Synecdoche

The title above refers to a figure of speech that is extremely common in the New Testament.  It is a figure of speech in which  a part is put for the whole or the whole for the part.  It is the former, the part for the whole, that we’re interested in for the purposes of this study.  Examples of everyday use of the part for the whole: (1) “Shall we break bread” for “shall we eat;” (2) “look at my new set of wheels” for “look at my new car;” (3) “He had 100 head of cattle” for “he had 100 cows;” (4) years ago some used to say “look at her threads” for “look at her clothes,” etc…    Understanding this figure of speech is important to good Bible study.  Let’s consider the following words:

 Hear

Paul instructed Timothy “Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; Continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16).

Is Paul saying here that to be saved all one must do is hear (w/out belief, repentance or anything else)?

Certainly, this is not what Paul means (Ezek. 33:30-33; Matt. 7:24-27; James 1:22).  This is just a case of a synecdoche.  Hearing is being put for receiving the word and putting it into practice.

Repent

Acts 11:18, “When they heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

Does this teach that spiritual life is accomplished by repentance (without belief or anything else)?

The context suggests that this is a synecdoche.  Repentance stands for all that is involved in a man’s response to God.  It includes faith (Acts 10:43) and baptism (Acts 11:13-14; cf. Acts 10:48).  Repentance makes a good figure of speech for all that God requires.  This is the case because if a man truly repents (changes his mind), then he’ll have no difficulty doing all that God requires of him.

 Believe

If one can see that the two afore-mentioned words are sometimes used as a part standing for the whole, then one should be able to accept that this is the case with the term ‘believe,’ as well.   It makes a good synecdoche for if one truly believes then one should have no difficulty doing whatever God requires of him.

  1.  Consider Acts 2:  Those listening to Peter’s sermon want to know what they should do about their guilt of sin (Acts 2:37). They are instructed to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  3,000 individuals respond to this message (Acts 2:41).  Then the record says, “And all that believed were together.” (Acts 2:44).  Wayne Jackson, in his commentary writes, “’Believed’ sums up the obedience described previously” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 416).

2. Consider Acts 4: In Acts 4:4 the number of believers is said to be 5,000 men.  This clearly takes one back to Acts 2:41 where 3,000 are mentioned in connection with baptism.

3.  Consider Acts 16: In Acts 16:31 a Philippian jailer is told by Paul and Silas, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”  No doubt they started here for this man likely had little or no knowledge of Jesus.  In Acts 16:33 the man and his household are baptized straightway.  Then listen to Acts 16:34, he is described as “having believed in God” NASB.  Wayne Jackson writes, “Luke describes the whole process, ‘…having believed in God’… the perfect participle depicts the state at which they arrived as a consequence of their obedience” (ibid, 417).  Note, they weren’t described as believers until after baptism.

4.  Consider Acts 19: In Acts 19:2, Paul asked some at Ephesus, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”,  when they told him that they didn’t know of the Holy Ghost, he asked about their baptism (Acts 19:3).  Wayne Jackson writes, “He was not framing a new question on an entirely different theme.  Rather baptism was a part of the belief process, concerning which he had inquired.” (ibid, p. 417).  He then taught them.  They were baptized.  Watch the fact that it was after their baptism, Paul laid his hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:2 cf. 19:3 cf. 19:5-6).  Belief in Acts 19:2 must not refer to belief only.

5.  Study John 3:36 ASV, “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyed not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him.”  Also Acts 14:1-2 ASV, “…a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.  But the Jews that were disobedient…”  Do a word study and I think you’ll find that the ASV got it right.  See how belief is put in contrast with disobedience.

Vines  indicates that the term  believe can mean “reliance upon not mere credence.”  Thayer indicates that the term can mean “a conviction – conjoined with obedience.”

6.  Consider Acts 10: Peter tells Cornelius, “Whosoever believeth in Him should have remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43).

Does this mean that belief alone is man’s required response for salvation (without anything else like repentance)?

No, this can’t be what is meant.  I know this by looking at Acts 11:18, “God to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

 Conclusion

Here’s a suggestion.  Let’s take all that the Bible says is necessary for salvation.  Let’s not insert the word ‘only’ before anything that God hasn’t.  Let’s not pit scripture against scripture.

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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8 Responses to Synecdoche

  1. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to present something again and aid others like you helped me.

  2. Sorry, but your definition of synecdoche is in error. This error originates in the work of E. W. Bullinger, a man who wrote the most erroneous book on language I, a wordsmith, have ever read. In all my years in college, whereat I focused intently on writing and grammar, I never heard of Bullinger. There is a good reason; for he was a crackpot who made up out of thin air just about everything he proposed in his book on biblical figures of speech.

    Now, synecdoche affects the noun of the sentence, i.e., wheels, clothes, threads, car, head (or head of), cows, etc. It does not affect the verb, such as your example: “break bread” for “eat”. Therefore, “Let us break bread,” means, “Let us eat,” via metaphor, a form of symbolism, and not by synecdoche or metonymy.

    Synecdoche also does not affect the modifier. The brother you referenced in your piece believes the words “all” and “many” are interchangeable through synecdoche (again, via Bullinger). “All” and “many”, as modifiers in the sentence, are not interchangeable. Therefore, in Daniel 12:2 where it says, “Many of those who sleep in the dust…” It means “many” and does not mean “all”. Making “many” mean “all” changes the meaning of the sentence, and synecdoche never has, does not, and never will change the meaning of the sentence. No amount of denial, screaming, or shouting can undermine or alter linguistic law. Synecdoche does not affect the modifier of a sentence—period.

    Now, since the words “hear,” “believe,” “confess,” “repent,” and “baptize” are verbs, then they also are not subject to synecdoche or metonymy. Nonetheless, through reference inference, I can write, “He who believes is saved,” and mean, “He who hears, believes, repents, confesses, and it baptized is saved,” if and when the connection between all these points are elsewhere stated. We find this throughout the bible, where part of information is given in one passage and fully expressed in others. Once the house is built, the homeowner does not have to rebuild it every time he goes home but simply open the door. Grammar and syntax are logical—if we just let them.

    A good example: If I have runners on a starting line, and I say, “Ready…set…RUN!” This one word command is good enough; for the runners understand from previous instructions they are to run around the track to the finish line. Unless I have a Forrest Gump on my hands, I do not have to give full instructions every time I speak about the race. I can use one word, run, to define all the actions they will perform or have performed.

    Teach only what you know for certain. Some subjects are deeper than they appear on the surface. Be careful from whom or from where you get your information. People will make things up to fit their own belief system and then pawn off their skewed idea(s) on the public. Bullinger’s work was his attempt at shaping biblical text to fit his belief in ultra-dispensationalism. He’s not a good source except to reveal fallacy and error born of arrogance.

    Richard Speights

    • Bryan Hodge says:

      Hello Mr. Wordsmith (a little humility, please!). If my definition, which was provided in paragraph one, is in error, it did not originate with Bullinger. Bullinger’s “Figures of Speech” was originally published in 1898. D.R. Dungan’s Hermeneutics was originally published in 1888. He used the same basic definition that I used. So did Clinton Lockhart, in his Principles of Interpretation which was originally written in 1901.

      It seems that your objection is with my examples, and not with my definition (a wordsmith should be careful). You do not believe that a synecdoche can appy to verbs. Questions: Does the infinitive “to break bread,” include drinking of the fruit of the vine? Does not “to break bread” mean to partake of the Lord’s Supper, including the cup? I really do not care what you call it. The point is that a part is put for the whole.

      If there is no such figure of speech for verbs, then the Bible is in confusion. Were those of Cornelius’ house save by belief (Acts 10:43) or repentance (Acts 11:18)? Does hearing alone save (1 Timothy 4:16), or must on believe, repent, and be baptized (Mark 16:1-2; Acts 2:38).

      If you do not think it is proper to use verbs as a synecdoche, fine. Change them to nouns. Faith saves. Repentance saves. Baptism saves. Now let us discuss the synecdoche. Picky. The point still stands.

      You recognize that one command is good enough, if from previous instructions other things are implied. Fine. What do you call this figure of speech, Mr. Wordsmith? Are we really arguing over which figure of speech this is, and what to call it? You seem to recognize my basic point, and that is the words hear, believe, repent, and be baptized should not be considered as the means of salvation alone. All that is said on the subject must be considered.

      On “all” and “many.” Are we looking at the same article. I am looking at the article “Synecdoche.” I am missing the reference to all and many. “All” and “many” obviously, do not mean the same thing. However, they can be used interchangeable where in complimentary passages where the “many” and the “all” refer to the same group. “All” may also be used to mean “the greater part, many” in a hyperbole.

      You seem very obsessed with Bullinger. Odd, I do not believe that I even cited him in the article. Though, I have a couple of times in others. I unlike you have found some things he has written helpful.

      Bryan

  3. Richard Speights says:

    By the by…I am a wordsmith, which is to say I am a writer and editor, having studied writing in University. Humility has nothing to do with that, young man. Nonetheless, I’m going to reread all the above and give you an answer later on this.

    If you are a member of the church of Christ, then I’m addressing a brother; and you are too.

    • Bryan Hodge says:

      Hello brother,

      Yes, I am a member of the church of Christ. I am not sure that I am a young man, any more. I have been preaching for many years. I have served as an elder in the church (this implies some age). I am beyond the half century mark. Your use of “young man” is off point and condescending.

      Yes, your writing did strike me as arrogant. Prime Minister Thatcher is credited as saying “If you are a lady, you do not have to go around telling people that you are.” My wife when she saw your reply thought it dripped with arrogance. It certainly is not the typical reply, we are used to receiving.

      Moreover, there was no commendation of anything said. The New Testament letters tried to commend even when the letter was designed to correct.

      I have spoken with a couple of hermeneutic teachers in schools of preaching, they stand by what I said. If there is such a rule, they are not aware of it but agreed to investigate.

      Consider this sentence: “I flew to the family reunion.” I actually walked to my car, drove to the airport, flew to another airport, then rented a car. More is included than actual flying. If this is not a synecdoche, then what is it? Men assign names to recognized use of figurative language. Man can call is what he wants, but a verb can be used in much the same figurative way as a noun.

      My aim in the article was to help non-Christians see this. Your reply does not help but confuses. With such friendly fire, no wonder the church is in trouble. If you have a better word to use then produce it. However, my basic point stands.

  4. Richard Speights says:

    I’m extremely busy, so it’s taken some time to answer your retort. You sent a second reply before I could answer the first. Therefore, I’ll answer the second first and the first last. I’ve quoted parts of your answer below, set off with ***s.

    I believe you have mistaken my incredulousness and assertiveness for arrogance. If your intent in calling me “Mr. Wordsmith” was in infuriate, you succeeded, my friend. I haven’t been this angry in a long, long time. You have mocked the skills I’ve spend years perfecting. You are the first person in my life to do this. When I looked you up online and discovered who you are, it was a slap in the face. Nonetheless, Jason Jackson also treated me badly online. So, it seems, my brother, anyone who disagrees with the preacher elite is dismissed, mocked, and labeled a heretic. Who do you guys think you are?

    Notwithstanding, if Margaret Thatcher were to make a speech on governance to an audience, she or someone would first produce her credentials. “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England”. To advise you on the wrongness of your assertion, seeing you didn’t know me, I gave my credentials, “I’m a wordsmith”. This seemed to infuriate you, but I would be remiss in pointing out error without first establishing my qualifications. The word best fitting my skill set is “wordsmith”.

    ***“I have spoken with a couple of hermeneutic teachers in schools of preaching, they stand by what I said. If there is such a rule, they are not aware of it but agreed to investigate.”***

    I am not impressed with some of things taught in preaching schools. Over the years, especially the past ten years or so, I’ve become unimpressed with preaching schools in general. They seem too often too willing to stray from the accurate and embrace the errant to facilitate preconception. Yes, even members of the Lord’s body can twist scripture to fit preconception, attempting to make it say what they think it must say or should say instead of allowing the words to speak for themselves. In this case, the preaching schools are accepting fraudulent grammar to support false notions and or failingly attempt to impart accurate truth.

    ***“Consider this sentence: “I flew to the family reunion.” I actually walked to my car, drove to the airport, flew to another airport, then rented a car. More is included than actual flying. If this is not a synecdoche, then what is it? Men assign names to recognized use of figurative language. Man can call is what he wants, but a verb can be used in much the same figurative way as a noun.”***

    The above is not synecdoche but deduction through inference, according to linguistic logic. Not everything written in the bible or elsewhere is figure of speech. There is far more to language than figure of speech. Not everything is figure of speech—NOT EVERYTHING WRITTEN FALLS UNDER FIGURE OF SPEECH.

    (You will see I’ve written a similar example below on this matter. I coincidently wrote this before I read the above comment.)

    ***“My aim in the article was to help non-Christians see this. Your reply does not help but confuses. With such friendly fire, no wonder the church is in trouble. If you have a better word to use then produce it. However, my basic point stands.”***

    Oh, I do so object to you blaming me for the problems in the Lord’s body. This seems rather heavy burden on one man, especially a man who has so far held his tongue long enough to gather accurate intelligence before speaking out on this or any issue. I’ll counter your accusation by wondering if the trouble isn’t in the belligerent attitudes of preachers (and certain members) facing criticism.

    Now, firstly, I did not know you were a preacher in the Lord’s body or even a member when I commented on your essay. It seemed you might be a member, but I did not check until after you blasted me with your “Mr. Wordsmith” malarkey. Yes, I see you were attempting to impart truth, but you can’t impart truth through a flawed argument. If you argument is incorrect, then you’re the logic of your argument falls apart, leaving the “non-Christian”, who sees through your spurious assertions, to discount the truth you attempt to present. Your accusation of confusion is unwarranted. I’ll not skew reality to fit preconception, no matter how difficult the subject matter.

    Friendly fire? Are you kidding? You are asking me to act like the young cop in Salt Lake City, who, instead of standing up to wrong, simply stood by as Detective Jeff Payne abused Nurse Wubbels. No, I’ll not stand by and allow anyone, especially one who has decided to write a blog to a worldwide audience, to abuse grammar in his attempt to make even a valid point. Too much is at stake. And a little error here grows to a massive error there. This is error’s nature.

    My replies are meant to give an accurate portrayal of grammar to prevent others from using your spurious argument. Your point, truthful or not, cannot stand upon such a specious foundation.

    (At this point, I’m answering your earlier comment. I began this answer this reply before you posted the latest. You words below are set off by ***s.)

    ***Hello Mr. Wordsmith (a little humility, please!). If my definition, which was provided in paragraph one, is in error, it did not originate with Bullinger. Bullinger’s “Figures of Speech” was originally published in 1898. D. R. Dungan’s Hermeneutics was originally published in 1888. He used the same basic definition that I used. So did Clinton Lockhart, in his Principles of Interpretation which was originally written in 1901.***

    Humility? I am a writer and editor. My claim to the designate, “wordsmith,” has been earned through years of focused education and patient, dedicated practice. You may think this arrogant, silly, or, in your words, “picky.” Nonetheless, a lack of humility has nothing to do with my detailed knowledge of writing, grammar, and related things.

    The correct use of grammatical rules is absolutely necessary for clarity. If we should change the rules willy-nilly to fit preconception or desire, then understanding becomes impossible. This is intolerable, especially for the biblical student. Notwithstanding, this is exactly what Bullinger, Lockhart, and Dungan attempted. They, in effect, created a secondary set of rules, one for scripture beyond the rules governing other secular works. The grammatical rules governing secular writings also govern biblical writings. Creating a second set of rules for the bible diminishes God’s word.

    From your contemptuous remarks, I sense you depend upon ad hominem argumentation to defend yourself when facing criticism or correction. This is really bad form. Know this: Ad hominem argumentation is used to win arguments and not necessarily to uncover truth. I suggest you leave this particular argument form behind. You will find a peaceful, evenhanded approach to point-counterpoint far more beneficial in your search for truth. Argue your point, fight for your point, but leave the mocking to the worldly.

    Now, as I had never heard of Bullinger until Jason Jackson held that turn-of-the-century moron up as a reference, I likewise had never heard of Dungan and Lockhart until you mentioned them. Nonetheless, after reading through their works, I can see why. Institutions of higher education do not reference these men or their books, because the products of their intellectual labors are horribly erroneous. The majority of their assertions are without merit.

    To learn brothers in Christ are turning to these spurious works as reference materials is the stuff of nightmares, terribly disconcerting. This behavior begs the question: From where do these spurious ideas arias: preaching schools, Internet, word-of-mouth? I believe preaching schools are the chief culprits, even Preston Road, the school my father attended years ago, before they slipped the dock of conservative thinking to sail liberalism’s unsettled waters.

    Examples of Error In The Works You Mentioned

    Dungan wrote:

    “ ‘For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world’ (Acts xxiv. 5. [24:5]).

    Now, after making all due allowance for the fact that Tertullus was a lawyer and had a case to gain, still the assertion that Paul was moving insurrections throughout the world is too large, except by the figure of synecdoche, that allows the whole to be put for the part.”
    (D. R. Dungan’s Hermeneutics, A Text-Book: Chapter IX, copied and pasted as written, emphasis mine)

    Dungan’s assertion is so wrong it sets the intellectual teeth on edge, his claim born of ignorance and intellectual laziness. The above is an example of hyperbole. An exaggeration does not rename by any means. This is not an example of synecdoche whatsoever.

    Consider the difference between the following sentences:

    1. “All hands on deck.” (Synecdoche for all sailors on deck, the part for the whole.)

    2. “…a mover of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world.”

    The first sentence, #1, is synecdoche and not hyperbole. It simply renames the whole by a part. Sentence #2 is hyperbole, in which the speaker exaggerates the particulars to make a point. Where in the statement does the speaker in the second rename anything? Exaggerating is not renaming any more than referring to a man through hyperbole as being “as big as a house” renames the fellow House.

    Secondly, synecdoche does not and cannot affect the modifier of the sentence. Changing the modifier changes the meaning of the sentence (The modifier in this case is the word “all”). Even the editors of Webster’s Dictionary have at acknowledged this point in our correspondence over their dictionary’s misguided definition of synecdoche.

    Now, although through hyperbole the speaker meant Paul was rousing many of the Jews in his area, the reader recognizes the word combination “…all the Jews throughout the world…” as an obvious exaggeration just as the reader recognizes “All hands on deck” as obvious synecdoche. If, however, the writer/speaker said “all” and meant “many” through synecdoche, this would be unobvious, leaving the reader to guess meaning.

    Linguistic law does not allow the speaker/writer to create a sentence at which the reader/listener must guess meaning.

    It appears Daniel Webster’s misguided definition of synecdoche, written some fifty years previous, influenced Dungan, Bullinger, and Lockhart to apply synecdoche to all things. However, this figure of speech (as all parts of speech) follows rules, of which Dungan, Bullinger, and Lockhart (and apparently Webster) ignored to create a form of grammar, allowing them to pervert the bible into saying what it does not.

    An excerpt from Lockhart’s work specifically reveals Webster’s influence:

    “A Synecdoche is the use of a part for the whole, the whole for a part, a definite for an indefinite, a genus for a species, a species for its genus, or other similar substitution because of the relative magnitude of the things concerned.” (Lockhart, Principles of Interpretation, Page 183)

    The above definition (genus for species etc) is nearly a word-for-word quote from Webster, and it is what caused Dungan to mistake hyperbole for synecdoche. This also caused Lockhart to do the same, such as in the quote below:

    “In Luke 6:19, ‘And all the multitude sought to touch him; for power came forth from him, and healed them all,’ clearly the whole multitude is mentioned where only a part can be really meant.” (Lockhart, Principles of Interpretation, Pages 183)

    I’ve seen entire crowds seek the touch a candidate (shake his hand) when I worked in the 92 presidential campaign, very scary. There is nothing wrong with the verse quoted above standing alone if the entire multitude indeed attempted to touch Jesus. If only the majority attempted to touch him, then the above is an example of hyperbole. The verse in question is absolutely not an example of synecdoche, for it renames nothing.

    Lockhart does not stop with the above. He goes on to slaughter good grammar with nearly every word he wrote.

    Note the slaughter:

    “In Luke 12:52, we have definite for indefinite numbers: “For there shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three’. ”

    No, the above is metaphor and not synecdoche. Definite for indefinite numbers comes from Webster’s definition. Note: No other dictionary on the planet defines synecdoche in Webster’s terms.

    “An example of genus for species is found in Mk. 16:15, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation’. ”

    No, the above is hyperbole. Nonetheless, since Christ’s actually desires we teach every living human being, his words are not such an exaggeration. This is akin to the “whole multitude sought to touch him” verse.

    Species for genus is exemplified in Rom. 1:16, ‘Salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’

    Bingo: He got one right. Well, at least he got it half right. This is an example of synecdoche, however this whole species for genus thing is an unwarranted definition. The speaker simply named the whole, all races (a thing existing in reality), by the part, Greek (another thing existing in reality). If species for genus were applicable in this verse, then definite for indefinite would be applicable in the verse above it. Since the latter is wholly inapplicable, then so is the former. Webster’s work truly influenced this thinking. Both men, Lockhart and Webster, were clearly attempting to shape biblical verse to fit preconception and religious dogma.

    To claim the above verse is synecdoche through “species for genus” is superfluous, like writing the word combination “very obsessed” (Obsessed means very focused, so the adverb, “very,” is unnecessary). There is no need to define naming the whole for the part except in the simplest terms. Adding superfluous meaning clouds definition in a super abundance of unwarranted terms.

    “An example of a prudential for a spiritual reason may be seen in Matt. 5:25, ‘Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison’. ”

    No, this is an example of metaphor. If Jesus had said, the kingdom of heaven is like agreeing with your adversary quickly, then the above would have been an example of simile.

    Notice, the above assertion goes beyond Webster’s definition, showing how an unrestrained idea can grow into full-blown idiocy. This is the first time I’ve ever heard or read the word combination “prudential for spiritual” in reference to grammar or any other subject. Lockhart made up this grammatical rule purely from his own imagination.

    (Above quotes from Lockhart’s work, Principles of Interpretation, Pages 183, 184)

    ***It seems that your objection is with my examples, and not with my definition (a wordsmith should be careful). You do not believe that a synecdoche can appy to verbs. Questions: Does the infinitive “to break bread,” include drinking of the fruit of the vine? Does not “to break bread” mean to partake of the Lord’s Supper, including the cup? I really do not care what you call it. The point is that a part is put for the whole.***

    No, my objection is not with the example. I object to anyone attempting to impart biblical truth through a fallacious argument, for the knowledgeable and educated will see through your misguided, bogus assertion. Thereafter, the educated unbeliever will discount the truth you are attempting to impart. Consequently, this will undermine Christ’s mandate to teach his word.

    Again with the mockery: You really need to discover another approach to answering criticism.

    Now, what I believe about grammar has no bearing on the matter. What I know counts, and I know synecdoche does not and cannot affect the verb, for a verb has no whole or part for the writer/speaker to rename. Yes, faith can act as a noun, but nouns based in the verb are not nouns in the concrete but the figurative. Conversely, the words, “sailor” and “hands” are an actual things; so, “All hands on deck,” for “All sailors on deck,” works.

    Also notice how the above two sentences mean identically the same thing, just like “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” means identically the same as, “to the Jew first, and also to the gentile”. Synecdoche is not allowed to change the meaning of the sentence.

    IMPORTANT: Synecdoche is not allowed to change the meaning of a sentence whatsoever. Synecdoche is never allowed to change the meaning of a sentence. This is such an important point, I shall write it again: The use of synecdoche does not and must not change the meaning of a sentence.

    If synecdoche were allowed to change the meaning of the sentence, then communications would suffer linguistic chaos, making accurate knowledge through the spoken and or written word impossible. This is linguistically illegal (Yes, illegal).

    Synecdoche works only with concrete nouns, nouns for things that exist in reality. Faith is a concept (an action) and not an actual thing. Since the word “faith” is figurative by nature and not a thing in actuality, then it can become a verb and visa versa. I can’t write, “Look at the faith sitting on the dock of the bay.” This would be ludicrous. And although people love turning nouns into verbs, the popular saying, “Cowboy up”, is grammatically incorrect.

    A collection of ideas or actions, such as hearing, belief, confession, repentance, and immersion, is not the whole of anything. All these may be necessary for salvation, but they are concepts and not things in actuality. It has no whole or part for synecdoche’s purpose. The descriptive word phrase, to break bread, declares an action, partaking the Lord’s Supper, which includes drinking the cup. Synecdoche has nothing to do with this, because synecdoche renames actual things and not actions, such as partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

    I do care what you call it, because if you skew grammar here, you will skew grammar elsewhere. And in doing so, you can inadvertently (or resolutely) misrepresent God’s word.

    ***If there is no such figure of speech for verbs, then the Bible is in confusion. Were those of Cornelius’ house save by belief (Acts 10:43) or repentance (Acts 11:18)? Does hearing alone save (1 Timothy 4:16), or must on believe, repent, and be baptized (Mark 16:1-2; Acts 2:38).***

    The confusion stems from your lack of accurate knowledge in grammar—not the bible’s absolutely accurate use of grammar.

    Nonetheless, here are your main problems: First, you are struggling with me as if I’m against your assertion immersion, repentance, confession, and hearing are also necessary for salvation. I am not. For example, immersion is absolutely necessary for salvation, not only due to commandment, but because we cannot approach God without sanctification, which occurs through water immersion. I’m not against your argument; I’m against your misguided use of grammar to make your argument.

    Second, you are seeing figure of speech where figure of speech does not exist. Not every utterance falls under this category, for there is more to language than figurative speech. There is something called linguistic logic, wherein the listener or reader uses deductive reasoning to make connections between the things mentioned and things unmentioned. If I write, “Tomorrow, I’m going to the airport to catch a flight for England,” I imply but do state all things necessary to catch the flight, i.e., buying a ticket, passing through the gantlet of security, securing a boarding pass, waiting at the gate, handing my pass to the flight attendant, and so on and so fourth ad nauseum. Nonetheless, all the things I mentioned are absolutely necessary to catching any flight, even though they are implied rather than said. Deductive reasoning allows the reader or listener to deduce the unspoken through previous knowledge and or investigation. So, if the writer of Acts wrote belief saved Cornelius and his family, the studious, honest reader will know or discover other passages claiming additional actions the sinner must perform toward salvation. He then, through deductive reasoning, will connect faith with immersion and the other necessary things. By mentioning one, the writer intends all—but not through synecdoche.

    Nonetheless, the most important part of flying to English is going to the airport, just like faith is the most important aspect in salvation. Without faith (belief) immersion and other things are pointless exercises. Performing pointless exercises, in effect, turns the bible into a collection of magic words teaching magical acts, like Tibetans spinning prayer wheels. Nonetheless, the honest student will see the truth right off. The dishonest heart will believe whatever he wants—Skewing grammar to correct the misguided believer’s wrongness will make no difference in his unjustified conviction.

    ***If you do not think it is proper to use verbs as a synecdoche, fine. Change them to nouns. Faith saves. Repentance saves. Baptism saves. Now let us discuss the synecdoche. Picky. The point still stands.***

    As previously mentioned, synecdoche does not affect nouns based in the verb. The reader cannot change the rules of grammar according to personal desires. The rules are the rules. Follow them for clearer communications.

    Picky? Well, yes. As a writer and editor, I am picky about grammar, because by grammar the writer makes clear his meaning to a reader’s accurate comprehensible. Nonetheless, your entire argument states the writer, presumably Luke, has included all the steps toward salvation to “faith” by synecdoche. This argument is fallacious. If your argument is fallacious, then it paints your message as fallacious. Therefore, by making such a fallacious argument, you undo truth through an ignorant, inappropriate use of grammar.

    Again, skewing grammar undermines your point—that’s the issue at hand. That you don’t seem to understand, or want to understand, is on you. All I can do is speak to an accurate handling of grammar for clarity. You must do with this according to your freewill. Nonetheless, don’t make a wrong assertion about grammar and then mock the man who attempts a correction. Picky? Yes, sir. Proper grammar follows the rules. So, if you are making a point about salvation by making an issue of the grammar, then make certain the grammatical rule you tout is correct. Get it right before teaching others. Don’t teach what you do not know.

    ***You recognize that one command is good enough, if from previous instructions other things are implied. Fine. What do you call this figure of speech, Mr. Wordsmith? Are we really arguing over which figure of speech this is, and what to call it? You seem to recognize my basic point, and that is the words hear, believe, repent, and be baptized should not be considered as the means of salvation alone. All that is said on the subject must be considered.***

    Again with the mocking. Do you have problems with all educated people or just me?

    Again, you are talking about a thing that does not fall under figure of speech. It is implication and deductive reasoning through linguistic logic. Not everything written in the bible falls under figure of speech. Bullinger, Dungan, and Lockhart were wrong, and you are wrong for referencing them. (So says the wordsmith).

    ***On “all” and “many.” Are we looking at the same article. I am looking at the article “Synecdoche.” I am missing the reference to all and many. “All” and “many” obviously, do not mean the same thing. However, they can be used interchangeable where in complimentary passages where the “many” and the “all” refer to the same group. “All” may also be used to mean “the greater part, many” in a hyperbole.***

    I’ll not belabor the point but accept you truly can’t see the point (no matter how glaring). Nonetheless, let me make it perfectly clear. By misapplying synecdoche, you join people who skew the language to twist certain scriptures so they fit inaccurate preconception(s). I’m appalled to discover the brethren are turning to such spurious reference materials to support idiotic notions. Jason Jackson pulled the, “all is the whole of many, and many the part of all” thing on me. He wrote “all” and “many” are interchangeable through synecdoche, which is absolutely absurd. The words “all” and “many” are modifiers in the sentence, and changing the modifier changes the meaning of the sentence, which synecdoche is never allowed to do. He, like you, is clearly not well versed in real grammar but some pseudo version of the same. And, like you, I found him condescending and dismissive (I’m afraid I’m seeing a pattern of behavior).

    Yes, you, Jackson, Butts, and other teachers all appear to drink from the same pool of dirty knowledge. Turning to such spurious works as reference materials will not help anyone, for it does not lead to truth. It also makes you and the others who use them appear as if you haven’t a clue. If you want to know and use grammar, then learn it from a legitimate institute of education. Do not turn to sources bent on twisting grammar to wrestle God’s work into shapes benefiting predetermined ideas and ideals.

    ***You seem very obsessed with Bullinger. Odd, I do not believe that I even cited him in the article. Though, I have a couple of times in others. I unlike you have found some things he has written helpful.***

    Again with the mocking.

    As mentioned before, I did not know Dungan and Lockhart until you mentioned them. So, naturally, I believed you had found your skewed definition through Bullinger. Having reviewed Dungan and Lockhart’s work, I see they are just as outrageously incorrect as Bullinger; which is why secular schools ignore them. There is so much misinformation in their books, it’s best to simply throw them in the garbage or hang them in an outhouse as toilet paper. Turning to their works because one finds some things helpful is like turning to the Book of Mormon, because one finds some things in Joseph Smith’s book helpful.

    Bryan

    My name is Mr. Speights. I am a trained, practiced, and studious wordsmith. The mockery is intolerable.

    • Bryan Hodge says:

      Greetings,

      “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).

      If the reason that you bring up being a wordsmith is to convince me that I should listen to you, though you have provided no evidence. This is the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. It would be like me saying believe me on this subject, without my providing any evidence, because I am a preacher.

      Dungan, Terry, and Webster are all wrong. Ok. It is amazing that Webster made this mistake all those years ago, and still has not corrected it. Moreover, it is not just Webster. Dictionary and dictionary that I have checked give similar definitions. Surely, you are in error, or have over stated it when you claim that Webster is alone in this (a wordsmith must be careful in his selection of words). What sources should I consult? Am I to take your word for it? I think that I will stick with Webster.

      A typical Webster’s dictionary is not trying to provide technical definitions, or trade definitions. Instead, it is defining how words are commonly used and acceptable used in the common language (Look up “baptism” for instance. A Bible definition will not be given, or at least not the only thing given. The Greek definition will not be given, or at least not the only thing give. The word will be defined by its commonly accepted useage in society). I know that I am using the word in the way that I have commonly heard it used though the years. Webster definition supports this. I think that I will stick with Webster.

      You did not like my example of flying to the reunion. Let me try another, and I think better, example. One man says to the another “Are you a farmer?” The second man replies, “I have plowed a few fields, and raised a few cows” Could he mean more than he has plowed, and raised? Could he mean that yes, I am a farmer? I think that the verbs “have plowed” and “raised” may stand for more than plowing, and raising.

      One website thelinguafile.com gives the following as an example of a totum pro parte synecdoche “The verb ‘to drink’ can mean to ‘consume liquid,’ but it is often used in reference to the consumption of a specific type of beverage. If you’ve ever said ‘ I drank too much last night,’ we imagine that you were not talking about milk” You might choose to use another name to describe this. However, this does show that some wordsmiths believe that a verb can be synecdoche.

      You speak of deduction though inference (such seems a bit redundant if one consider the definition of inference, though I will not be picky). The word “hear,” alone, as in 1 Timothy 4:16, in no way implies belief, repentance, baptism or anything else. More than the word itself must be used to draw the conclusion that more is implied. You call this deduction by inference. I call this a synecdoche. I do not have anymore time for such hair splitting over the name of the term. I think that I will stick with Webster.

      One more thing. I suggest that in future conversations with other, that you leave other names out of the discussion. If you wish to discuss things about Jason Jackson, Kyle Butt or others, then have it with them, if they are willing. However, do not have it with another. I am not their defenders. They can defend themselves. However, I will say, I do respect their work.

      While you are trying to defend the king’s English, or something. I will be about the business of trying to save souls. Good day.

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