FAITH AS THE PIVOT FOR THE MIRACULOUS: A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF A BIBLICAL TEXT
AbstractDiscourse is about communication. An exchange of communication content with both parties being satisfied with the meaning; exchange is usually what successful communication entails. This article thus investigates a discourse situation in which a man needs healing for his sick son. In the course of his interaction with the healer who is to help his son, it was discovered that he was not too sure of the ability of this healer. A chosen linguistic performance was used to express this doubt. The result was a communication breakdown. The seeker and the sought could not find a common ground. The focus of this article is therefore to ascertain the reason for this communication breakdown. The article investigated such linguistic devices as the register, topic focus, contextual clues, as well as the cohesive ties within the text. It also looked at the paralinguistic element, intonation, as represented graphologically, which is considered an important semantic element in analysing the text. The major finding in the course of the analysis of the discourse content through such linguistic instrumentation is that the communication breakdown is due to topic conflict. It is found that faith is a necessary ingredient for the seeker of spiritual help. The article thus concluded that for effective hermeneutic studies, linguistic instruments are a necessary option for a full interpretation of biblical texts, especially considering that the texts were originally products of linguistic choices.
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