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The Function of Metaphorical and Apocalyptic Language about the Unobservable in the Teaching of Jesus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses an aspect of the problem of status of the language of the New Testament about things that cannot be observed. It concentrates on function of metaphorical and apocalyptic language from a socio-semiotic point of view in order to show that the problem of God-talk and talk about the unobservable has a functional side which complicates the ontological status of theological language in the New Testament, and that this has to be taken into account in any systematic discussion about theological discourse concerning the unobservable. The chapter deals with the problem of pragmatic function of language with regard to metaphorical and apocalyptic statements in the gospel tradition and draws some conclusions about the cognitive function of these statements in view of a few remarks about epistemological models. It takes examples and explains the problems dealing with the function of metaphorical and apocalyptic language in the teaching of Jesus.

Keywords: apocalyptic language; gospel tradition; metaphorical language; New Testament; pragmatic function; teaching of Jesus; unobservable



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