A departure from the normal rules of grammar or word usage. To give special emphasis. To call attention to the point. To add force or power to an expression. Which sentence is more memorable?
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A departure from the normal rules of grammar or word usage. To give special emphasis. To call attention to the point. To add force or power to an expression. Which sentence is more memorable? Figures of speech are universal to human communication. Every language, including the biblical languages, has them. God used figures of speech to call attention to a point in the scriptures.
Why it is important to understand figures of speech in the Bible? To get to the correct interpretation of Scripture. Serious misinterpretations of Scripture come from: Calling something figurative that is literal.
For example, the 6 days of Creation in Genesis 1 are literal hour periods. Calling something literal that is figurative. Really, it is the figure of speech heterosis or switching of word forms here, verb tense. God has a reason for everything He says — where He says it; when He says it; to whom He says it; and how He says it. Figures of speech in the Bible are precise and exact, not haphazard. How do we know when the words should be taken literally or figuratively? The Bible should be understood literally whenever possible.
But when a statement appears to be contrary to our experience, or to known fact, or to the general teaching of truth, then we can expect that a figure of speech is present.
If a word or words are truly a figure of speech, then that figure can be named and described. It will have a specific identifiable purpose. How can we recognize figures of speech? The figure is personification. The words are clear and literal, but meant to convey a deeper lesson or application, such as in a parable.
The words are clear and literal, but are put together in a grammatical or structural way that brings emphasis to the section. This kind of figure may be lost in translation. The study of figures of speech is complex because of the number of languages Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and English involved, and because each language has many figures. But the patterns of language are so universally common to mankind that most of the figures of speech cross over from language to language in a recognizable way.
Various scholars through the centuries have offered systems of classifying figures of speech. The clearest and best documented is by E. Bullinger, as follows: 1. Figures Involving Omission words or meaning left out a.
Affecting words grammar or sentence structure b. Affecting the sense the meaning 2. Figures Involving Addition words or meaning inserted a. Affecting the sense the meaning 3. Figures Involving Change words or meaning changed a. Affecting the meaning b. Affecting the order of words c. Affecting the application of words interpretation of words Examples of Figures of Speech 1.
Affecting words grammar or sentence structure Ellipsis— words are left out. Affecting words grammar or sentence structure Epizeuxis — duplication; repetition of the same word in a sentence. Polyptoton — many inflections. The repetition of the same word in different forms. Affecting the meaning Metonymy — change of one noun for another related noun.
The distinction is that in metonymy, the exchange is made between two related nouns; in synecdoche, the exchange is made between two related ideas. Hendiadys — two for one; two words used, one thing meant. Affecting the order of words Hyperbaton — transportation; placing a word out of its usual order in a sentence. Affecting the application of words interpretation of words Simile — resemblance; a comparison by resemblance. Matthew 13, the parable of the sower.
The story may be true or imaginary, but the events must be possible or likely. Gnome — quotation Matthew and 23 quotes Isaiah Amphibologia — double meaning; has two interpretations both of which are true.
Eironeia — irony; expression of thought in a form that conveys its opposite. Let them save you when you are in trouble! Prosopopoeia — personification; things represented as persons.
Bullinger Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible(b)
Absolute Ellipsis. Where the omitted word or words are to be supplied from the nature of the subject. Noun and Pronouns Gen. Verbs and participles Gen. Certain connected words in the same member of a passage Gen.
Examples of Figure of Speech Used in the Bible What are they, their purpose, recognizing them…
A huge accomplishment. Very few books stay in print that long. As another said, "Bullinger continues to be recognized as one of the greatest Bible scholars of the early twentieth century. Unsurpassed even today, his easy to read books and essays are critically acclaimed. His Bible commentaries, Greek lexicon, textual notes, and numerous expositional studies continue to inform students of the Scriptures. All the Companion Bible Notes data is keyed to its verse and instanly searchable and also has links to the valuable Appendices.
Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated