Baltic accent

2018 Vol. 9 № 3

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Lexical explicators of the modality of necessity in the Old and New Testament (the Synodal translation into Russian)



In this article, I explore one of the elements of situational modality, namely, the microfield of the modality of necessity. I consider the use of lexical modifiers of the modality of necessity in the Old and New Testament. The aims of this study are to identify similarities and differences in the use of lexemes explicating the microfield in the biblical texts and to produce a comparative analysis of modal meanings of objective-subjective and objective necessity expressed through relevant lexemes. Another objective is to assess the influence of the meanings of necessity on the semantic orientation of the biblical texts manifested in the difference between the precepts of the Old and New Testament. I employ the field approach and use both universal research methods and the methods and techniques of the functional-semantic, etymological, and contextual analysis, etc. The main finding of this study is that the semantic content of lexical modifiers of the modality of necessity in the New Testament differs from that in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament texts, necessity is perceived primarily as a legal and social law, whereas in the New Testament it is understood as a moral duty. This contributes to the Christian idea of the existence of a legal and social law and a higher, moral law, which are not always identical. Using the findings of this study, I describe the formation of the division between the spiritual and social aspects of duty in human consciousness and identify the causes of contradictions between the spiritual and social duty.


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