According to the website, an astronomical conjunction is “ the alignment of a superior planet with the Sun and Earth, where the planet is on the opposite side of the Sun and Earth. Also the alignment of planets with other planets, or stars of our solar system, from Earth’s viewpoint.” In a hover box, further information is given helping us to understand what a conjunction in the sky is, which adds, … “when a planet passes at its closest point in the sky to another planet or the sun”.

In his book “The Star Of Bethlehem: The Star That Astonished The World” (Extended Second Edition), Dr. Ernest L. Martin shows us that the unique conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Venus, along with the star Regulus, and other astronomical events involving additional heavenly bodies, formed a whole. This whole portrayed the greatest event in human history, the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. You can read the entire book with your eyes or ears at this site…..
The readings by Charlie Corder are easy on the eyes and ears.

If any of the celestial bodies involved in forming the whole of this astronomical conjunction were absent or omitted, we would no longer have the same symbolic picture, and their unified parts in painting that picture would be lost. Like pieces to a puzzle, each depends upon the others to form and maintain the whole. In much the same way, grammatical conjunctions hold together the parts of a whole, so as to deliver a significant message. If any of these parts are taken out of the picture, we no longer would have the whole. This is a key feature to remember when studying the figure of speech Polysyndeton, or “too many conjunctions”.

Normally, when two or more ideas are presented that have a relationship to one another, a single conjunction is used to define that relationship. Consider the words of the Apostle Peter in Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

Silver and gold are two ideas, two thoughts, two things brought together in a simple relationship to each other by means of the conjunction “and”, as are the words “rise up and walk“. In both of these examples, both of the things mentioned have a relationship to the other, and that is shown by a simple conjunction. A third example is the conjunction “but“. “Silver and gold have I none but such as I have give I thee.”

In English there are four types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, correlative, and adverbial. We can see these four types used in the Greek language of the Bible as well. Here are a couple of links that should be helpful to identify and understand these types.

Both of these conjunctions, “and” and “but“, are coordinating conjunctions, because they bring together as one, two independent thoughts. If Peter had said, “we have no silver”, or “we have no gold”, or “we have no money”, the thought would be complete without one depending on the other. If he had said, “silver and gold have I none, because I don’t get paid until Friday”, the second clause would depend on the first, making the second subordinate to the first. The words because and until are subordinating conjunctions, which is the second of the four types of conjunctions.

If Peter had said, “I left home with neither silver nor gold”, he would have used the correlating conjunctions neither and nor. Silver and gold being compared as money, which was not allowed by law to be taken into the temple. His statement had no bearing on their economic condition.

Thus far we have touched upon coordinating, subordinating, and correlating conjunctions. The fourth type of conjunction is the adverbial. If Peter had said, “silver and gold have I none, “nevertheless“, or “however“, or “therefore“, etc., he would have been using an adverbial conjunction to express a relationship between the former thought and the later thought.

Now, for those of you having read this far, and still being awake, let me further disappoint you by saying, even with the “many conjunctions” used in this verse, it is not the figure Polysyndeton. “Many ands” is the term Dr. Bullinger used to name this figure. But because the figure is used with other conjunctions than merely the word “and”, we need to change the word “ands” to the word “conjunctions”. This too lacks what is needed to understand the figure, so I have amended it to “TOO MANY CONJUNCTIONS”.

In considering what Peter actually said, and how he could have said it differently, we saw the normal grammatical way of connecting thoughts by using conjunctions. Let’s read a few more verses to see the figure of speech, hopefully making it plain to recognize the difference when the figure is used.

Acts 3:7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Here, twice the figure is used to paint a vivid picture of the wonderful miracle that took place, and the joy this man experienced. More conjunctions (too many) are used than needed, but for the purpose of forming a whole thought and mind picture of the event.

In studying the figure Polysyndeton, I have noticed three different forms it takes. Let’s pick up next time with that thought. Thanks for your time, and remember, ENJOY!
Ken Rossoll Feb. 6, 2021.


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