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E. W. Bullinger, D.D. Figures of Speech used in the Bible, explained and illustrated

E. W. Bullinger, D.D. Figures of Speech used in the Bible, explained and illustratedE. W. Bullinger, D.D.

Figures of Speech used in the Bible, explained and illustrated

Bible translators have, through inattention to figures of speech, made serious translation blunders, clouding the real meaning of many important passages of God's Word. E. W. Bullinger's volume, first published in 1898, clarifies 217 distinct figures of speech used in the Bible. Walter C. Kaiser, dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, calls it "the best handbook on figures of speech. It should be on every exegete's shelf."

In systematic order, this classic gives the proper pronunciation of each figure of speech, its etymology or origin, and a number of Scripture passages where the figure of speech is used, giving full explanation of its use in each context. Figures of Speech Used in the Bible cites nearly eight thousand Bible passages and includes five appendices and seven indexes, making it even more valuable as a reference tool.




Note on Fugures in general

Some Errata

Summary of classification

Table of contents


List of abbreviations




ELLIPSIS : or, Omission. The omission of a word or words in a sentence

    A. Absolute Ellipsis, where the omitted word or words are to be supplied from the nature of the subject

        I. Nouns and pronouns

            1. The Nominative

            2. The Accusative

            3. Pronouns

            4. Other connected words

        II. Verbs and participles

            1. When the verb finite is wanting:

                (a) especially the verb to say

            2. When the verb infinitive is wanting :

                (a) after יכל (yahkol), to be able

                (b) after the verb to finish

                (c) after another verb (pers. or impers.)

            3. When the verb substantive is wanting

            4. When the participle is wanting

        III. Certain connected words in the same member of a passage

        IV. A whole clause

            1. The former part

            2. The latter part, or Apodosis (ANANTAPODOTON)

            3. A comparison

    B. Relative Ellipsis:

        I. Where the omitted word is to be supplied from a cognate word in the context

            1. The noun from the verb

            2. The verb from the noun

        II. Where the omitted word is to be supplied from a contrary word

        III. Where the omitted word is to be supplied from analagous or related words

        VI. Where the omitted word is contained in another word : (syntheton, compositio, concisa LOCUTIO, CONSTRUCTIO PRAEGNANS)

    C. Ellipsis of Repetition:

        I. Simple: where the ommision is supplied from a preceding or succeeding clause

            1. From a preceding clause

                (a) Nouns and pronouns

                (b) Verbs

                (c) Particles

                    (i.) Negatives

                    (ii.) Interrogatives

            2. From a succeeding clause

        II. Complex: where both clauses are involved (semiduplex oratio)

            1. Single words

            2. Sentences

False Ellipsis in A.V.

ZEUGMA: or, Unequal Yoke. Two words unequally yoked by one verb

            1. Protozeugma : or, Ante-yoke (injunctum)

            2. Mesozeugma: or, Middle-yoke (conjunctum)

            3. Hypozeugma: or, End-yoke

            4. Synezeugmenon: or, Connected-yoke (adjunctum)

ASYNDETON: or, No-Ands. An enumeration of things without conjunctions (asyntheton, dialysis, dialyTON, SOLUTUM, DISSOLUTIO, EPITROCHASMOS, PERCURSIO)

APHAERESIS: or, Front-Cut. The cutting off the front syllable of a word

APOCOPE : or, End-Cut. The cutting off the last syllable of a word


APOSIOPESIS: or, Sudden Silence (reticentia). Breaking off what is being said, with sudden silence

            1. In Promise

            2. In Anger and Threatening

            3. In Grief or Compjaint

            4. In Enquiry and Deprecation

MEIOSIS: or, a Be-littleing. A be-littleing of one thing to magnify another (litotes, diminutio, extenuatio)

TAPEINOSIS: or, Demeaning. A lessening of a thing in order to increase it (antenantiosis, anaeresis)

            1. Positively

            2. Negatively

CATABASIS (see Anabasis, page 429)


ENTHYMEMA: or, Omission of the Premiss (COMMENTUM, CONCEPTIO)