Paper Accepted for Midwest SBL 2010

I was pleased to receive confirmation that my paper was accepted for the Midwest SBL in the Paul group.

TITLE: “The ou….alla (not…but) New Testament Rhetorical Pattern (and why hasty assumptions about its interpretation can set theological decisions off-track)”


One can detect a certain New Testament rhetorical pattern which contains the pairing of ou…alla.  It is often used to set up some kind of exclusive negation, as in “the body is not (ou) for sexual immorality but (alla) for the Lord” (1 Cor. 6:13), where the two items are in direct conflict.  Alternatively, the relationship could be a contrast of significance as in Jesus’ saying, “The one believing in me does not (ou) believe in me, but (alla) in the one who sent me” (John 12:44).  This paper will demonstrate, using two case studies (Phil. 2.4 and Eph. 6.12), how interpreters and translators too often assume a text with the ou…alla pattern is the first kind (exclusive negation) without offering due consideration that it may be the second kind (contrast of significance), to the detriment of theological doctrines and constructs.

If there are enough midwest bloggers there, perhaps we can arrange a lunch together (if only in the dining hall!).  So, leave me a comment if you are going and maybe we can work out a schedule for a group lunch.