posted by Kris (w/a “k”)
5b Ἰδοὺ ἡλίκον πῦρ ἡλίκην ὕλην ἀνάπτει· Behold how small a fire sets ablaze how great a forest!
6 καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα πῦρ And the tongue is a fire!
The unmarked word order of a verbless clause is for the subject to precede the predicate, as is the case here. Natural salience is assigned to the predicate, since the subject is typically established information and, also, what the predicate is about. So, normally, the predicate contains the most important piece of information. However, in this case, both tongue and fire have already been mentioned; they are, thus, established pieces of information in the discourse. So the question remains: what is this verbless clause really about, the tongue or the fire?
There are several observations we can note that lead us to believe that ἡ γλῶσσα (the tongue) is the topic of this verse and that…
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