament writers weren't so antisocial after all.

    Now, I've been camping out for a few posts in the Greek New Testament, primarily because I thought this little study afforded some good examples of how to use the Details, how to customize the information displayed in the Analysis window, and how to search by grammatical tags. Naturally, those of you who don't know Greek have probably been wondering how this applies to you, while those who are more interested in Hebrew are wondering when I'll get to something useful! Not to worry. In upcoming posts I plan on showing how to create a graphical search argument: first in English and then in Hebrew. In the process, I'll probably look again at the Details and will almost certainly use the one keyboard shortcut you absolutely must learn. :-)

    Thanks David. Question: after running the search for the imperative, is there a way to ...

    1) Add another pane (e.g., NIV) and FORCE the GNT and NIV verses to be parallel (i.e., run straight across the screen, so your eyes can move back and forth, and not search for the same verse in different versions)?

    2) Only show one line (i.e., not the entire verse, which may take several lines) in each hit in all panes, so you can quickly scan down the list and see what might be interesting to look at further.

    Thanks again for the Blog. It is very, very helpful!


    This particular example also illustrates well one issue with glosses (e.g., one really needs to go to a good lexicon entry to see the full range of meanings, idioms, etc.).

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